When 'Little Jonny' Bairstow Saw His Father's Suicide

A young Bairstow along with his father and sister [X]A young Bairstow along with his father and sister [X]

5 January, 1998 was a dark day for the family of English cricketer, Jonny Bairstow. Not even in the wildest of dreams, Bairstow could have imagined what was about to transpire in their life.

That fateful cold day in Yorkshire brought doomsday in the lives of the Bairstow family. Bairstow, who was 8-years-old at that time, went out for an outing with his mother, Janet and sister, Becky. However, when he returned back home in the evening, tragedy struck them hard.

Bairstow's father, David Leslie Bairstow had committed suicide by hanging himself from the staircase.

The England cricketer released a book in 2017, wherein he spoke about his father's demise and how it affected the entire family. He also spoke about how the family gathered motivation to move forward in life despite everything that happened to them.

When Bairstow talked about his father's suicide (Excerpts)

"My dad David Bairstow was only 46 years and 126 days old when he committed suicide almost 20 years ago. My mum Janet, my sister Becky and I found him when we returned home at 8.30 pm on one of those typically lampblack and cold January nights. He had hanged himself from the staircase."

“Everything seemed normal to me. They say that infants can pick up a minute shift of mood at home, alerting them when something is a little off. I’d gone past the stage of infancy — I was a young child — but the eight-year-old me had registered nothing untoward," he added.

“In the morning I said goodbye to him and walked to school with Becky, the Christmas holidays over and a new term beginning. In the early evening my mum took me to football training at Leeds United, bringing Becky too. That our lives changed irrevocably while the three of us were away seemed to me — then as well as now — inconceivable and incomprehensible."

“The inquest into my dad’s death, which I didn’t attend, heard evidence about his mental state. That he’d been suffering from depression and stress. That he’d seen both his own doctor and a consultant psychiatrist."

Eventually, Bairstow got out of the adversity and went onto represent England national cricket team across formats. On 7th March, 2024, Bairstow will play his 100th Test match, when England take on India in the 5th Test in Dharamsala.