RICK Passmore, known to thousands of locals and visitors as the Cockington horse and carriage man, is fighting for his life after being struck down by a mystery illness.
Rick, the last surviving pony and trap owner with the Cockington Carriage Company, is in hospital in London.
His family has appealed for everyone who knows him to pray for him.
The plea has been posted on a Facebook page, which has been liked by more than 2,350 people, by his children, Dani, Kelly and Marc.
Dani said: "Everyone who knows Torquay knows Cockington and anyone who knows Cockington must know my dad Rick Passmore.
"Just over a month ago Rick fell ill and up until now it has been a mystery to all the doctors, consultants and specialists in Devon and London.
"My dad is currently in St George's neurology department in London fighting as hard as ever and could do with as many prayers and positive thoughts as possible."
Rick has fought off leukaemia in the past and Dani said: "It took a lot for him to do it so we need to pray for the strength he needs to do this mystery illness in as well."
He added: "Let's hear it for a real Torquay legend and help him get back where he belongs up on his carriage bringing smiles to all who happen upon him and his horses in his beloved Cockington."
Almost 500 people have commented on the post.
Claire Luscombe said: "Rick made my wedding day. It was June 7, 2003. He was absolutely amazing and made such an effort.
"Cockington will not be the same without your charm, smiles and beautiful horse and carriage, Rick, so please get yourself back to good health and where you belong."
In another comment, Angela Chase said: "Prayers are being said here for all of you and lots of absent healing for you Rick."