Wednesday 28 October 2009

David Shepherd R.I.P

The Trademark Shep " Nelson "

A Typically Cheerful David Shepherd

Very sad news today with the passing of one of cricket's greatest umpires, David Shepherd. The game has lost one of its finest characters.

Shepherd was born in Bideford in 1940 and had a very successful playing career with Gloucestershire. He was a hard hitting batsman. I recall him making a winning hundred in a one day against Kent at Maidstone in the mid to late seventies.

He never left his roots and lived in Instow helping to run the family post office with his brother, Bill. He was president of the splendid North Devon cricket club. I had the pleasure of watching him umpire a game there against a Lashings side a couple of years ago.

He always seemed to have time for everyone and was widely respected by players and fellow umpires alike.

Shepherd was of course famous for his hopping on one leg supersitiously whenever the score was on 111 or multiples thereof. When umpiring, tea would often be announced with the cry of " tea gentlemen, a Devon cream tea with a Hockings ice cream ! ". I can testify to that being a great combination !

Sport in general today seems to have fewer characters which makes David Shepherd's passing an even bigger loss. He leaves behind many wonderful memories and a game much richer for his involvement, and I thank him for that.


  1. A fitting tribute, Phil, especially from someone who regularly disagreed with his decisions when they went against Kent on Shep's visits to Canterbury!

    You and I both know the area so it is poignant to read one interview with David in which he says that "I was born in the estuary village of Instow in North Devon, and shall never leave it".

  2. Had heard he died yesterday but not twigged it was him, really sad, a real personality