Life is so so unbelievably short.
Australia's talented young cricketer Phillip Hughes found that out this week when at 25 years old he was hit on the head by a fast ball from Sean Abbott and died in hospital just two days later from the injury. Celebrity deaths are not and have never been uncommon in this world with Peaches Geldof, Amy Winehouse and Heath Ledger all passing away in recent years. However, in contrast to the names just mentioned as I was lying in my own bed this morning reading of his fate I felt genuine sadness for him, his family and his friends whose lives will all never be the same again. You see with Phil, he didn't die in a hotel room at 4am with a needle in his arm, he didn't die trying to prove that he was some sort of icon, he died on the sporting field at the top of his profession surrounded by all his friends and doing the job that he loved.
Our own mortality is not an issue that we as human beings like to confront on a daily basis, so when a man at the highest level of fitness in sport passes away it has to make you think harder. I personally never knew Phil Hughes and have never even spoke to him but our paths did once cross on one sunny Sydney day in January 2010. I'd recently just arrived in Australia and was in a bar just off Bondi beach. I looked up from my cold beer and realised I knew two faces across the room which is unusual when you've just arrived on the other side of the world. One was Michael Clarke the Australian cricket captain and the other was precocious young batsmen Phil Hughes. Our eyes made contact and I quickly looked down at my beer, I definitely wanted an autograph or a selfie. Weighing up the pros and cons of embarrassment / facebook bragging rights I decided that I would play it cool and leave them alone seeing as they were just out for a quiet beer and probably didn't want to be interrupted by a half pissed Englishman.
Aside from being a spectator that's the closest I ever got to speaking to Phil Hughes but I can still recall that brief second our eyes met, It was a small moment that he will never even remember happened but this morning it means a lot to me. I feel slightly bad I didn't get that braggy selfie to remember him by, something to show the grandkids that I once met him. Although sometimes it's nice to know that you and someone else have a moment in time that was never captured on film, something that you can take to the grave for eternity.
When people like Amy Winehouse die it's incredibly sad they couldn't control their talented brains, it's even more painful when a young man who has mastered his gets struck down in a freak accident. Phillip Hughes understood what life was about and he was fulfilling a dream that he'd had his entire life of trying to be the best he could every single day.
RIP Phil you little champion
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