Islamabad: The son of a murdered Pakistani governor, who was kidnapped by Islamist insurgents, has received a signed jersey from Manchester United after revealing that listening to their matches kept him "sane" during his five years in captivity.

Shahbaz Taseer with the jersey. Pic/Shehrbano Taseer's Twitter
Shahbaz Taseer with the jersey. Pic/Shehrbano Taseer's Twitter

Shahbaz Taseer was captured by gunmen in Lahore in 2011 and returned to his family this March. Last month, he described in chilling detail how he was flogged, shot and had his nails pulled out by Uzbek tormentors, but was able to cling on to sanity by following the progress of his favourite football club via a radio that one of his guards, a fellow United fan, snuck into his cell.

"For me, it was a window to the outside world. Getting soccer news kept me sane," Taseer wrote in Pakistan’s Daily Times newspaper. On Saturday he tweeted a picture of himself wearing the famous red shirt, expressing his jubilation.

"OMG @ManUtd just sent me this!!!" he wrote.