Former Gloucestershire batsman and international umpire David Shepherd MBE has passed away aged 68 after a long battle with cancer.
Shepherd, whose first-class career lasted from 1965 to 1979, quickly moved into umpiring after retiring from playing and was appointed as a first-class umpire as early as 1981, going on to umpire in the 1983 World Cup and stand in the first of 92 Test matches in 1985.
He would go on to stand in three World Cup finals before ending his umpiring career in 2005.
He was renowned for upholding superstition when the score reached a multiple of 111 by trying to avoid having both feet on the ground, hopping and jumping while officiating.
A statement from Gloucestershire Cricket Club confirming his passing offered the following tribute:
"David brought to all aspects of cricket a cheerful west country approach. He was respected by all with whom he came in contact, especially the international players with whom he encountered in so many Test Matches. He always brought a smile to all our faces. For him cricket was a lovely game, a simple game and a game to be enjoyed. He himself brought so much enjoyment to so many of us."
ICC President David Morgan added: “David was a true gentleman of the game. He was a fine player and a match official of the very highest quality. He will be remembered fondly by players, spectators and administrators who saw him as a great entertainer but also as one of the best umpires the game has ever seen.
“The example he set as someone who took the art of umpiring very seriously while also enjoying what he did immensely will leave a lasting legacy for the game. He was an engaging character which meant players and other umpires were always delighted to be around him. We have lost someone whose positive influence on our great sport has been immense.”
He was capped by Gloucestershire in 1969 having been handed a cap by Devon, the county of his birth, in 1960.
© Cricket World 2009