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Fitting send off for Spalding's popular character 'Dave the Furry Man'

A busker who was well-known for playing his guitar while donning a furry hat in Spalding has been given a touching send off.

On Wednesday, July 29, the funeral of David Anthony Rhodes, affectionately known as ‘Dave the Furry Man’, took place at South Lincolnshire Crematorium in Surfleet.

Dave, who would often be seen playing guitar in the Sheep Market in Spalding, sadly lost his battle with cancer recently.

Dave the Furry Man's funeral (39783819)
Dave the Furry Man's funeral (39783819)

In a fitting tribute, the Reverend Steve Weatherly-Barton, who had spent time with Dave while he was in hospital, conducted the service.

He said: “There were a lot of restrictions in place regarding the number of people able to attend, due to the pandemic, but there were some friends and also both people representing the hospital and the nursing community who cared for Dave.

“There was also a man there who has an office in Spalding where Dave would often pop in for a cup of tea, along with a couple who were also very fond of him.

“There was a small group but I think if things had been different there would have been a lot of people there.”

Dave’s life and history has always been something of a mystery, with rumours surrounding his circumstances often discussed by many.

However, Mr Weatherly-Barton was able to learn more about Dave at the funeral.

He said: “One of the people who attended was an old friend of Dave’s who had known him for a long time.

“He said that they had spent a lot of time together when Dave was famous for riding motorcycles. In fact, he knew him as ‘Lambretta Dave’ before he become “Dave the Furry Man’.

“He also told me how Dave had been beaten up and robbed once or twice while he was on the streets.

“It was the merest glimpse into his life, before he became the man we knew, as his past life is a total mystery.”

Dave was known for playing a song called Lemon Tree, so it only seemed right that the song, which can be found on YouTube, was played at the funeral.

Mr Weatherly-Barton said: “At the service, we heard My Way, by Frank Sinatra, as Dave certainly did things his own way.

“We also heard Lemon Tree and then Amazing Grace at the end.”

Mr Weatherly-Barton said that Dave had not only been well-known in Spalding and that when his death had been announced, tributes had come in from all over the UK.

He added: “Dave was a character. He was not perfect - like all of us - but he was one of a kind.”

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