Harlow Penguins - Tribute to Eric Shepherd
Harlow Penguins Vice President and Essex County ASA judge, Eric Shepherd passed away this week. He will be greatly missed by all his friends, colleagues and swimmers.
Eric's family has chosen Conerstone Trust, a charity with which Eric was involved, as the recipient of any donations, which should be sent to Daniel Robinson's Harlow office: Wych Elm, CM20 1QP.
name: ELisabeth Constantine
name: ex swimming
miss him dearly loved him coaching me miss pengwins to late swimming
name: Susan Whitlock
It's taken me a long time to look at the lovely sentiments written about my dear friend, Eric. I recognised nearly all the names as for the last 6 years I have seen or heard of all them, first, when I worked with Eric at college, and since then over many cups of tea at home! My overwhelming memory of Eric is of his smile and readiness to help. We always used to share a teabag to save resources. My life, although emptier without him, has been enriched by knowing him. A lovely man.
name: Jonnie Burke (member 1988-90)
Having read in Private Eye about the closure of Harlow Pool, I came to the club website to try to find more info. Sadly, I have learned about Eric's passing. Having been involved in club swimming north and south of the border since 1974, I recognise "old school" club officials, and Eric was old school. He was dedicated, ever present, disciplined and conveyed and air off officiousness combined with warmth in just the right amounts. He definitely had my respect and will be a great loss to all of you. Good luck with keeping the club going and I hope you get a new pool very soon. Best wishes, Jonnie.
name: Victoria & Alexandra Tidmas
We knew Eric Shepherd for five years and had the benifit of his knowledge and his help. Eric Shepherd was a wonderful person who gave up soo much of his time to help swimmers within not only in Harlow Penguins Swimming Club but also Harlow Life Saving club that has been running for more than 40 years. Eric was and will always be a big part in the future of both clubs as they would not be here without his imput and devotion. Eric became close friends and coach to many swimmers who will miss him dearly as we do.
name: Jayne Rowe (Proctor)
Mr Shepherd will always have a place in the hearts of Harlow swimmers. Although I have not seen him for over twenty years, I have nothing but fond memories of a kind man. Thank you Mr Shepherd for everything.
name: Kate Ruddick
At the club, Eric was simply 'always there' and was one of the most warm, friendly and welcoming people you could ever meet (even though he couldnt remember anyone's name!). He gave of his time willingly, without question and always with a well-intentioned heart of gold. I was at the funeral and kept thinking to myself how he would have loved it, with so many family; friends; colleagues; Lofty's and Half-Pints there!! For me personally he was my Dad No 2, the father of my friend Monica . Our childhood friendship is as strong as ever to this day and as a result of this close connection I saw Eric on a regular and frequent basis. He would always make me laugh and smile with his tales of chaos and his shopping trips to the town! There was never a dull moment in his busy schedule. I will miss you greatly Eric but you will never be forgotten and I will see you in 'the next room' xx
name: Susan Bassett
I will never forget our family visits to the UK from Australia and being lucky enough to attend Uncle Eric’s squad training. Everyone adored you, and I felt so proud that you were my Uncle. I use to wish that you lived in Australia so you could be my coach. You’ll definitely be missed x
name: eloise corlett
This is eloise from the isle of man. Eric is my step -Grandad.He was a lovely person/used to make me laugh all the time.I tryed to get him to paddle in the sea but it was always to cold.We used to have great fun with him wen he was over. He loved his cup of tea from steve and me. He has bean the best grandad ever. He used to like playing bourd games with me olivia,kerri. I will realy miss him xxxxxx *love Eloise*xxxxxx
name: Matthew Cooper (Dedicated Swimmer)
What can I say? Since I started swimming at the tender age of 6 at Harlow Penguins Swimming Club I soon became accustomed to the 'legend' that was Eric Shepherd. I will always remember his incredible humour and wit especially his remarks about me getting my hair cut! He used to say that he would pay for me to go to a barbers and get it all shaved off but I always declined the offer! (I think I kept growing it because I enjoyed our banter too much just as I walked on poolside for every Friday's session!) Whenever I think of Harlow Penguins Swimming Club, Eric will always be there. The man's dedication and passion for the club was particulary evident. He was the cheerful fellow who was almost 'a mascot' for the club and will be greatly missed by all I'm sure. M x
name: Patrick and Nicola Arnold (Murray)
Harlow Penguins will never be the same without Eric Shepherd.
