Gloomy clouds descend over Macksville
GREY skies above the Mid North Coast over the past few days reflect the gloom that's descended since the passing of Phillip Hughes.
Tributes continue to flood in, reflective of the world-wide sense of loss for the young batsman who will forever remain 'not out'.
In his hometown of Macksville, the grief has touched everyone.
In a joint statement, Macksville Ex-Services Junior Cricket Club, Nambucca Valley Shire Council and Bowraville Rugby League have passed on deepest condolences to the Hughes family.
"We reach out to Phillip's parents Greg and Virginia, sister Megan and brother Jason, offering our love and support during this most difficult time," the statement read.
"We are all here for you.
"Macksville is a strong and close community and we are all shocked and saddened by what has happened.
"We are all very proud of Phillip's achievements and will remember him fondly as a favourite son.
"Phillip enjoyed returning home to spend time on the farm with his family and was always the warm, unaffected country boy who was such a delight to be around."
As a rugby league player with Bowraville Tigers, young Phil was named Group 2 JRL player of the year.
He first played A-grade cricket aged 12 years and as a 14-year-old, he and brother Jason joined Sawtell club where they shared the spoils of victory with the Blue Caps in the grand final of 2004-05.
When Phil gained Test selection and then scored his first century (see above) in 2009 there was jubilation in the camp.
Today, there is total sorrow.
"The club is deeply saddened by the news," president Rod Buckle said in tribute.
"At this terrible time our deepest thoughts are with Phil's family, friends and colleagues.
"There are players, officials and supporters (still) involved with Sawtell Cricket Club who knew and played with Phil and I will be canvassing those people's thoughts over the next day to gauge where we go from here.
"The club will be releasing details on how we will be treating the upcoming round games with regards to respecting Phil and his family.
"Please keep Phil's family and friends in your prayers tonight. May you rest in peace, Phil Hughes."
All Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association matches this weekend have been cancelled.
A gathering at Richardson Park today at 2pm will celebrate Phil's life and legacy.