Phillip Hughes: Nick Compton describes batsman's funeral

By Nick ComptonEngland batsman
Tributes were paid to Philip Hughes at his funeral in Macksville last week

Nick Compton was a team-mate of Phillip Hughes for both Sydney club Western Suburbs and English county Middlesex, and they were flat-mates in London. He attended Hughes's funeral in Macksville.

This has not been easy.

I drove up from Sydney on Tuesday with a couple of Phillip's friends. We had dinner last night at his favourite Chinese restaurant. It was a nice thing to do on the evening before the funeral, spending some quality time with those who loved Phillip, in his home town.

This is the first time I've been in Macksville and I can see why Phillip had such affection for it. It's a fantastic little place, green and by the coast. Seeing it for myself was quite moving.

The funeral itself was made overwhelming by the number of people and the outpouring of grief - it seemed like everyone was here and that all those people genuinely cared for Phillip.

From the guys from Western Suburbs who played with him since the age of 17 to legends of the game like Brian Lara and Shane Warne, all were there to say farewell.

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The tributes paid were even more special and it was truly amazing for his brother and sister to speak in the way that they did - there is no way I would have been able to handle myself in that way.

They regaled us with some great stories about Phillip and, from that perspective, it was a real celebration of his life and provided a means of reconnecting with a lot of the close friends that he and I shared.

The tribute that has been played around the world was delivered by Australia captain Michael Clarke, who has given everything he can during this time.

He spoke from the heart, describing how Phillip's spirit will stay with us forever. It was very special.

Later, I was standing at the bar with Michael and he told me how he wished he had another minute or two, just to see Phillip one last time.

Through all of this, from what he did at the hospital, to looking after Phillip's family and playing the part he did in the funeral, Michael has paid a fitting tribute to the man he called a "little brother".

Throughout this, a few have of us have thought, in a humorous way, how Phillip might be looking down on us and wondering "how have you carried this off?".

Phillip Hughes and Nick Compton
Nick Compton (right), an Arsenal fan, visited the Emirates Stadium with Phillip Hughes

Knowing him as I do, he would have been in awe that thousands of people flocked to a small town in New South Wales to say goodbye to him.

The only shame is that I don't think he ever realised how many people he touched.

This was a country boy who loved the good life. He was a great kid, very happy, his own individual with a unique way of playing cricket. He was a cheeky, infectious guy who was fun to be around.

Now, I think the message is to really cherish some of those values and try to live by them every day.

Everyone here unanimously feels that it's hard to let go of Phillip - you almost feel he is going to walk round the corner and get involved.

You could see that by the well-wishing from all over the world. It's been quite incredible.

Nick Compton was talking to BBC World Service Sport

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