name: Brian Nixon
Eric Shepherd, what can I say I knew him as a helper in my partners computer class at Northbrooks House he was a very funny man, he was a bit of a wind up merchant but that is what we liked about Eric. He will be greatly missed, our thoughts are with you. Brian & Kata
name: Caren Shortall (Murray)
What a great man.... Mr Shepherd you will be fondly remembered and never forgotten. I always gave you a kiss on the cheek when I saw you, here is one to take with you X
name: Monica (Eric's daughter)
I would like to say thank you for all your kind thoughts and memories of my dad and his time at the swimming club. The club really was his life, it was what kept him young , even when he was actually quite frail. When I used to telephone him to say could we come up and see him, he was always busy, he always had a gala or training and it would make me smile and quite proud to think that at 77 he could still say that. So it is a good job that I now do the same thing, Hannah and Tom both swim for Leighton Buzzard, I am still down at the pool all the time, I coach and most of my Saturdays are spent at gala’s ( I don’t collect the money on the coach yet!!!). I am not too bad at remembering names but to make all those lofties and blondies not feel too bad, he could never get my name right either! I have lots of great memories of my dad at swimming (the Athlon, when he used to patrol the tents at night to make sure we were all in the right tents.) and it is really nice to know that lots of you share them too.
name: Tanya Lowe (now Mitchell)
God Bless Eric Shepherd. It must have been over 15 years since I last saw this very great man. I will always remember swimming in galas at Harlow Swimming pool and waiting on the blocks with Eric ready to fire his gun. He always had time for his swimmers and he will be greatly missed.
name: craig (boys captain)
Eric still will live on as a legend in everyone’s heart, and I know he every lady had a bit of a crush on the handsome stud and few of the fellas too. He was always there for everyone to make each time with him special somehow he managed to keep strong for every person and no matter what he would do his best even from his youth age as he did run the mile in a minuet as he would say. I can remember when I was young he use to always try keep us going to the best we could, but I never really understood why at the time he was trying to push us so hard but as I got older I got a better understanding and saw him less of the enemy and became a friend as he wasn’t trying to make us work hard to make us suffer but to help us be better than we could and I am proud of him for doing so, I don’t know where I would be without his guidance or motivation from his strange little stories of his eventful life of working hard. but Its strange to think he has gone as I was swimming on Monday and still seemed like he was there watching over all off us sitting in his chair and I know deep down in his heart he wanted all of us to be happy and be the best each of us could so I plan to always do my best so I can try to honor him the way he wanted it and I hope all swimmers and parents will help everyone to please do the same to keep his dreams alive while he is chilling out with the angels in the sky and back to his love of his life. We will always miss you and remember you. You are the grandfather of the Harlow penguins and are family to it and all of us. rest in peace my old friend i sure will be seeing you again someday.
name: Tammy Shelton
You'd Always say"THANK YOU SWIMMERS" so I'd just like to say "THANKS YOU MR SHEPHERD" with all my love, God Bless xx
name: Tammy Shelton
You'd always say "THANK YOU SWIMMERS"
name: kelly shelton (now church)
What a man..... no words can put together the effort and time that Mr shepherd put into the club... I 1st started going to galas when I was 6 we used to get on charlies coach and Mr Shepherd used to say COME ON HALF PINT... COME ON LOFTY the man is a legend and will be really really missed thanks mr shepherd for so many great timesxxx
name: JOHN LOWE
Hi Eric, i last saw you two weeks ago at the essex league, sitting on your chair as place judge. I think i took the mikey saying you must be getting old! As usual you waved your stick and said " At least i did'nt have to pay to get in! ". I have known you for 32 years, and wether we agreed or not the passion for the sport was second to none, the first time i saw you, you were holding a colt 45. The bang was so loud the swimmers went into the water like_ _ _ _ off a shovel. You were old school and i will miss our banter. Fings just aint gonna be the same , best wishes to Andy,monica,steve and grand children still proudly flying the flag.
name: Malcolm Stenning
Funny thing have just got out of the pool, and while at the grand young age of 48 was thinking as I was tiring during my session the hollowing sound of the word "MOVE", their was only one Eric Sheperd. So Eric thank you, Steve, Andy and Monica my thoughts are with you.
