Barry Sheene has passed away...
Posted 23 August 2002 - 13:47
In his usual witty straigh forward manner, he described the problem as "a pain in the ass"
The 2 time World 500cc Motorcycle Champion, touring car Driver and now motorsports commentator for Channel 10 Australia has vowed to fight it as best he can.
Messages can be sent to email@example.com
Posted 23 August 2002 - 15:39
According to todays Independent in the UK, it's throat and stomach cancer
I believe that there there are elements of the motorcycle fraternity that never really rated the bloke, but let's not forget he holds the motorcycle lap records for both the old Spa ( approx 137mph ) and Chimay (approx 134mph ). Plus I'll never forget him giving KR Sr two fingers on the exit of Copse during the 1978 British GP.
Posted 24 August 2002 - 05:10
"I've got cancer, says Sheene
By GREG STOLZ on the Gold Coast
FORMER world 500cc motorcycle champion Barry Sheene has cancer.
Gold Coast-based Sheene, the 1976-77 champion who now calls the motor-racing action for Channel 10, said yesterday the disease was in his oesophagus and stomach.
The 52-year-old Cockney larrikin, whose distinctive voice has become synonymous with motorsport in Australia, vowed to fight the disease.
"Although this is a complete pain in the arse, it happens to a lot of people and a lot of people get over it. I will do everything within my power to beat this thing," he said in a statement.
"I and my family would appreciate privacy at this time so I can get on with fighting this in my own way. I thank all my well-wishers for their thoughts."
Sheene had taken leave from his television duties and is convalescing at his luxury riverfront home with his wife, Stephanie, and children Freddie and Sidonie.
Channel 10 motorsport executive producer Scott Young said Sheene "just wants to be left alone to try to get well".
"He is going through a fairly intensive treatment process," Young said.
"He is by no means on his death bed or anything like that. He is moving around and getting on with life."
Sheene's close friend, former motorcycle champion Daryl Beattie, said Sheene was "his usual upbeat self" despite the illness. "If anyone can beat this, Barry can," Beattie said.
"He is very strong mentally and has a great positive outlook on life. I've a feeling that this will be just another hurdle for him." Beattie said Sheene had kept news of the illness to himself.
"I only found out about it today. He's not the sort of guy who makes a big deal about things and is obviously just focusing on getting himself better," he said.
"He is getting messages of support from all around the world. If there is one thing Barry isn't short of, it's support."
Channel 10 spokesman Sam Heard said it was not known when Sheene would return to the commentary box.
"That's up to Barry Ð the network is completely supportive and just wants him to get well, however long it takes," Heard said.
Born in London in 1950, Sheene was introduced to motorsport at the age of five when his father Frank built him his first motorbike.
He went on to claim British and European 750cc titles before capturing the blue-riband world 500cc crown in 1976, a feat he repeated the following year.
From 1975-82, he won more 500cc and 750cc grand prix titles than any other rider and received an MBE in 1978 for his contribution to motorsport."
Posted 02 September 2002 - 06:39
Posted 02 September 2002 - 11:24
Posted 04 September 2002 - 21:29
"I'm not going to let f***ing cancer get in the way of me enjoying myself. After the doctors told me I'd got the disease, the second thing that came into my head was 'sh*t, I'm going to miss Goodwood"
He's lost a stone in weight, having been on a three-week fast as part of his therapy. I hope those going to Goodwood this weekend will give him a f***ing good cheer!
Posted 05 September 2002 - 10:59
Bazza will definitely be riding a Manx Norton at Goodwood this weekend
Yep, Also confirmed on the GRRC website. I'll give him an extra cheer on your behalf V2.
Posted 08 September 2002 - 09:02
Posted 08 September 2002 - 09:18
Get well soon Barry
Posted 14 September 2002 - 06:07
A nice interview with Barry by Sue Mott.
The last time I had seen Barry Sheene he was selling Brut aftershave to the masses on television in the early 1980s. I know. I bought some. "Pungent" my mother called it with visible restraint. The world 500cc motorcycling champion (twice) was the perfect advertising vehicle. Machismo on hot wheels with irresistible cheek. Men loved him for his sprockets (etc) and travelling at 200mph. Women loved him, often going beyond the metaphysical boundary to prove it. He lost his virginity, he once claimed, at the age of 14 on a snooker table in the crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields.
