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Today, the world's eyes are on one tiny NSW town, remembering one remarkable young man.

phillip hughes funeral
A man walks past a tribute to Australian batsman Phillip Hughes before Hughes’ funeral. (Photo: WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Today is an emotional day for the loved ones of 25-year-old cricketer Phillip Hughes.

Hughes’ friends, family and cricket teammates have convened in the batsmans’ small  hometown of Mackville, NSW to honour the young man.

Around 5,000 mourners are attending the service at Macksville High School hall, which commenced at 2pm  — with the song “Forever Young” by Youth Group playing as the funeral party made their way into the hall.

Hughes’ family members were the last to enter the service this afternoon; Fairfax Media reports they walked together into the hall, arm in arm.

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke was a pallbearer at the service.

Bowler Sean Abbott — NSW bowler Sean Abbott who bowled the bouncer that struck Hughes on the  head, causing the fatal injury — was in attendance, as was Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Images from the funeral:

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Hughes’ cousin, Nino Ramunno gave the first eulogy — describing Hughes as a “mummy’s boy” who would call his mother every day.

Phillip Hughes’ brother Jason then read out a letter he had written; In it, he promised to take good care of their parents and to “get back on the horse and play the game we both loved.”

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“Even though you are my little brother, I can’t believe you have taught me so much,” he said.

“Now it’s time to say goodbye bruh, take care,” he added. “Love your big brother, Jase.”

Hughes’ younger sister Megan then spoke.

“Phillip, I’m so honoured to call you by brother, best friend and my hero,” she said.

“I’m sorry you can’t be here with us any longer, but I promise all the dreams and thoughts we had together, I’ll continue in your honour.”

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke then gave an emotional tribute to his friend.

I don’t know about you, but I keep looking for him. I know it’s crazy but I expect any minute to take a call from him,” Clarke said. “Or to see his face pop around the corner.

“Is this what we call the spirit? If so, then his spirit is still with me and I hope it never leaves.”

You can read the full text of Michael Clarke’s tribute here.

Here are some of the tributes to Hughes in his home town (Post continues after gallery):

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The order of service was shared on social media ahead of the funeral. It features touching childhood photos of Hughes and his family, as well as Hughes as a young, smiling boy in cricket whites.

phillip hughes funeral

Photo: Twitter/@gusbru07

A rendition of Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me — the same song Elton John dedicated to Hughes at his Germany concern — will be played at the end of the service, according to the Daily Mail.

The service is being broadcast on big screens at famous cricket grounds and other locations around Australia. About two thousand people have poured into the SCG to pay their respects to Phillip Hughes, Fairfax Media reports, while in Melbourne mourners are gathered at Federation Square.

Hughes lost his life on Thursday following a withdrawal of life support at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. As Mamamia previously reported, the cricketer had not been able to breathe on his own after being struck by a regulation bouncer last Tuesday, during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Hughes collapsed when he was knocked unconscious by a ball that hit his head just under the helmet line, behind his left ear.

Our thoughts are with Phillip Hughes’ family and friends on this difficult day.

Some earlier #putoutyourbats tributes to Phillip Hughes:

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Some of the images of young players’ tributes on cricket pitches and junior cricket clubs around the country:

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You might also be interested in…

Phillip Hughes was very much a man, but today he could have been anyone’s boy.

Phillip Hughes has been remembered as “a laid-back, fun-filled, happy man”.

“I lost my brother in a similar way to Phillip Hughes. Today, I’m remembering them both.”

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