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Club News


12 June 2018

The Argus
John Shepherd playing at the Goldstone Ground.

Brighton & Hove Albion is saddened by the news that former striker John Shepherd has passed away at the age of 86.

Shepherd, who signed for the Seagulls in 1958 and was well known within Sussex football, passed away on Monday.

After serving in the RAF, where he contracted polio but miraculously made a full recovery, Shepherd signed his first professional contract with Millwall in 1952, and went on to become the club’s sixth-highest goalscorer.

He was then signed by Albion manager Billy Lane in the summer of 1958, following the club’s promotion to Division Two.

Despite losing their first game 9-0 to Middlesbrough, the Seagulls recovered well to finish 12th in their first-ever season in the second tier of English football, and Shepherd finished the campaign as the club’s top goalscorer with 18 goals in 36 league appearances.

He spent two seasons with the Seagulls before transferring to Gillingham, where he finished his professional playing career.

After spells with a handful of non-league clubs, Shepherd moved into coaching to become player/manager at Southwick in Division Two of the Sussex County League.
Shepherd managed to improve Southwick’s fortunes, leading them to the Sussex County League Division One title and the Sussex Senior Cup.
The fans’ favourite later returned to the Goldstone as a scout and youth coach, where he founded the club’s first-ever youth team in 1976, in collaboration with Alan Mullery and Mick Fogden.
In total, Shepherd spent almost 30 years with Albion as both a player and coach, working with numerous managers, including Mullery, Brian Clough and Jimmy Melia.
He was the subject of a biography published in 2013 titled ‘In and out of the Lion’s Den: Poverty, War and Football’, which was written by his daughter, Julie Ryan. Mullery provided the foreword for the book.
In 2014, Shepherd was presented with an award from the Sussex FA recognising his services to Sussex football over the years.
The thoughts of everyone at the club are with John’s family and friends at this sad time.

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