Gaurav Joshi travels to the departed Phillip Hughes' hometown two days before the Aussie cricketer's funeral
Macksville: As the sun set over the Nambucca River that runs through town of Macksville in Northern New South Wales, Phillip Hughes' father Greg was joined by Michael Clarke and Stuart MacGill for a gathering at the departed cricketer's favourite pub, The Star Hotel yesterday.
Phillip Hughes father, Greg
It was an emotional meeting two days before the funeral of Phillip Hughes. Three of them smiled and hugged as they continued to pay tributes to Phillip, who passed away on Thursday following a fatal blow on his head in a Sheffield Shield game at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
There were around 30 people at The Star Hotel, but each person gave the trio their space and nobody dared to intervene. "It has been an emotional week and although Greg is well known, I think everyone is giving him his own space.
A portrait of Phillip Hughes in his hometown at Macksville
It's great to have Clarke here in Macksville, he is here to provide support to Hughes family, rather than the Australian captain. It shows what sort of a bloke he is," said Colin McDermott, a Macksville local.
10,000 people expected
Macksville, a town with a population of 3000, has been in the news since the demise of the town's favourite son, Phillip. It will get more famous as close to 10,000 people are expected to attend the funeral on Wednesday.
"I think we are getting more attention that we would like," said Norma, a worker at Macksville Public School. Norma is a school friend of Phillip Hughes' mother, Virginia.
A school displays a message in memory of the departed cricketer. Pics/AFP, Getty Images
Norma has yet to contact her childhood friend as she feels that her family should be given their space in this difficult time.
The Hughes family home on 59 East Street has plenty of bouquets left on the porch. Greg and Virginia have been at home for the past couple of days and there has been a constant flow of journalists and cameramen down the street.
A couple of yards away, kids are involved in a game of cricket. As the blonde-headed kid flicks one off his legs, he screams to the bowler, "that takes me to 46, but the retirement score is 63 now and not 50."