HEARTBROKEN family, friends and colleagues of Kidderminster’s “Bindiana Jones” bid a fond farewell to him as he embarked on his final journey.

A funeral service for intrepid traveller and Kidderminster bin man John “Mad Mac” McBride was held at Wyre Forest Crematorium yesterday (Monday, August 6), who died at the age of 73 last month following a short illness.

Mr McBride earned his affectionate nicknames after risking life and limb travelling to 141 of the most dangerous countries in the world.

But residents in the town also knew him as the cheerful bin man who always had a smile for them and time for a chat as he carried out his duties.

Mourners heard all about his exploits during the service including being mugged at knifepoint in downtown Miami, held at gunpoint in Central America, surviving Malaria in Papua New Guinea, witnessing voodoo in Haiti, getting lost in the Tunisian desert and being refused entry at the Iran and Iraq border.

Civil Funeral Celebrant Christine Jolley said: “They say truth is stranger than fiction but if a screenplay of John’s life landed on an agent’s desk, it would probably be tossed in the bin because it was too far-fetched.

“Who would believe that this honest hard-working bin man from Kidderminster, known to some as ‘Bindiana Jones’ had travelled to some of the most dangerous countries in the world.

“He once described himself as someone who wanted to see things that others don’t. An addiction to action and danger. If the Foreign Office strongly advised him not to go, it only served as an extra incentive.”

The service also heard about his huge sense of fun and humour such as entering Jim Bowen lookalikes or entertaining adults and children alive while on his bin rounds.

He was raised in Sparkbrook, Birmingham and later served in the army, being posted out in countries such as India and Northern Ireland during the Troubles in the 1970s.

After leaving the army, he moved to Kidderminster where he got a job working the bins for more than 30 years. It was as a Wyre Forest District Council employee he would use his annual leave to go off on his fearless travels.

Ironically, his first serious injury came when he broke his leg after falling out of bed while in Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where he was being treated for hypothermia in 2013.

Following his death, tributes flooded in with Councillor Fran Oborski - who was at the service - describing him as “a real character of Kidderminster who brought the warmth of his smile into many lives and will be missed.”