After almost six decades in the sports equipment game, including 31 years owning his own shop, Brian Sheppard is hanging up his skates.
The owner of Shep’s Sports Centre has decided to retire the iconic store this year. He says he made the decision because his 80th birthday is coming up, and he’d like to be able to take some time in life to no longer work. Sheppard started in sports equipping at the age of 22 when he started working for Hunter’s Sports in 1963 before starting Shep’s on New Year’s Day, 1989.
During that time he outfitted numerous young Lloydminster hockey players, some of whom would go on to the NHL, including Wade Redden, Braden Holtby and Scott Hartnell, among others. Sheppard describes it as a big moment in his career.
“That was the highlight. Getting those boys that needed their skates sharpened, and their equipment put on properly and everything like that, that went on to the NHL. I hope that I influenced them in some way.”
With no one to buy the location, it is set to close down at the end of the year. Sheppard says that since he announced the closure online, he’s seen many people come into the business, buying up equipment, and also wishing him well on the next stage of his life. He adds that he’ll still be busy in his retirement.
“Oh, I’ve got lots to do. We, my wife and I, hunt a lot of gophers in the summertime, like hunting coyotes in the wintertime, and watching the grandchildren do their sports. Yep, there’s lots to do.”
The last official day for Shep’s Sports Centre is slated to be December 31st, 2020.