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From Australia with glove

— 4 December 2017

Jonny Bairstow has spoken of a “fantastic gesture” by an Australian fan in Adelaide after being handed a unique piece of family memorabilia.

Yorkshire followers know all too well the story behind Jonny and his late father David, chronicled recently in Bairstow junior’s autobiography, A Clear Blue Sky.

Well, this morning, before the third day of the second Ashes Test, Jonny was handed a pair of David’s wicketkeeping gloves by a member of the public, Andrew Johns.

The story was featured on ABC Grandstand’s radio coverage, with Jonny taking up the story.

“A chap called Andrew messaged me on Instagram,” he explained.

“I don’t normally look at them (his messages), but fortunately enough I did, and he had a pair of wicketkeeping gloves signed by Dad in 1978/79.

“I was a fantastic gesture, and I thank him ever so much for bringing them.”

  • The gloves signed by David Bairstow. (ABC: Matt Clinch)
  • Jonny, hoping to help England turn around the second Test over the next couple of days, is only too happy to collect memorabilia connected to David.

    During his last Ashes tour, in 2013/14, he was handed a Bairstow senior Testimonial tie by a former South Sydney Rugby League player, who had in turn been given the tie by David 25 years earlier.

    “Little gestures like that, it’s always nice,” said Jonny. “It’s something that’s very special.

    “In my book, I make reference to going around the world and people always have fond stories of Dad and everything that goes with it.”

  • David Bairstow, born 1951,Yorkshire and England, a wicket-keepeer, batsman, David Bairstow played first class cricket 1970-1990, enjoying a long career at Yorkshire where he was county captain 1984-1986 and an England Test player 1979-1981.
  • Mr Johns went on to tell his side of the story and how he originally picked up the gloves.

    He said: “I’ve had them for 39 years.

    “My mother and father took me to the Westlake Shopping Centre (in Adelaide) in 1978/79, where the England Cricket team were there to meet.

    “They had a little quiz and asked who the reserve wicketkeeper was. I shot my hand up and said ‘David Bairstow’.

    “They gave me a pair of gloves, and he signed them.

    “They’ve been sitting in a box for the last 39 years!

    “I knew of David’s passing. When I saw Jonny had started playing, I thought ‘Whenever he comes to Adelaide, I would make contact with him’.

    “I sent the message and got one back this morning saying ‘I’d love to meet you’.

    “We had a good half an hour to 45 minutes together. It was wonderful, and he was quite emotional to receive them.

    “We chatted about my family. I’m actually English born, as my mother is. My father went over to England as a chemist and met my mum in Chesterfield. I was born in Kent.

    “When we had a chance to meet the English team, my mum was very excited. It was great.

    “I lost my father in June. He was 83, but he had a great life.

    “I know that if someone gave something to me that belonged to my father, I’d want it. That’s what I wanted to do for Jonny.

    “They were brand new children’s gloves. Jonny tried to put them on this morning, got one on, but he said ‘Jeez, they’re small!’”

  • Things haven’t gone particularly well for Jonny in Australia so far, but Mr Johns added: “He’s a ripping bloke.

    “My dad always said ‘If you catch up with a Yorkshireman, he’ll be as close to an Australian as you can get. They’ll have a good sense of humour and will tell you how it is over a beer’.

    “Jonny’s exactly all of those.

    “It was a nice moment to have and share.”

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