True champion: Barry Sheene celebrates a Grand Prix win in 1977
This time I am seeing Barry Sheene as a cancer patient. Not that "patient" is the word. He was 52 on Sept 11. You wouldn't think so. He looks exactly the same, chirpiness personified on two oft-reassembled legs. Only thinner, due to a recent diet that consisted entirely of beetroot, Chinese cabbage, carrot and radish juice. He is fighting this disease the "natural" way.
"I don't want to have chemotherapy. Anybody I've ever known who's had it has been, basically, completely destroyed. I can't let someone put an IV drip in my arm and inject me with poison. I've seen friends of mine after chemo. They look like dead people who can still talk."
He is saying this amicably, reasonably, vehemently in the car taking him to Heathrow. Back to his home in Australia, via Los Angeles, with his wife, Stephanie, to continue the fight he has no intention of losing. "I am not prepared to entertain the thought that it's going to kill me."
Typical of a man who danced with danger on two wheels and broke, famously, almost every bone in his skeletal arrangement. "Nah, I didn't," he said modestly, while telling the driver to "nip up right, mate, where that little Golf's going" and asking: "Could you turn the blower down to one, please? Luvly. Thanks pal." He is not a natural passenger.
All right, he didn't break every bone. There must be the odd bit of unadulterated calcium in his small, sharp, lively frame. But in 1975, a blown rear tyre caused him to crash at 175mph during practice for the Daytona 200 in Florida, shattering his left leg, smashing a thigh, breaking six ribs, fracturing a wrist, and wrecking his collar-bone. He woke up in hospital and asked the nurse for "a fag".
His favourite story is of the properly-spoken BBC interviewer who asked him what was going through his mind at the moment of impact. "Your arse, if you're going fast enough," said Sheene delightedly into the microphone.
In 1982, already the double world champion, he crashed at Silverstone during practice for the British Grand Prix ("wasn't my fault, came over a hill and there was a wreck right in front of me") and turned his legs into a "jigsaw puzzle" for a surgeon to spend eight hours realigning. Two seven-inch pillars of stainless steel, two five-inch plates and 26 steel screws later, he had a pair of legs again. They told him it would take three months to bend his knees to an angle of 90 degrees. It took him two weeks and four days to manage 110 degrees.
This is the willpower he takes into his forthcoming battle. I told him, he seemed fearless. "What, me? No. I'm a right old Mary. But I've no respect for this shitty disease. I'm not going to give it any space in my life. I am going to do everything in my power to get rid of it the natural way.
"I've refused the operation. I don't want to be opened up and have the best part of my stomach cut away and my oesophagus removed so that forever more, if ever I bent over to tie my shoelaces, everything I'd just eaten would end up all over the floor. That's not quality of life. I don't want my children to see me in that state."
His two children, Sidonie, 17, and Freddie, 13, are at boarding school in Melbourne. Telling them about the disease was the hardest part of all. "I took them out of school and they bounced in saying: 'How great is this, dad!' Then I had to sit down and tell them. It was horrible. I was a little economical with the truth but I did tell them basically what was happening. At times like this, you suddenly realise how much you mean to your children. Usually it's 'Oh, dad, you're such a dork!' It was terrible and incredibly touching at the same time."
Sheene discovered he was suffering from cancer of the stomach and the oesophagus earlier this year, after the British Grand Prix at Donington Park, (where he won previously) when he seemed to be experiencing trouble swallowing his food. "I got home to Australia and my mate sent me to a doctor. I had an endoscopy. I came round from the anaesthetic, got dressed and then Steph and I went into the doctor's office. 'Bloody 'ell, Baz, it's cancer,' he said. Best way to tell me. Straight out with it," Sheene said.
"He can't do anything simple. He has to go the full Monty," observed Stephanie, a former model, with affectionate exasperation from the front seat. She met him outside Tramp on his crutches in 1975. She was with her first husband at the time, ironically a huge Sheene fan. Her former partner must have had ambivalent feelings when she left him for his idol in leathers. "He wasn't too impressed actually," she said.
