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Pitsford boat named after angling 'legend' Bob Church

image copyrightWheelyboat Trust
image captionBob Church's family Stephen, Donna, Nicola and Jenette (left to right) launch the boat at Pitsford with Andy Beadsley from the Wheelyboat Trust

A new wheelchair accessible boat has been launched in memory of "legendary" angler Bob Church at the reservoir where he used to fish.

The vessel allows disabled anglers to fish independently at Pitsford Reservoir in Northamptonshire.

The boat, provided by the Wheelyboat Trust, has been named "Bob Church MBE".

Andy Beadsley, director of the trust, said it was "important for disabled anglers to have hassle-free access".

Mr Church was one of the best known anglers in the UK and won gold at the World Fly Fishing Championships in 1987 and 1988.

He wrote more than 20 books on fishing, and also served as a director and later president of Northampton Town Football Club.

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The Angling Trust, which represents anglers in England and Wales, described him as "legendary" and he was awarded an MBE for services to fishing in 2015.

Mr Church had Parkinson's disease and used an accessible boat at Pitsford Reservoir to continue fishing. He died in 2019, aged 83.

image copyrightChurch family
image captionBob Church was a pioneer of reservoir trout fishing

Mr Beadsley, a wheelchair user himself, said he thought Mr Church "would have very much approved" of the new boat at Pitsford.

Jake Williams from Anglian Water, which runs the reservoir, said Mr Church was "a huge part of the angling family at the reservoir and was well respected by everyone".

He said: "We hope many more people with limited mobility will be able to use the boat to gain access to the water as a lasting legacy to Bob's passion and love for the sport."

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Related Topics

  • Northampton
  • Pitsford
  • Disability
  • Fishing

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