R.I.P Barry Sheene (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
Heres 2 articles from BBC sport about Barry Sheene, one of my boyhood heros, IMO the greatest motorcyclist of all time and the man that brought more to the sport than any other before or since who sadly lost his battle with cancer on Monday.

R.I.P BARRY SHEENE : A great sportsman and a wonderful Man... You will be sorely missed.

A True legend in the sports world.


Motorcycling legend Sheene dies

Former world motorcycling champion Barry Sheene has died after a long battle against cancer.

Sheene was diagnosed with cancer in July last year
Photos from Sheene's career
The 52-year-old, who was awarded the MBE in 1978, had cancer of the throat and stomach.

He died in a hospital on Australia's Gold Coast on Monday.

Sheene won the World 500cc Motorcycle Championships twice in 1976 and 1977 but was equally famous for overcoming his numerous crashes on the track.

And like his contemporary James Hunt, the Formula One Grand Prix driver, he also attracted headlines for his playboy lifestyle.

Obituary: A hero on and off the track

At one stage in his career he had metal plates in both knees, 28 screws in his legs and a bolt in his left wrist.

Carl Fogarty, four-time World Superbike champion, said Sheene had been "an inspiration to millions".

Barry Sheene was not only one of the most brilliant motor racing cyclists who has ever lived, he was also a lovely man

Murray Walker

"He was the guy who made motorbike racing famous," Fogarty told BBC Radio Five Live.

"There were other world champions from Britain who achieved more on the track but he brought it to the public attention."

Former Formula One world champion Damon Hill said: "He was my very first hero and he was very important to me."

TV commentator and ex-motorcycle racer Murray Walker added: "Barry Sheene was not only one of the most brilliant motor racing cyclists who has ever lived, he was also a lovely man."

Sheene began racing motorbikes at the age of five and remains the last British racer to win a 500cc GP in 1981.

He won 19 in all and is also still the last British rider to have won the world title.

Sheene moved to the warmer climes of Australia in the early 1990s to ease the pain caused by arthritis from numerous broken bones suffered in crashes.

He worked as a motorsport television commentator Down Under, where he also had business interests.

Sheene was diagnosed with cancer in July last year just days after competing in a legends race during the British Grand Prix at Donington.

Sheene: Send your tributes

But he shunned chemotherapy treatment, opting to fight the disease with a natural diet regime and other therapies.

Sheene is survived by his wife Stephanie and two children, Freddie and Sidonie.


A hero on and off the track

Sheene was an archetypal 1970s hero
Photos from Sheene's career
Double world motorcycling champion Barry Sheene made headlines both on and off the track and attracted a whole new audience to the sport during his 1970s heyday.

But controversy and disaster were never far away, with Sheene's playboy lifestyle and injuries sustained in several high speed crashes occupying the front and back pages of the newspapers.

Born in London in September 1950, Sheene had motor racing in his blood. He was the son of a Grand Prix motorbike mechanic and was riding by the age of five.

Record of success
1970 British 750cc champion
1973 European 750cc champion
1976 First 500cc world title
1978 Sheene awarded MBE
2001 Enters Motorcycle Hall of Fame

He made his professional debut at 18, riding a 125cc Bultaco, and two years later won his first major honour, the 1970 British 750cc title.

The European 750cc title followed in 1973, but two years later he suffered his first major crash.

In Daytona, Florida, he came off at more than 175mph, breaking his thigh, wrist and collar-bone, but, incredibly, he returned to riding within six weeks.

Sheene loses cancer battle

And just one year later, he won the first of his two 500cc world championships for Suzuki, with five wins and a second place.

Sheene successfully defended his title in 1977 with six wins from nine starts, and his great rivalry with American Kenny Roberts helped draw a huge new audience to the sport.

Sheene powers to yet another victory
Between 1975 and 1982, Sheene won more international 500cc and 750cc Grand Prix races than any other rider, and he was awarded the MBE in 1978.

To add to his two world championships, Sheene also won two prestigious Seagrove Memorial trophies.

But in 1982, he smashed into a bike lying across the Silverstone track during a British Grand Prix practice.

Surgeons rebuilt his shattered legs using metal plates held together by 27 screws.

Have your say: Pay tribute to Barry Sheene

"The Silverstone crash was different," he said. "That was major - I could have ended up legless. My left leg was hanging on by the femoral artery."

From then on, Sheene struggled to find a bike capable of matching his talents and eventually announced his retirement in 1985.

The pain caused by arthritis brought about by broken bones - and exacerbated by Britain's cold climate - prompted him to move to Australia in 1987.

Sheene made a career for himself in Australia
In October, 2001, he was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame with a ceremony at Phillip Island, off the coast of Victoria.

But Sheene was always more than just a bike rider.

He appeared in the opera Tosca at Covent Garden alongside Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi for three seasons, and has been a successful television presenter both in Britain and Australia.

In 2002, he was diagnosed with cancer of the throat and stomach. But, displaying his forthright approach, he vowed to fight it.

"Although this is a complete pain in the arse, it happens to a lot of people and a lot of people get over it," he said.

Sheene may have lost that final battle, but for many, even those who had no interest in motorcycling, he was a national icon.

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