Beloved 'Mad Duggie' died unexpectedly months after 'starting to lose weight'

A much-loved dad described by his step-daughter as a 'cute little teddy bear' passed away after suddenly starting to lose weight

Known as 'Mad Duggie', Paul Dugdale was a well-known gamekeeper on the Fylde Coast, In 2021, he began shedding weight 'out of the blue'.

His step-daughter, Rachel Jones, says his condition began to deteriorate in February 2022, before he passed away the next month. He was just 66.

Every year, a tractor run takes place for members of the community to pay their respects. The next will take place in Woodplumpton in September.

Rachel, 33, said she knew something was wrong with her beloved step-dad. After going for scans, the pair were given a devastating diagnosis of bowel cancer.

She first met her Paul when she was just 11-years-old, and the pair became inseparable. After Rachel's mum and Paul separated, she made the decision to live with him.


Describing her step-dad, Rachel said: "Everyone would say he was like a cute little teddy bear, because even though he was this person that everyone thought oh my god it's Mr Dugdale, or Mad Duggie as they used to call him, he was just like a big teddy bear. He would help anyone out, whether it was night, morning, midnight, early hours, late hours - he was always there to help you."

The pair also bonded over their love for being in nature and would spend time together fishing and shooting. Rachel added: "He always had a clean shirt on, clean trousers on and he always wore a flat cap. He never went out without his flat cap.

"He always drove round in his vehicle and he was just the most wonderful man that anyone could have in their lives as their father figure."

Talking about his illness two years ago, Rachel her step-dad first became unwell in 2021 when he first started to lose weight. Then, in December of that year Paul was diagnosed with bowel cancer. "In 2021, I was his full-time carer so I looked after him," Rachel said.

"I did whatever he wanted, if he wanted to do a scrap run we still did a scrap run. If he wanted to come to the horses, he'd come to the horses.

"January 2022 he was ok and February 2022, we noticed he started to go downhill and he was really starting to deteriorate. On March 22, 2022 I found him at home, he had died in his chair."

Rachel says Paul had the famous Frank Sinatra song, 'I did it my way' playing which was a direct reference to his personality. "He didn't want to go to hospital," Rachel explained.

"He did wanted to be plugged up to machines. He didn't want doctors or nurses poking or prodding him and sticking needles in him or putting him up on machines that beep.

"He didn't want nurses coming in asking, what would you like to drink today Mr Dugdale? You know, that's what he wanted to do - he wanted to be in the comfort of his home, in his own chair with his own pillow and tucked up in the comfort of his own duvet and that's how he did it."

Rachel says Paul was well-known in the Fylde Coast, as a gamekeeper for a number of farms and worked in vermin control. To celebrate his life amongst the community, Rachel has organised a tractor run to take place on September 7, setting off at 7am from Bell Fold Farm in Woodplumpton.

"I never really got to say thank you to him," Rachel admitted. "I know he knew I appreciated it but I never sort of say it, because you feel embarrassed or it's hard to talk about it to adults or to men.

"So I just said to myself at the time I wanted to do a tractor run in memory of pops, because I never called him dad I always called him papa or pops. I did my first tractor run last year and it was very successful and obviously I'm doing my second one this year."