England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow received an emotional gift from an Austalian fan. As was reported by ABC Radio, he was given his father David’s wicketkeeping gloves by the fan. David Bairstow played four Tests for England between 1979 and 1981. “I’ve had them for 39 years. My mum and dad took me to an Adelaide shopping centre and the English cricket team were there to meet,” fan Andrew Johns told ABC radio.
“They had a little quiz – they asked who the reserve wicketkeeper was for England and I shot my hand up, and said David Bairstow, and they gave them a pair of gloves and he signed them. I’ve had them sitting in a box for the last 39 years,” he said.
The senior Bairstow suffered from depression and was found hanged at his home on January 5, 1998. His death had sparked a debate on the troubles that plague the life of a professional sportsman.
Johns said he made contact with Jonny Bairstow and arranged to meet him at the Adelaide Oval. “A chap called Andrew messaged me on Instagram, actually,” Bairstow told ABC Grandstand ahead of play on Day 3 of the ongoing second Test in Adelaide, “I don’t really normally look at them (messages), but fortunately enough I did and (he had) a pair of wicketkeeping gloves signed by dad in 1978-79.”
“I came in, I brought the gloves with me and sent him a message saying: ‘I’m here’,” Jones recounted, “He came out two minutes later, and we had a good half an hour together which was wonderful. He was quite emotional to receive the gloves. It was really lovely. I lost my father this year in June. He was 83 but had a great life. And I know if someone gave something to me that belonged to my father, I’d want it. And that’s what I wanted to do for Jonny.”
Jonny Bairstow said that the gesture was “very special.” “It’s something that is always very special,” he said, “I’ve been fortunate enough to go all over the world, and all over the world people have some fond stories of dad.”