Jason Hughes is can claim responsibility for launching Phillip Hughes’ dazzling cricket career, having invited his little brother to join him in the local under 10s side one weekend, so the team wouldn’t forfeit. Phillip said no, at first, then played his first game as a tailender. The rest quickly became history.
By age 12, he scored 159 not out to help NSW win the national primary school cricket competition. In Macksville this afternoon at Phillip’s funeral, Jason read out this letter to his “little bro”.
As I start writing I realise that this is the most important letter I will ever write.
There has been a lot said in the last week but I thought a nice little letter would sum it all up for us and could be kept forever.
I couldn’t have asked for a better little brother. From a very young age you were destined to be a rock star. You moved to Sydney at the age of 17 with 70 centuries already to your name with your homegrown technique. All I ever wanted was for you to look up to me as your big brother.
I still can’t believe that I’m here saying my final goodbyes, even though you are my little bro, you have taught me so much.
You have given me confidence, strength, you supported me and gave me a strong desire to succeed. Everyone will have memories of you but I will cherish our childhood memories forever.
Our backyard cricket battles were incredible. You always had to win and keep batting on for days. I bowled to you for hours and even though my body was sore and tired, I’m very glad that I played a major part in you achieving your dreams.
The reason that I’m in Sydney and where I am today is mainly because of you. You told me to move to Sydney when I just turned 21 and I didn’t hesitate to move. I was on the first flight because I wanted to share this journey with you.
You always had the good looks, you always had the hair, and who said you needed braces to have a smile?
You never took a bad photo.
I’ll never forget the time I think you were 16 you needed a break, you decided you just ran away to the Central Coast for three days. He asked me to keep a secret from Mum and Dad. I mean how would they have ever known?
There were lots of stories I could share and while many are not appropriate for today. Here are a few I’d like to share with you.
I’ll miss the regular calls, whether you’re at home, interstate or overseas and all the messages just to check that you had the spelling right of the tricky and the not-so-tricky words. What about the weekly picture messages with an update of your rig although at times you fluctuated, I reckon the last image was spot on. You looked pretty fit. I’ll miss our nights from the Palace in Mortlake to Darling Harbour, a combination I’ll never forget.
And finally our last stand, the ground was Pratten Park, the opposition, Mosman, who I’m now quite fond of. The game ended up being a fitting final stand between us.
A partnership of 210 was capped off with you throwing me the ball and having faith in me to produce my best first grade figures of 5/19 off 10 overs: a game I will forever forget and I’m proud to have been able to share this moment with you.
My promises to you, firstly I will take good care of Mum, Dad, Megan and, of course, your beloved cows.
I promise to keep an eye on the investment market for some future business conversations down the track which we have discussed daily for the past 2 years. I promise to get back on the horse and play the game we both loved. I will endeavour to become the best player I can be.
Now it’s time to say goodbye, take care.
I miss you, I’m so proud of you, thank you again for all the memories. I love you now and forever.
Your big brother, Jase.
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