Bengaluru, December 5: A "fantastic gesture" from an Australian cricket fan in Adelaide has seen England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow handed a special piece of family memorabilia during the Ashes Test.
On Monday, Bairstow was given a pair of wicketkeeping gloves that had been signed by his late father, the former England keeper David Bairstow, on England's 1978-79 tour of Australia, reports cricket.com.au.
Bairstow Snr, who played four Tests and 21 one-day internationals for England between 1979-1984, took his own life in 1998 when Jonny was just eight years old.
Adelaide man Andrew Johns was given the gloves when he was a child and with the return of Bairstow Jnr to his home city, Johns was keen to reunite the Yorkshireman with the souvenir bearing his father's name.
"A chap called Andrew messaged me on Instagram, actually," Bairstow told ABC Grandstand.
"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.
"It was a fantastic gesture and I thank him ever so much for bringing them."
David Bairstow, a popular figure known as 'Bluey', suffered from depression after retiring from cricket. At the time of his death, his wife and Jonny's mother, Janet, was battling cancer.
Having reached out to Bairstow, Johns was invited to the England team hotel to meet the keeper and hand over the gloves.
"We had a good half-an-hour, 45 minutes together, which was wonderful," Johns told ABC Grandstand.
"And he was quite emotional to receive them, 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."