Sherwen passed away at his Uganda home on the weekend to the shock and bereavement of the entire cycling community.
“It’s been a pretty difficult few days actually, coming to terms with it all as most people are,” O’Grady said.
The 62-year-old Sherwen pursued a broadcast career after retiring from racing and together with co-worker Phil Liggett became the preeminent voice of cycling across the world.
O’Grady recalled a time in 1995 when he turned professional and was able to rely on Sherwen and converse together in English when few others did.
“He was there for my entire career as everyone here,” O’Grady said from a luncheon held in honour of the soon-to-be retired Mathew Hayman (Mitchelton-Scott).
“Phil and Paul were more than commentators, they were like brothers. We’ve taken a few [recreational group] tours to Europe recently and one of the questions asked of the group at the start of each tour is, ‘Who would you like to meet?’ I reckon 50 per cent of people say Phil and Paul,” he continued.
“Now being on the other side of the fence and being able to watch the Tour de France, you realise how much of an influence they have on peoples’ lives. [Australian fans] fall asleep listening to their voices. They mean so much to people. He was an incredible person.”
Sherwen is survived by his wife, Katherine and children.