Wednesday, 28 October 2009

David Shepherd 1940–2009

The news that David Shepherd has died saddened me, as he always seemed to represent what was good about the game.

Known to be one of the best umpires in the game, and known to be fair-minded, he was universally respected.

His ruddy cheeks and portly stance earned him the nickname The Fat Butcher from my younger brother, whose Cricketer's Who's Who Shep once signed.
Although I never met him he once umpired a Durham game at Hartlepool and apparently spent most of the time regaling the club with stories of cricket at both international and village levels.

Alonside a lovely photo of Shep, here's what David Hopps in The Guardian says of him:

He was a romantic, sentimental man, especially when it came to cricket, and resented what he saw as examples of greed creeping into the modern game.

Shep first came to my attention when I was very young as his superstitious tics – skipping on multiples of 11 – stood out. Unlike some other umpires in the modern game it did not seem attention-seeking or affected.

I'll always remember Shepherd like this – the very best of the whimsical, gentle lunacy of cricket.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Write something crickety: