Hundreds remember Sidmouth’s ‘Mad Dog’ in Mardi Gras-style send-off

PUBLISHED: 15:52 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:32 21 July 2017


Dave " Mad Dog" Maddock`s Mardi Gras-style funeral. Ref shs 29 17TI 7790. Picture: Terry Ife


Hundreds of people lined the streets of Sidmouth to watch a Mardi Gras-style procession for a bartender extraordinaire who lived up to his ‘Mad Dog’ moniker.

Dave Maddock – awarded his fitting nickname by a misspelled payslip – arrived in the town in 1986 and never looked back. He died last on Friday, July 7, at the age of 51.

A celebration of his life is being held throughout the day today (Thursday) at Sidmouth Rugby Club.

Gill, Dave’s wife of five years, said: “Dog was so funny, warm and compassionate. He was straightforward and he cared. He was a bartender extraordinaire. Everyone knew him. He would fist-bump kids on their way to school. Most kids don’t see adults, but they saw him. He lived life to the full and had no regrets.”

The Warrington lad and lifelong Manchester United and AC/DC fan was at a loose end when he came to Sidmouth to visit his grandmother. He immediately defied her advice not to visit former Esplanade pub The Mermaid and soon found himself a job there. His first payslip had his new nickname in place of his surname.

Dave went on to live all over Sidmouth, most recently in Old Fore Street, and worked in most of the pubs. He was uncharacteristically coy when he first met Gill and, after properly courting, they tied the knot in 2012 – both having first had a ‘practice’ marriage.

Gill said: “It’s been amazing. Both of our lives changed for the better. Every time I take a breath it’s had my husband’s name on it, from the moment I met him.”

Dave first had cancer of the vocal cords 10 years ago, and it returned at Christmas. Gill and his mum Margaret had since been caring for him at home. Gill thanked the hospice staff, nurses and Boots workers and everyone else who supported them.

Dave also leaves his brother John.

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