Tributes to city’s real ale man Dave Wickett

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TRIBUTES have been paid to Dave Wickett - the man who founded the Fat Cat pub and Kelham Island Brewery - who died on Tuesday aged 64.

Former Sheffield Central MP Richard Caborn said: “He was a great son of Sheffield and he really did put Sheffield on the map. He made very strong representations to Parliament to change the tax system to allow microbreweries to thrive, and it was Dave’s passion that pushed that forward and allowed microbreweries everywhere to develop. He built up a business not only he was proud of but one Sheffield is proud of as well.”

Dave, a devoted Blade, was a contributor to the Sheffield United match day programme. His reports of travelling to away games became a popular and much-read feature.

Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe said: “Dave really was a knowledgeable and dedicated friend of the club who will be sadly missed at Bramall Lane. He was one of life’s nice people, a great guy who was loved by everyone at the club. Our condolences go to his wife Helen and son Ed at this very sad time.”

Originally from London, Dave graduated with a Masters in Economics from The University of Sheffield in 1976. As an Economics Lecturer at Sheffield Polytechnic he was one of the first to recognise the importance of work placement, and in the process of setting up a staff club at Sheffield Polytechnic, he developed a professional interest in the brewing industry and a passion for real ale.

In 1981 he bought The Fat Cat pub in Kelham Island, and later opened Champs on Ecclesall Road.

Last year he was honoured by The University of Sheffield when he received a newly created honour, the Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award.