Tributes have been paid to a renowned Capital publican who has passed away at the age of 73.
Born and bred Hibby Michael Dickson ran the lively Tamsons Bar situated a stones throw away from Easter Road stadium in the 80s.
His grandfather was Charles Ross, who was the producer of the popular Five Past Eight and Half Past Eight shows at the King’s Theatre and Mike watched on the sidelines as stars such as Stanley Baxter took to the stage.
Educated at Holy Cross Academy, Michael had a short-lived job at furnishing firm Robert Frost & Son after becoming a full time carer for his mum, Ilona, at the age of 21. His band Mike Dickson and the Commodores finished third in a Daily Express competition looking for Scotland’s best group in the 60s, earning the chance to play in Hamburg at the time The Beatles were in town. However his devotion to his mum led him to decline the invitation.
The family man was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December. It later spread to his lungs and liver which led him to deteriorate rapidly. He died on Sunday morning surrounded by family and leaves behind Lee, 35, Sean, 23, and Holly, 22.
Holly said: “He was a loving, kind man. He was the type of person who would never hurt a fly. He was a true gent who never had anything bad to say about anyone. He was also a fantastic dad. He loved Hibs and travelling. I had a very close relationship with him and we actually went on holiday together just the two of us. I’m going to miss him so much. He was such a special person and was very well liked.”
Mike went into partnership with Gerry D’Agostino to run Tamsons Bar in Easter Road in the 80s and ran the pub until the 90s. They hosted a number of celebrity evenings with former Hibs stars such as Joe Baker and Pat Stanton while at Tamsons Bar.
Former Hibs midfielder and current owner of the Tamsons Bar, Paul Kane, said: “From what I’ve heard he ran a tight ship and a lot of the regulars in the bar will always remember him for doing such a terrific job.”
Mike grew up living on Warrender Park Terrace and it was there where he met his best friend Bill Higgins.
Bill, 72, said: “As a friend he was first class.
“We’ve been best friends for 66 years and knew each other very well. He was a warm-hearted considerate guy. We enjoyed a number of holidays together including Kenya, Gambia and Senegal. We had lots of laughs over the years and I will miss him tremendously.”
After retiring, his family, including wife Mary and their children, relocated to Moffat where they ran a B&B for 13 years. It was during this time when Mike began writing poetry and had some of his work published in the Daily Express. He followed this up with a novel he wrote last year called They call me the Hat.
Friend and author Samantha Bruce-Benjamin said: “He was the most hilarious person you could ever hope to meet and an incredible author. Mike brought joy to whoever he met. I have so many happy memories with him.”
Mike’s funeral will take place on May 9 at St Luke’s Church, Moffat at 9.30am followed by a burial at Roucan Loch Green Burial Site in Dumfries. All friends are welcome to attend.