The former Gloucestershire cricketer and international umpire David Shepherd, has died aged 68 after a long battle with cancer.
A most popular and well respected man, Shepherd's skills on the cricket field combined with his wonderful attitude to the game made him a much loved character. In a 14-year career, Shepherd scored 10,672 runs in first-class cricket for Gloucestershire, including 12 hundreds and scored 3,330 runs in 173 one-day appearances.
After beginning umpiring in 1981, his rapid elevation to the international circuit was testament to his ability, and his individual idiosyncrasies, particularly his aversion to 'Nelson', produced joy everywhere he went. He stood in three consecutive world cup finals amongst 172 one-day internationals, and 92 tests; his last appearance coming at the Oval in 2005.
Gloucestershire chairman, John Light, paid this tribute: "He was friendly, outgoing and straightforward. He believed cricket was a simple game and he took a straightforward approach to it in his cricket and his umpiring; he always put a smile on your face."
A sad loss to the game, he will be truly missed; sympathies go to his wife and family.