David Robert Shepherd MBE
(27 December 1940 – 27 October 2009) was one of the cricket
world's best-known umpire
. He stood in 92 Test match
, the last of them in June 2005, and officiated in three World Cup
Shepherd had a reasonably successful, though late-starting, first class
playing career for Gloucestershire
, stretching from 1965 to 1979, and though he never came close to international selection he was popular both with his team-mates and the Gloucestershire supporters. He started with a bang, scoring 108 on debut against Oxford University
, and made eleven more hundreds over the years, though only twice (in 1969 and 1975) did he average
over 30. Never the slimmest of men even in his younger days, he relied more on his fine shot placement than speed across the ground, and his bowling was almost non-existent: he took only two wickets in his entire career. One famous incident at the Gloucestershire Cricket Club saw Shepherd hitting the ball so hard into the crowd that it knocked out a spectator reading a newspaper. The spectator was taken to hospital and recovered with only minor injuries.
In 1981, David Shepherd began his second career in cricket, and the one which was to make him world-famous, when he was appointed as a first-class umpire. Quickly recognised as being one of the fairest-minded and most able officials in the game, within two years he was part of the umpiring panel for the 1983 World...