Recalling the day Hughes made his first century
THE MUM of Junction Hill's sports-mad Purser family has memories of Phillip Hughes stretching back to his first junior century scored in an Under-12 rep match involving her middle son Brendan.
At most cricket matches involving her sons Daniel, Brendan and Jacob, she could be found with the scorebook on her knee.
It was in that role she remembers her first brush with Hughes, the Test and Sheffield Shield cricketer who died after he was struck in the neck by a bouncer in the Sheffield Shield game between South Australia and NSW last week.
"B J (Brendan) was a year younger than Phil and had been picked for Clarence River as a reserve for a game against Nambucca-Bellingen," Trish said.
"But he ended up playing and as Phil Hughes was getting close to his century everyone was saying give B J a bowl.
"He ended up throwing (bowling) the ball that Phil scored his hundred off."
Trish also added her son bowled the ball that dismissed him a few balls later.
"I can remember the people from Nambucca-Bellingen saying it was his (Hughes's) first century."
Over the next four or five years her son and Hughes were run scoring rivals for their districts.
"(Trish's husband) Stewart was coaching the boys' teams and he always said there was something special about Phillip," she said.
She said Brendan showed similar dedication to his sport to Phil, but has chosen a different sporting path.
"He was playing grade cricket in Sydney, but had some nerve problems in his wrist, which meant he couldn't play cricket for a time," she said.
"Since his recovery from that he's concentrated on playing hockey and is playing first grade in Sydney."
Trish remembers Hughes as a respected and feared opponent.
"Whenever we played his team, he was the one we talked about all the time."