David Shepherd, one of the most popular Umpires in Cricket died yesterday at the age of 68. Shepherd, who also played first class cricket for Gloucestershire was suffering from Cancer for a long period. The former English Umpire is still remembered for his superstitious acts of hopping on one leg whenever a batting side reached the ‘Nelson figure’ of 111 or multiples of that. TV Cameras never missed that act and made him one of the most lovable Umpire with both the players and the crowd, his stout figure too added quite a lot of humour.
Shepherd had the distinction of standing in three consecutive World Cup Finals in 1996, 1999 and 2003. He stood in as many as 92 Tests and 192 ODIs. The last international match, he officiated was the England-Australia ODI in July 2005. His last Test appearance was in Kingston, Jamaica during 2005. David Shepherd made his International Debut as an Umpire in the 1983 World Cup and two years later stood in his first Test at Old Trafford.
Few people would know that David Shepherd had also played a lot of first class cricket despite carrying a lot of weight even in his younger days. He played in as many as 282 first class games and has 12 hundreds and 55 fifties to his name. The former Umpire is survived by his wife Jenny, whom he married in 2008.