Biker priest passes away

The 59 Club founder Father Bill passes away aged 89

BIKER PRIEST Rev William Shergold, founder one of the world’s largest motorcycle clubs, has died aged 89 at a Somerset care home.

Reverend William Shergold, more widely known as ‘Father Bill’, started The 59 Club open to Rockers at a church-run youth club in London, where it became a popular venue during the 1960s.

In a time when Rockers were feared the club broke these boundaries and garnered respect. One example of the immense popularity of the club included Father Bill welcoming the bikers and their motorcycles into a church ceremony, and blessing both the riders and their machines.

During its heyday the club had a large number of members reaching over 20,000, in what was claimed as the world’s largest motorcycle club at the time.

In 1969, Father Bill moved to Dover and formed The 69 Club, after a few years in the countryside he returned to London.

Father Bill retired to a Somerset care home in 1999 to be close to family.

The 59 Club will hold a memorial service for Father Bill on 12 September, which coincides with its 50th anniversary, where there will be a blessing of bikes. The service will be held at: St Martins-in-the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, WC24 4JJ.

For more information on the clubs visit target="_blank">The 59 Club and target="_blank">The 69 Club.