His time was 49.03 seconds, and he was third behind fellow British athlete David Hemery, who took gold, and German Gerhard Hennige (silver). Prior to this period he had studied at the then Loughborough College of Education. He was a regular on the popular British Broadcasting Corporation sports programme The Superstars in the "70s and early "80s and in 1980 came 2nd in the World Superstars Final in America.
He had to turn professional to compete in the 100 metres of the 1980 United Kingdom grand final of the programme, as he would not have been able to keep his amateur status if he competed.
He had the option not to run but chose to In his closing address in the successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Lord Coe described how as a youngster in Sheffield in 1968, John and Sheila Sherwood had inspired him to pursue his successful career in track athletics.
He is the brother of Steve Sherwood, the former Chelsea and Watford goalkeeper. After 40 years of teaching PE, 37 of those at Firth Park Community Arts College, Sheffield, John retired in 2006 after a finale school sports day on 12 July at the Don Valley Stadium which was closed with an address from Lord Coe.