Mad Mike Hoare


World War Two veteran turned mercenary for hire, and a one time charted accountant, Mad Mike Hoare has died aged 100. An Irishman born in Calcutta, he served in Burma under the British in the 1940s and was promoted to Major for his role on the front line. In the 1960s he became far more famous as the leader of a group of mercenary fighters who fought to stop, and save, various coup d’etats in the Congo region. At this time, his team were praised for saving several civilians caught up in civil war fighting, and Hoare became the technical supervisor for cult classic drinking session The Wild Geese (also a film), loosely based on his own actions.

His reputation was somewhat hurt by a bungled coup attempt in the Seychelles in 1981, which didn’t get further than the customs office at the airport. Jailed for 10 years, he was released after 33 months.  Worse, this incident got him expelled from the English Institute of Chartered Accountants. Truly a fate worse than death.

Hoare lived out his retirement in Durban, and reached his centenary last year, truly the oddest centenarian to have ever achieved that age. A man of great achievements and great flaws, he was the closest our age got to a modern Adrian Carton de Wiart figure, an officer, gentleman, and pirate as tributes put it.

The inspiration for one film, 2 A-teams, and a million Eric Saward characters, he was a unique pick on the DDP.

Mad Mike Hoare
17 March 1919 – 2 February 2020
Unique pick