Vale: Phillip Hughes, son, brother, friend.

November 28, 2014

The sudden and untimely passing of Australian Cricketer Phillip Hughes shocked and saddened us yesterday. Like many of us, I didn’t know Phillip. That didn’t diminish the grief of hearing of a popular, energetic and driven young man, taken too early. As his family, friends and team mates come to terms with this shocking accident, the days and weeks ahead will be difficult and upsetting. This Sunday, Phillip would have turned 26 and that occasion will no doubt bring into sharp focus again this unspeakable loss. At the other end of the day, the AFL draft took place. A range of young men on the verge of realising what for many is a lifelong dream to play AFL footy at the highest level. I couldn’t help but be struck by the contrast of these fit and ambitious young men starting out on their sporting careers, against the backdrop of one whose journey had prematurely ended. There were so many similarities between Phillip’s journey to the heights of his sporting ambition - capped off by representing his country so successfully, and these young men in AFL. After coming off air yesterday from the announcement of Phillips death, I was then hosting the City of Sydney Christmas celebrations. I have to admit that trying to put the sadness from my mind to then embrace the Christmas spirit was challenging. I looked out on a sea of little kids and their families all smiling and laughing. I kept looking at the sky, which was overcast and grey and just a few drops of rain hinted at the sadness of the day. As it turned out, the Carols and Christmas celebrations were lovely and served to brighten an otherwise sad afternoon. Mainstream media and social media have been commenting, grieving and reminiscing on Phillips death and I have read so many lovely tributes and comments about him as a person, a cricketer and a mate. Encouragingly, the support for the bowler has been strong and unqualified. My thoughts are with him too and the support he will need to get through this next few weeks, and then beyond. As often happens in this beautiful country, the things that unite us are inevitably stronger than those that divide us. Its been touching to see the tributes and support from every quarter of government, media, cricket and other sports…I extend my sympathies to his family and friends and wish them all strength they need to cope with Phillips passing. Rest in Peace, Phillip.



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