Monday, February 15, 2016

My father was a sportsman with integrity, says son of ex-Olympian

My father was a great cricket player and a humble man, said the son of former hockey and cricket legend Michael F. Shepherdson, who died on Saturday. Michael, better known as Mike, was 85. He represented the country in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and also in two Asian Games in 1958 and 1962. According to his son Aubrey Shepherdson, he died due to old age after a bout of fever. "My father had integrity as a sportsman and also in everything else that he did. "I still remember there were younger cricket players who always said my father will always encourage them to play better, whether it was hockey or cricket," he told The Malaysian Insider after the wake service at their home in Lucky Garden, Bangsar. Aubrey, 54, has followed in his father's footsteps where he too played cricket and hockey for Selangor. "He was very supportive when I played both sports, and I was equally interested. "But he was also very particular about education," he added. Shepherdson leaves behind three children, Brenda, Aubrey and Jacqueline. In 2011, he was inducted into the Olympic Council of Malaysia's Hall of Fame for his sporting achievements. Aubrey said that his father has also put high hopes that young Malaysian players would excel in the future. "He was always encourage to young players to succeed in sports while reminding them that they had to make sacrifices. "That is what he always said, if you want to excel, you need to work hard and sacrifice your time," he said. One of his close friends, former hockey player Datuk R.Yogeswaran, 75, described Shepherdson as a world class hockey and cricket player in his time. "He played both cricket and hockey to much higher standards that what we see in players today," he told The Malaysian Insider. A teammate, S.Rajalingam, 86, said that Shepherdson was a great Malaysian legend and icon. "He was a simple man who played gracefully and also funny," he said. His former teammates also regarded him as a great cricket players. Commenting on the standards in sports now compared to the old days, Rajalingam said that back in his time, Malaysian sports was made up of all races. "We sat together, played together, slept together. "Now, it is a race-based thing. "It is not like before, then we were truly 1Malaysia," he added. Christopher, the deceased older brother and his former team mates ke about their keen interest in sports helped them overcome the difficulties the faced in the sports they played. "Then we only had one pair of jersey, shorts and boots. "We were not sponsored by different brands like we see today. "At one time, we had a game in Ipoh. "It was a Saturday and we were working till 1pm. "So we drove to Ipoh and the journey took us three hours and we had to stay in a motel," he said as he reminisced about the old times. Christopher also said that back then, they were committed to playing sports. "We were very committed when we played. "That is the difference between sports then and now. "Times have changes," Christopher said in a disappointed tone. – February 15, 2016.]]>

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