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BAIRSTOW GIVEN TOUCHING GIFT BY AUSSIE FAN

Emotional England keeper received the mitts from Andrew Johns, who has stored them in a box for 39 years

An emotional Jonny Bairstow has spoken of the "special" moment an Australian cricket fan handed him a pair of his dad's old wicketkeeping gloves.

The exchange came on the third day of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide on Monday, after Andrew Johns tracked Bairstow down to the team hotel in the South Australian city.

Johns had won the signed mitts in a quiz after meeting the England team at a local shopping centre 39 years previously and got in touch with Bairstow over social media to see if he would take them as a gift.

Bairstow, who has written and spoken candidly about the impact of his father David taking his own life in 1998, met with Johns on Monday.

“A chap called Andrew messaged me on Instagram,” he told ABC Grandstand.

“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.”

"It's something that is always very special. I've been fortunate enough to go all over the world, and all over the world people have some fond stories of dad.

“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.”

Johns, who had kept the gloves in a box for nearly four decades, said: “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."

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