|Birth: ||Sep. 11, 1950|
|Death: ||Mar. 10, 2003|
Barry Stephen Frank Sheene MBE was born in Holborn, London. His father Frank was a seasoned motorcycle road racer and engine tuner, and who was the resident engineer at the Royal College of Surgeons. This gave him access to a comprehensive workshop where he could modify and tune motorbikes during the evenings. By the age of 6, his father built him a Ducati 50cc-engined little motorbike, the start of his riding on two wheels.By the time he was a teenager, he went along with his Dad to Brands Hatch to run in three Bultaco bikes and others noticed that Barry was exceptionally quick. By 1969 his name started to appear on the national score cards and his 'Donald Duck' helmet was starting to get noticed. The following year his Dad bought him the 1967 ex-works 125cc Suzuki from Stuart Graham and he took the British title that year. In 1971 on the same machine, he came second in the World Championships narrowly missing out to Angel Nieto. By 1972 he'd moved up into the bigger class, the 750s, finishing 6th that year. In 1975, he went to Daytona when a rear tyre blow-out resulted in one of the fastest survivable crashes in motorcycle racing history. With many broken limbs, he was plated and screwed back together, his x-rays making front page news. Six weeks later he was helped back on a bike and he was back racing. 1976 and 1977 saw he win the 500cc title on a Suzuki and in 1978 he was awarded his MBE for services to motorcycling. He could only get 3rd place that year so the following season moved to Yamaha. Another near fatal crash in 1982 at Silverstone when during practise he collided with a crashed bike as high speed resulted in more broken bones. By then the writing was on the wall. The best machines were going to younger riders as he struggled with outdated machinery. It was time to retire. Barry, by then married to a former Page 3 model Stephanie McLean, had two children, and moved to the warmer climes of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, where the climate was kinder to his injuries. For a few seasons, he was encouraged to return to classic bike racing and seemed to throughly enjoy himself as he proved still to be a winner. By 2002 cancer of the throat, which later moved to his stomach, was diagnosed, and he refused chemotherapy in favour of natural and herbal remedies. He eventually lost his final battle in the Gold Coast Hospital, and the fans who loved the cheeky cockney, lost their hero.
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Created by: Paul Narramore
Record added: Jan 09, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 12938362