Mardi Gras send-off through Sidmouth for ‘Mad Dog’

Dave 'Mad Dog' Maddock

Dave 'Mad Dog' Maddock - Credit: Archant

A bartender extraordinaire who lived up to his ‘Mad Dog’ moniker will be sent off with a Mardi Gras-style procession through the streets of Sidmouth.

Dave Maddock – awarded his fitting nickname by a misspelled payslip – arrived in the town in 1986 and never looked back. He died last Friday (July 7). Yesterday would have been his 52nd birthday.

A celebration of his life will be held throughout the day on Thursday, July 20), with a service for family and close friends at Exeter Crematorium at 12.15pm.

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.

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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.”

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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, who also leaves his brother John, will be carried by pallbearers renamed ‘dog handlers’ in a procession Gill hopes will feature a wide variety of musicians. It will begin in Old Fore Street at 9.15am and continue to the rugby club, for a celebration of his life until 6pm.

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