England's Ben Stokes pays a touching tribute to his father Ged

England’s Ben Stokes pays a touching tribute to his father Ged exactly a year after the former New Zealand rugby league international’s death, as he and his team-mates also remember Eileen Ash after her death at the weekend aged 110

  • Ben Stokes returned to England cricket exactly one-year after his father’s death
  • Stokes’ father Ged passed away on December 8, 2020 after a brain cancer battle
  • The England star returned after a six-month ‘indefinite break’ from cricket
  • Stokes wore a black armband with ‘568’ on it for Wednesday’s first Ashes Test
  • The ECB confirmed the number is Ged’s New Zealand rugby league cap number 

Ben Stokes paid a touching tribute to his late father Ged on the one-year anniversary of his death, by wearing a black armband dedicated to him on his return to England Test duty on the first day of the Ashes. 

Stokes made his England Test return after on Wednesday when he came out to bat against Australia in Brisbane, nearly six months after he announced he was making an ‘indefinite break’ from cricket to recover from a finger injury and focus on his mental health.

Stokes came to the crease wearing a black armband with the number ‘568’, which the ECB have confirmed is his father’s cap number when he represented New Zealand’s Rugby League team in 1982. 

Ben Stokes wore an emotional black armband as a tribute to his late father who died a year ago

Stokes had the number 568 on his black armband which was his father’s cap number for New Zealand Rugby League

Ged – who passed away on December 8, 2020 following a battle with brain cancer – made one international cap for the Kiwis during his rugby career. 

On Tuesday, Stokes made a social media tribute to his father to mark one year since his passing, claiming he did not know if he would return to the game this year.

‘I wasn’t sure if I would ever walk out onto a field ever again a few months ago,’ the Instagram post read. ‘I find it amazing that when I do walk out (on Wednesday). 

‘I’ll be remembering you exactly 1 year on since you left us. You are gonna be with me this whole week.’

Stokes’ (right) dad Ged (left) passed away after a battle with brain cancer on December 8 2020

All of the England players wore armbands for the start of the first Test wiht Australia this week to mark the passing of 110-year-old player Eileen Ash – who was the oldest England Test cricketer before her death was announced on Saturday.

Right-arm medium bowler Ash appeared in seven Test matches for England in the 1930s and even toured Australia – like the current England men’s squad are doing now – in the following decade. 

But it was day to forget for England’s cricketers at the Gabba on Wednesday as Joe Root’s England collapsed for 147 in a disappointing start to their Ashes tour. 

All of England’s players wore black armbands on Wednesday’s Ashes Test with Australia

England’s stars remembered the late Eileen Ash (left), England’s oldest Test player, who died aged 110 on Saturday

Opener Rory Burns fell in the first ball of the series to Mitchell Starc’s clean bowl of his off stump, while captain Root and Stokes were also dismissed in a disappointing collapse to 29-4. 

Despite the best efforts of Haseeb Hameed, Jos Buttler and Ollie Pope – the latter two reaching a 50 partnership between them after lunch – Pat Cummins hit a five-for on his debut as Australia captain to breach through England’s batting line-up.

Heavy rain delayed Australia taking the crease, with the players yet to return to the field as of 6.15am GMT on Wednesday morning. 

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