‘An iconic figure’, who was instantly recognisable to residents across Worthing and beyond, has died.
Sid Wakeham died last week, aged 79, after battling a long-term chest infection.
His son, Pete, said: “He touched so many people’s lives. My dad had many interests and was so proud of his Sussex heritage.
“For many years he was Santa to so many of Worthing’s kids. He was very popular.”
Sid was also a founding member of the Sompting Village Morris group, who performed across the county.
Martin Frost, from Sompting Village Morris, said: “Our Sidney was a founder member of Sompting Village Morris back in 1977/8.
“Already an experienced dancer with Broadwood Morris of Horsham, he assisted with the early training and was involved with the development of the dance side.
“Sid was especially memorable playing the role of Father Christmas for local schools, charity events and shops and in the annual Mummers Play, particularly at the Richard Cobden on New Years Day.
“An iconic figure with his long hair and bushy beard led many Worthing children to be convinced he was the real Santa.
“He was an important part of Morris and helped Sompting Village Morris to grow into the team it is today.
“We will certainly miss him, but the dance that he loved so much will continue.”
Sid was also a keen rower and rugby player, particularly in his youth, representing Worthing and Old Azurians.
As well as in sport, Sid was very well known at his local pub, The Richard Cobden.
The landlord of the pub, Steve Walker said: “Sid lived life to the fullest and certainly didn’t owe life anything.
“He was a regular at our pub for around about 30 years and used to live bang opposite the pub so it was perfect for him.
“He wasn’t just part of the furniture here but also the spirit.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.worthingherald.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Worthing.news
3) Follow us on Twitter @Worthing_Herald
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Worthing Herald - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.