University honour for real ale pioneer Dave

Dave Wickett receives the newly created Prof Robert Boucher Distinguished Aulmni  Award from Prof Keith Burkett,Vice Chancellor,with Barbara Boucher,left

Dave Wickett receives the newly created Prof Robert Boucher Distinguished Aulmni Award from Prof Keith Burkett,Vice Chancellor,with Barbara Boucher,left

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SHEFFIELD businessman Dave Wickett has been honoured by the University of Sheffield for his work with the university and in the community.

The man who went on to open the Fat Cat pub, Kelham Island Brewery and Champs sports bar in Ecclesall Road received the new Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award.

After graduating with a Masters in Economics from the University of Sheffield in 1976, Dave started his career as an economics lecturer at Sheffield Polytechnic and was one of the first people to recognise the key importance of work placements for students. He set up business degrees at 47 universities across the country and became chairman of the Business Studies Placement Scheme.

One of his successes was the introduction of an exchange programme at the Rochester Institute of Technology, a university in Upper New York State, which allowed its students to study at Sheffield. Dave opened The Old Toad, an English pub in New York which was run by British exchange year students.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Keith Burnett said: “Dave Wickett is widely admired and respected within the Sheffield community and beyond. We are deeply grateful for all that Dave has done for the university, as a member of the University’s Court and an active supporter of the Alumni Office. Dave’s career has neatly mirrored the renaissance that has taken place in Sheffield over the last 20 years. He is an entrepreneur with boundless energy, courtesy and optimism.”

The award is in the name of the late Prof Bob Boucher, University Vice-Chancellor from 2001-7.

Dave, who is confined to a wheelchair after being diagnosed with bone cancer, 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.”

lDave, aged 64, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group at its dinner in London.