They had a trial separation once, about five years ago. But it was hopeless. She only moved round the corner from the home they had built together in Surfers Paradise. Going back to one of nature's charismatics wasn't that difficult a decision. At every age Sheene seems to have been blessed with courage, audacity and the humility to see through the distorting veil of fame.
"All I was doing was racing a bloody motorbike," he said. "I can't stand people who are legends in their own lunchtime. I'm the sort of bloke who, if you've got time for me, I've got time for you. I remember in the old days, after I'd won the world title, I'd sit on the end of a lorry at some race meeting talking for an hour to a 10-year-old if he wanted to."
He loved that life. Racing, winning, clubbing, drinking, smoking, especially Gauloises. "And before I met Steph, it was great for crumpet." He was friends with James Hunt, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, who persuaded him to try Australia, a place he had never countenanced on the grounds that it was where his Australian mechanics came from. "And I never wanted to go near the place that made them."
But fame doesn't govern his friendship roster. He saw through the gimmick of status before he was old enough for secondary school. His father, Frank, was an engineer at the Royal College of Surgeons in London and, as young as 10, little Barry was parking the Jaguars and Rolls-Royces of the eminent consultants. He always remembers the one old curmudgeon who wouldn't let a mere kid near his vastly expensive, purring machine. And promptly tore off its wing mirror himself.
"Sir Somebody-or-other walked up to him and said: 'That kid's been parking my car for years'," Sheene grinned. Demolishing pomposity has been the sub-plot of his life.
But his dad had a greater role in his life than presenting the boy with a car park. He was a fine mechanic who dabbled in racing himself and gave Barry a Ducati 50cc bike when he was just five. So his destiny was in the genes and the garage simultaneously. He entered his first race at 17 at Brands Hatch. Crashed. Entered again the next weekend. And won. The pattern was set.
Contrary to his image (and X-rays) he has always considered himself a careful driver. I must admit I cracked up at that one as we proceeded in a stately fashion down the M4. He looked puzzled. How could I doubt him? Well, it must be the noise he makes when you shake him. All clanking plates and loosened joints, he must rattle like a tin of ball bearings.
"No," he said impatiently. "I just broke a lot of bones all in a big hurry. My problem was I had the fastest crashes in the history of motor-bike racing. It made it look worse than it was. I once went three years and never fell off at all. And I used to race about 50 times a year." He paused for dramatic effect. "Actually I am a very safe driver."
He told me what he drives these days. A Mercedes when he is in London. A Something Raptor. (This is such a man thing, I am afraid I didn't quite catch exactly what Raptor). And a MV Agusta. And this year, he achieved a lifetime ambition, of buying himself an Agusta 109c eight-seater helicopter which he pilots himself. "It's lovely," he said with the same misty-eyed wistfulness that mothers reserve for their newborn babies (until they realise what the job entails).
His mood alters when he remembers alleged injustice. At his sudden discovery of cancer. That, he acknowledges, could be anyone's fate. His ire is currently focused on the Royal Bank of Scotland, who, he alleges, have cost him £50,000 in missing interest after a money transfer that took over long to take place between Britain and Australia. He is after the culprits and keen for them to know that his current illness will have no bearing on his effectiveness. As yet, they have not returned his calls.
His positive attitude is no posture. It imbues every thought and every sinew. His weight has dropped from nearly 11 stone to 9st 12lb. Four inches have gone from his chest measurement, such was his devotion to his vegetable juice diet to boost his immune system. Despite that, when he rode at the Goodwood Festival last weekend, he won one race and finished second to Wayne Gardner. "By," he told me with vehemence, "one one-thousandth of a second."
I am looking at an indefatigable winner with a Seventies haircut. He believes he will survive this illness. "I don't wave a Bible around but I've always believed in God. He's looked after me in the past, I reckon he'll look after me again. I'm not ready to go. I'm afraid I might miss something. And when I do get better I'm going to spend my money going round the world telling people there is an alternative way to recover. You don't have to be cut open or poisoned to survive."
He walked through departures at Heathrow, with a smile and a jaunty wave. It made you think of the line the Queen used when she presented him with his MBE in 1978. "Now you be careful, young man," she said.
Posted 14 September 2002 - 06:41
Posted 14 September 2002 - 19:25
When it comes to having a positive attitude about battling this scourge, he was at the head of the class. When he died, he had set the record for survival time with Lymphoma in Australia... nineteen and a half years... the average is about seven years.
