Real ale tsar wins a new university award

University of Sheffield alumnus and much loved local businessman Dave Wickett received a newly created honour, the Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award, at the University - with Rosemary Boucher,Vice Chancellor and Dave Wickett
University of Sheffield alumnus and much loved local businessman Dave Wickett received a newly created honour, the Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award, at the University - with Rosemary Boucher,Vice Chancellor and Dave Wickett
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SHEFFIELD beer baron Dave Wickett has received a brand new honour - recognising his work to create the perfect pub.

The man who created the celebrated Fat Cat at Kelham Island was given the Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award by Sheffield University.

Dave graduated with a Masters in economics from the university in 1976 and became a lecturer at Sheffield Polytechnic.

He was one of the first people to recognise the key importance of work placements for students, later setting up business degrees at 47 universities across the country.

In the process of setting up a staff club at the Poly, he developed a professional interest in the brewing industry and a passion for real ale.

In 1981 he bought the Fat Cat.

University director of development Miles Stevenson, said: “Dave’s vision of a pub was a place for good company, great hand-pumped beers and excellent home-cooked food including vegetarian and vegan dishes.

“His vision did not include piped music, jukeboxes or fruit machines. The Fat Cat was an immediate success and led the charge against insipid pub chains for a return to a traditional pub with real character.”

Dave opened Champs on Ecclesall Road and in 1990 opened the Kelham Island Brewery.

Dave said: “It really is the award that I treasure most. I truly love working with the University of Sheffield, but never in my wildest dreams imagined I would ever be honoured like this.”

The award recognises ex-students who have made outstanding contributions to business and community life.