My Best of British series started off with the inspiration to paint a straight line on a spinning machine using the British Flag. Barry Sheene was known for being outspoken in his criticism for what he considered to be dangerous race tracks, most notably, the Isle of Man TT course, which he considered too dangerous for world championship competition.
He was a colourful, exuberant character who used his good looks, grin and Cockney accent to good effect in self-promotion, and combined with an interest in business was one of the first riders to make a lot of money from endorsements. He is credited with boosting the appeal of motorcycle racing into the realm of the mass marketing media. He also tried his hand as a TV show host, including the ITV series , where he interviewed people who had, through accident or design, achieved feats of daring and survival (including the former RAF air gunner, Nicholas Alkemade, who survived a fall of 18,000 feet without a parachute from a blazing Avro Lancaster bomber over Germany in March 1944). He died in 2003 of cancer of the stomach and oesophagus, and is survived by his wife Stephanie McLean and two children.
Following reconstruction of the Brands Hatch Circuit in England for safety concerns after requests by the F.I.M., the Dingle Dell section was changed for safety, and shortly after Sheene's death the new section was renamed Sheene's Corner in his honour. The FIM named him a Grand Prix "Legend" in 2001. At the 2004 season, V8 Supercars Australia made a memorial medal, calling it the Barry Sheene Medal. A memorial ride from Bairnsdale, Victoria to Phillip Island is held by Australian motorcyclists annually, before the MotoGP held at the island.
This commission was painted for Marc Jenner. Barry Sheene was his childhood hero, a legend in Superbike Racing in the 70/s and 80’s.