And still it was the enlarged heart that was caused by the chemo that killed him.
Good on Barry... I hope he teaches folks a thing or two. But he won't be able to rely on this thought...
"I've always believed in God. He's looked after me in the past, I reckon he'll look after me again."
No, not according to Ecclesiastes 9:11...
Posted 31 December 2002 - 13:32
Posted 31 December 2002 - 14:35
Originally posted by ian senior
If anyone could fight cancer through sheer willpower and bloody mindedness, I reckon Barry can. And I hope it works.
Agreed. He is a tough guy and hopefully he can fight it
Posted 05 February 2003 - 14:54
Re his health, MCN says "no news" at the moment, but they do promise an extensive interview with the man himself next week.
Posted 06 February 2003 - 08:28
two unauthorised biographies (QUOTE from Vitesse2)
There is always some A O L trying to make money out of some body ,s misfortune.
a SADWORLD we live in . GOOD LUCK BARRY.
Posted 21 February 2003 - 08:39
Hang in there Barry. Our thoughts are with you and your family.
Posted 10 March 2003 - 07:07
I had the pleasure of meeting Baz on a few occasions and this news rocked me. He will be missed.
Posted 10 March 2003 - 07:24
March 10, 2003
BARRY Sheene, Britain's 500cc motorcycle world champion in 1976 and 1977, died today of cancer.
An Australian resident for many years, Sheene, aged 52, died in hospital on Queensland's Gold Coast about 2pm (AEDT).
He is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and children, daughter Sidonie, 18, and son Freddie, 14.
A private family funeral will be held later this week.
I'm in shock at how quickly the Cancer claimed him.
Posted 10 March 2003 - 08:00
Posted 10 March 2003 - 08:21
Posted 10 March 2003 - 09:26
Posted 10 March 2003 - 09:31
The world is a poorer place today.
Posted 10 March 2003 - 09:50
Thanks for the memories.
Posted 10 March 2003 - 10:24
Posted 10 March 2003 - 10:44
Somewhere on his cloud he'll be musing to himself "I'm really pissed off about this - think of what I'm gonna miss". When friends of his died his philosophy was right - I've heard the news - but don't have to believe it.
Posted 10 March 2003 - 11:50
Posted 10 March 2003 - 14:13
Posted 10 March 2003 - 14:20
Posted 10 March 2003 - 14:42
The pic shows Barry in 1985, after his transition to four-wheels, in the BTCC driving a Toyota Supra.
RIP Barry Sheene.
Posted 10 March 2003 - 16:21
Posted 10 March 2003 - 16:48
Barry almost single-handedly awoke my interest in motor cycle racing, and kept it alive for many years. I was one of his biggest fans, he was a larger-than-life hero!
Although I saw it coming, this really hits hard... no, it hurts!
I truly have a lump in my throat...
Posted 10 March 2003 - 18:39
How tragic that so many of Britain's greatest cyclists have died so early (Dunlop, Hailwood & now Sheene.)
Posted 10 March 2003 - 18:45
Posted 10 March 2003 - 23:26
Posted 10 March 2003 - 23:32
May be stating the obvious, but a proto-typical photo of Barry and James in the Atlas article. Looks like Monaco. Hopefully a fond memory....
Posted 10 March 2003 - 23:49
Originally posted by wingsbgone
Vitesse2: "I was looking for a picture of Barry and James together. Amazingly, I couldn't find one on the net, "
May be stating the obvious, but a proto-typical photo of Barry and James in the Atlas article. Looks like Monaco. Hopefully a fond memory....
Yes, I saw that one, but of course it's only available to subscribers .....
Posted 11 March 2003 - 01:53
Met him a couple of times, and he was always just what you'd expect - shot straight from the hip, called a spade a spade, and loved life.
I cryed today; I'm crying now.
God Speed Barry; if I become half the man that you were, I'll be happy.
See you later.
Posted 11 March 2003 - 13:27
re: his car racing exploits..
Prior to the Supra outings, I seem to remember seeing entered in a Richard Lloyd-run Golf in he TT (by that time an ETC round for Group 2, or rather Group A , by then). Can't think what year that would have been, or recall how he did.