An all-rounder, John Shepherd played his first three Tests for England in 1969 and enjoyed a commendable run with the ball, taking 12 wickets at a rate of 22.16. He was less successful, however, when he played two Tests for West Indies in 1971. Two years later he toured South Africa, which, in effect, ended his playing career for the West Indies. He played a whopping 423 first-class matches over 21 seasons, including 15 for Kent and six for Gloucestershire on the English county circuit. He also played grade cricket in Melbourne, Australia. In 1998, he was appointed by the West Indies Cricket Board as a regional development officer for the Americas region.