Harry Shepherd

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Harry Shepherd
Born (1903-05-05)5 May 1903
London, England
Died 17 May 1988(1988-05-17) (aged 85)
Nationality  England
Current club information
Career status Retired
Career history
1930-1933 Crystal Palace Glaziers
1934-1936 New Cross Lambs/Tamers
1936-1939 Bristol Bulldogs
1937 Wimbledon Dons
Team honours
1937 Provincial League
1931, 1934 London Cup

George "Harry" Shepherd (5 May 1903 – 17 May 1988)[1] was an international speedway rider who has been credited with the invention of the starting gate still used in speedway today.[2]

Brief career summary[edit]

Born in London, England, Shepherd appeared in the finals of the 1931 Star Riders' Championship, the forerunner to the Speedway World Championship.[3] His final season, 1939, saw Shepherd make his international debut for England.

In 1933 Shepherd, along with New Cross promoter Fred Mockford invented the starting gate which is still in use today, by stretching a set of tapes across the track which were then released by a hand operated electric mechanism, similar to those used in horse racing. This starting procedure allowed for much fairer starts.[2]

Shepherd died in May 1988 at North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand. His final resting place is Leamington Cemetery in Cambridge, New Zealand. The ashes of Harry and his wife Anne . Are in the headstone of the grave of their daughter in law Joy Shepherd


  1. ^ Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2003) Bristol Bulldogs: 50 Greats, Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2865-9
  2. ^ a b Bamford, R. & Stallworthy, D. (2003) Speedway - The Pre War Years, Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2749-0
  3. ^ Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5