Cricketer Phillip Hughes has died in hospital two days after being struck in a cricket match
The 25-year-old died from a brain injury just days before his 26th birthday
Hughes was on the verge of Test selection to play in Brisbane next week
The left-handed larrikin batsman had a career of ups and downs
He was friends with boxer Anthony Mundine and Sonny Bill Williams
Hughes is the son of a banana farmer from Macksville, NSW
He always showed heart and determination despite career setbacks
A talented cricketer with ‘the world at his feet’ Phillip Hughes is being mourned in Australia and around the world after dying from a brain injury two days after being struck in the head by a bouncer.
The son of banana farmer from the northern New South Wales town of Macksville who was dropped from the Australian Test team five times, but who never gave up, is being remembered for his defiant attitude in the face of adversity.
‘Hughesy’ or ‘Hugh-dog’, as he was nicknamed, was an immensely likeable and also humble, understated and hardworking team mate for the Australian, South Australian and Adelaide Strikers squads.
As cricketers, friends and family gathered around his bedside at St Vincents Hospital for the 48 hours following his injury, the prayers and tributes for Hughes – as a cricketer, a mate and a great bloke – poured in.
Hughes’ achievements as a young cricketer – he was due to celebrate his 26th birthday this Sunday – include making 26 first class centuries; as WA coach Justin Langer pointed out this week while flying back to Sydney to see Hughes, at his age, Langer had only made one.
Hughes made a total of 15,789 runs in his first class career and many of those were ones or twos – as he laughingly recalled some years ago, he wasn’t a big scorer of fours or sixes.
The left-handed opener was the son of Greg Hughes, who cleared a patch on his farm for young Phil to practice cricket, and mother Virginia, who is of Italian origin.
Growing up with sister, Megan, and brother, Jason, as a teenager he often helped out hauling heavy bunches of bananas for the family business.
As a schoolboy, he was also a talented rugby league player who played alongside another Macksville boy, the future Rabbitohs star Greg Inglis.
Seven years ago almost to the day, just before his 19th birthday, Hughes made his debut in first class cricket scoring a spot in the NSW side.
As a 20-year-old, he won the the Bradman Young Player of the Year, accepting the award in Melbourne during the Alan Border Medal presentations in February 2009.