Duncan Hamilton
A Clear Blue Sky: A remarkable memoir about family, loss and the will to overcome

A Clear Blue Sky: A remarkable memoir about family, loss and the will to overcome
Duncan Hamilton

Jonny Bairstow

THE SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR Daily MailAs a young boy of eight, Jonny Bairstow was dealt a cruel blow. His father David ‘Bluey’ Bairstow, the combative and very popular wicketkeeper and captain of Yorkshire, took his own life at the age of forty-six.David left behind Jonny, Jonny’s sister Becky and half-brother Andy, and his wife Janet, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer at the time of his death. From these incredibly tough circumstances, Jonny and his family strived to find an even keel and come to terms with the loss of their father and husband.Jonny found his way through his dedication to sport. He was a gifted and natural athlete, with potential careers ahead of him in rugby and football, but he eventually chose cricket and came to build a career that followed in his father’s footsteps, eventually reaching the pinnacle of the sport and breaking the record for most Test runs in a year by a wicketkeeper.Written with multiple-award-winning writer Duncan Hamilton, this is an incredible story of triumph over adversity and a memoir with far-reaching lessons about determination and the will to overcome.

COPYRIGHT (#u536cb466-846b-571a-abac-1842082ed089)

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First published by HarperCollinsPublishers 2017

SECOND EDITION

© Jonny Bairstow 2017

Cover design by Clare Ward © HarperCollinsPublishers 2017

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Source ISBN: 9780008232696

Ebook Edition © October 2017 ISBN: 9780008232702

Version: 2018-05-10

DEDICATION (#u536cb466-846b-571a-abac-1842082ed089)

To Mum, Dad and Boo

(© Author’s collection)

(© Author’s collection)

CONTENTS

COVER (#u544c37bb-8fed-5389-bfc3-5bc8a9952cdb)

TITLE PAGE (#ud9749f46-d322-5807-bc5d-19e52a037bdb)

COPYRIGHT (#u842fb5d3-0fe4-5540-b7f5-1ee4bbf49632)

DEDICATION (#uabdcaa06-08ec-5220-9151-dc5c53660496)

PROLOGUE: EVERYTHING I’VE EVER STRIVED FOR, EVERYTHING I’VE EVER DONE (#uc9bf6436-a379-5399-a649-0890153c2e2b)

CHAPTER 1: THE VIEW FROM THE VERANDA (#uc37443fb-9f19-5a14-bd99-3382e78ba19e)

CHAPTER 2: I THINK YOU USED TO PLAY ALONGSIDE MY DAD (#u3270bf71-c029-5ae0-83f6-48ee7e08cd9d)

CHAPTER 3: THE PERFECT 10 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 4: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 5: THE KINGDOM BY THE SEA (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 6: THE POP AND FIZZ OF CHAMPAGNE (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 7: THE SMALLEST ROOM AT LORD’S (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 8: ARE YOU HERE FOR ALL THE TESTS? (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 9: TWO PHOTOGRAPHS, TWO ERAS (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 10: A DAMP DAY IN FRONT OF THE WESTERN TERRACE (#litres_trial_promo)

AFTERWORD: I AM BLUEY (#litres_trial_promo)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (#litres_trial_promo)

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER (#litres_trial_promo)

PROLOGUE

EVERYTHING I’VE EVER STRIVED FOR, EVERYTHING I’VE EVER DONE (#u536cb466-846b-571a-abac-1842082ed089)

Cape Town, 3 January 2016

I’ve been batting for more than three and a half hours. I’ve faced 160 balls. I’m on 99 – a nudge, a nick, a heartbeat away from my first Test century.

Just one more run …

This South African afternoon is heavy with a dry heat. The sky, shining without clouds, is as bright as the blue in a child’s paint box, and the glare makes everything around me seem profoundly sharper: the sweep of a full, noisy ground, the purple-grey outline of Table Mountain and the jaggedness of Devil’s Peak, and even the vivid emerald of the outfield. In my head I’m talking all the time. I’m reminding myself, as I always do, of the simple things that are so damned difficult to get right. Stay focused. Appear calm, almost nonchalant. Don’t let the bowlers get on top. And don’t, on any account, show a sign of apprehension.
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