name: tony tribe
If the true definition of a gentleman is one who gives freely and generously of his time, talents and care for the benefit of others, then Eric Shepherd was that gentleman. When my older children (Joanna and Emma) joined the Harlow Swimming and Diving Club (as it was then) in 1973, Eric was already a fixture coaching, teaching, judging, starting, getting the lane ropes out, making sure the youngsters behaved themselves on the coach after away galas and collecting up the debris on the coach after the (then) compulsory chip shop stop! In other words, he willingly did anything that needed doing for the benefit of the Club and its members all without thought of gain for himself. Nearly twenty years later when I returned to the Club with more children (Anna and Anthony), there was Eric, still doing all the things that he had done twenty years earlier regardless of the fact that his own children, Steve, Andy and Monica had given up swimming long since. How many of us would spend a lifetime working many hours every week simply for the benefit of other peoples children with no pay and very often with precious little thanks. We all thank you now, Eric, (or Mr Shepherd as Ashley would say) for your love and care over the years. Harlow Penguins will not seem quite the same but the fruits of Eric's labours will live long into the future and I am sure that his spirit will preside over you all. So, watch it swimmers!
name: Maria Wilkins
Big Bertha was one of Eric's starting guns, when Eric fired Bertha the swimmers flew off the blocks, Eric would then have a cheeky wink - I hope Bertha is with you now :)
name: Sue Rowley (Caroline's mum)
Very sorry to hear the sad news of Mr Shepherd's death
name: Claire Wilson (Jasmine's Mum)
Eric was always a great influence with Jasmine. I can remember when Jasmine had her first time trial & Eric was there to give her some sound advise & encouragement! Eric was a great character to be around & will be very much missed.
name: Ruby Groome (Girls Captain)
Eric was always a bit of a legend. He was and always will be the heart and soul of our club and will be greatly missed by all. Never missed a Club Championship Competition, always there to push the start button and congratulate the swimmers climbing out at the steps. I think I speak on behalf of all the swimmers when I say he was an inspiration to us all, telling us “we have it easy, back in my day I swam in the River…." and this was no lie, Eric had been committed to Harlow Penguins right from the very start. He always had time for every one of us, although this at times caused confusion over names (Faye and Phoebe were popular names for me on a Monday evening and I soon started to respond to any girl's name directed at me!) I am lucky enough to be friends with Eric's Granddaughter Claire who has inherited some of his awesome qualities; exceptionally loyal, determined and always wearing a beaming smile. I feel honoured to have known Eric, he will be greatly missed but it is his team spirit and love of swimming that will live on in us all. xxxxxxx
name: Ashley Meerloo
Mr. Shepherd...even at 48 I still can't say Eric, that's how much respect I have for you, a wonderful man, always smiling and who made swimming a passion for us all. Thanks for being part of my swimming life, and thanks for being you!
name: Kerry and Chris McCarthy
Both Chris and I will miss Eric heaps, he was one of the first to ask us when will we get married, i was only 12 at the time and Chris was 15. He was always aorund at the club, one of my funniest memorys is when i was swimming in the club and we had a fun swim around christmas time and Eric turned up wearing a nighty, giving out sweets ... he told us we couldn't push him in cause he had nothing on underneath! we'll miss you Eric!
name: Steve Newman (ex Penguins Team Manager)
Very sad to hear of Eric’s passing. To all current and past swimmers, officals and parents I am sure you will all have your own memories. I have five pictures in my mind ( I knew Eric between 1997 and 2007) that I am sure some of you can vision very quickly 1) sitting on the white chair, end of the lane shouting at the swimmers!, 2) first on any Coach, hat in hand, collecting petrol money!, 3) standing at the starter line, bottle of water sticking out of pocket, walking cane nearby, clicking his beloved starting equipment, 4) arguing with everyone; Alan (M), Ken, Me, swimmers, visiting clubs, visiting officials! 5) making everyone/anyone carry his officials kit while he wandered to his red car! – Eric first started swimming in the local rivers before Harlow pool was even built, I know he is very proud of his grand children who still swim for Bishops Stortford SC.
name: Joe Ellis ( Shannen's mum)
Eric will be greatly missed. He always put a smile on Shannen's face and made her laugh. I know she will miss him alot. x x
name: Jonathan Chan
It's been a great pleasure to have known Eric. My family and I will miss his good humour and stories. Many thanks for a lifetime of voluntary work and dedication to swimming.