OBITUARY | Michael ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare: Wild Geese mercenary leader 1919-2020

World fame in the Congo followed by farce and ignominy in the Seychelles

09 February 2020 - 00:00 By CHRIS BARRON

Michael “Mad Mike” Hoare, who has died in Durban at the age of 100, was one of the most famous mercenaries in the world after his exploits in the Congo in the early 1960s inspired the 1978 movie The Wild Geese, in which he was played by Richard Burton.

But three years later, in 1981, he became something of a joke when, aged 62, he led 44 mercenaries from SA, Zimbabwe and several European countries, pretending to be members of a beer-drinking club called the Ancient Order of Froth Blowers, in a farcical, South African-backed coup attempt in the Seychelles...

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