Friday, March 11, 2005

David Sheppard's Stand Against Apartheid

When David Sheppard – the England opening batsman, churchman and social reformer – died earlier this week there were obituaries everywhere. Norm, of course, offered his own insight quoting from an interview with Sheppard from a couple of years back. Now Frank Keating offers us this vignette of the kind he does so well. Keating suggests that Sheppard may have been
"the first white sportsman anywhere to refuse to play South Africa on moral grounds". This placed him well to be a figurehead in the growing opposition to apartheid in 1960s. But it also provoked the ire of the reactionary bastards of the MCC establishment. Keating recalls the bile that was directed at Sheppard. In an attempt to patch up differences with his old friend, Peter May (another former England captain), Sheppard offered to meet. This was May's snotty response:
I don't think we have anything remotely to talk about ever again.
I know who I'd rather have had dinner with.


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