- Aug 12, 2001
I would like to extend my deepest condolences on behalf of every cyclingforums.com member.
Your a legend mate!
Your a legend mate!
Barry Sheene loses battle with cancer
Former two-time English world 500cc motorcycle champion Barry Sheene has died from throat cancer at age 52.
Sheene passed away in a Gold Coast hospital after a long fight with cancer.
Sheene won the world championship in 1976 and 1977 and was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in October 2001.
He won his first world title with five victories and a second place for a near-maximum score, with just six rounds counting towards the championship.
Sheene retained his crown a year later with six wins in the season.
But for all his achievements on a bike Sheene made the headlines almost as much by coming off it.
Two spectacular crashes - Daytona in 1975, when he came off his Suzuki at 273.6 kilometres per hour and Silverstone in 1982 - sealed his fame.
Sheene suffered terrible injuries when he crashed during practice for his home GP at Silverstone and was left with 27 metal bolts holding his legs together.
Barry Sheene was born in London on September 11, 1950.
His father Frank was an amateur rider and Sheene's first race in 1968 was at Brands Hatch on his father's Bultacos.
Sheene won the 125 British Championship in 1970 and was runner-up to Angel Nieto in the 125 World Championships a year later.
The European 750cc title followed in 1973 and he won his first 500 grand prix in 1974 riding for Suzuki.
After his two back-to-back world titles, Sheene was prevented from enjoying further glory by the emergence of American Kenny Roberts, who beat the Briton to the crown by 10 points in 1978.
Sheene won 19 500cc grand prix races in a career at the top of world championship racing that lasted 10 years.
In his heyday in the 1970s, Sheene was a household name in Britain and around the world.
He came across as the archetypal cheeky 'cockney' - charming, quick-witted and outspoken.
He stood out from his rivals, riding in white leathers with a picture of Donald Duck painted on his helmet.
Sheene enjoyed a place in British life that no motorcycle rider had ever occupied.
He was married to a model, mixed with pop stars and was just as likely to be found in a night club as at a race track.
He became one of the sport's first multi-millionaires using his charm and good looks to endorse products such as clothes and aftershave.
Sheene retired from riding in 1984 and moved to the Gold Coast in Australia where he worked as a television commentator.
He was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus and stomach in July 2002.
He is survived by his wife Stephanie and two children, Sidonie, 18, and Freddie, 14.