Racing legend Barry Sheene MBE was a colourful, charismatic character whose life was cruelly cut short by cancer in 2003. Born in London England, Barry made his home in Australia in the late 1980’s in the hope of relieving the pain of injury-induced arthritis.
Barry started his racing career as a young teenager at club level with his first national race held at Brands Hatch on a Bultaco 125cc in 1968, with his first Grand Prix win coming only three years later in 1971. Barry’s racing career set new records with two consecutive 500cc World Championships in 1976 & 1977. Barry went on to win 23 Grand Prix races with 52 podium finishes during his career.
Barry Sheene was the epitome of a modern sports superstar, attracting significant fame, media and public attention. Barry’s larrikin edge sets him apart from today’s often sanitised sports heroes. He was funny, brave and above all else unaffected by his success, with his modesty making him hugely popular with the public. Barry’s good looks, exuberant character and Cockney accent were used to good effect in promoting himself, as well as boosting the appeal of motorcycle racing throughout mass marketing media.
In later years Barry become involved in historic motorcycle racing both in Australia and England.