HUNDREDS of people attended the funeral service in Instow today (Thursday) of international cricket umpire David Shepherd. A private service was held at the North Devon Crematorium in Barnstaple before his wife Jenny, brother Bill and other family and fr

HUNDREDS of people attended the funeral service in Instow today (Thursday) of international cricket umpire David Shepherd.

A private service was held at the North Devon Crematorium in Barnstaple before his wife Jenny, brother Bill and other family and friends were joined at the service at St John the Baptist Church in his home village of Instow by former cricketing colleagues, including a number on the first class umpires list.

They filled the church and the church rooms across the road. Many also defied the rain and wind to stand in the churchyard and listen to the service relayed through speakers.

The Prebendary Michael Vockings, former secretary of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, gave a eulogy.

The national anthem was played and other music associated with the games of cricket and rugby, his two big sporting loves.

North Devon's famous and much respected cricketing son, known throughout the sporting world as Shep, died on October 28 at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.

His cricketing career began in Instow, where his parents ran the local Post Office and he and his brother Bill played the game at the North Devon Cricket Club, with which he maintained a lifetime association and was a vice-president up to his death.

The hard-hitting batsman went on to play county cricket for Gloucestershire for 14 years before becoming an umpire and during 20 years on the world stage he stood in 92 Test matches and 172 one-day internationals, including three World Cup finals.

Shep became familiar to many through his trademark of hopping on one leg when the score stood on 'Nelson' - multiples of 111 - considered by batsmen as an unlucky omen.

A memorial service is being held at Holy Trinity Church, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, on Thursday, November 26, at 11.30am. Parking will be at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, with buses running to the church.