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Memorial service to be held in Norwich for 'Mr Norfolk Angling' John Wilson

PUBLISHED: 10:10 19 January 2019

Fishing and TV legend John Wilson. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Fishing and TV legend John Wilson. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

The life of a man once voted 'the greatest angler of all time' is to be remembered in a poignant service at Norwich Cathedral later this year.

John Wilson at his own lake in Thailand. Pic: John WilsonJohn Wilson at his own lake in Thailand. Pic: John Wilson

John Wilson died from a cardiac arrest following a stroke at his lakeside home in Thailand on November 13 last year.

The 75-year-old, who was appointed MBE for services to angling in 2009, wrote about 20 books and presented TV programmes on fishing for more than 20 years.

A memorial service for Mr Wilson, who is originally from Enfield but used to live at Great Witchingham, near Norwich, before he moved to Thailand in 2013, is to be held at Norwich Cathedral on May 24 this year.

Wensum Anglers Conservation Association said the event would give people the chance to give him a “correct send-off”.

Phil Humm, membership secretary of the association, said: “I think its a correct and fitting tribute to John because he was not only ‘Mr Angling’ on TV but you could probably call him ‘Mr Norfolk Angling’.

“Although he wasn’t a native person from Norfolk so many of his programmes were made in Norfolk.

”He had that ability to draw people into his programmes whether they were fishing people or not.”

He said Mr Wilson “inspired so many people” to get out and discover rivers, waterways and the Norfolk Broads.

Mr Humm said unfortunately he would not be able to make the service but added that there would be a number of people there to pay their respects from the Wensum Anglers Conservation Association.

Mr Wilson and his wife Jo had previously lived at Lake House, Great Witchingham, near Norwich, which had a two acre lake he created and where he fished at his local River Wensum.

He returned to Norfolk briefly last summer to look for a house to buy, and spoke to the EDP of his incredible five-year adventure in Asia.

Speaking at the time, he said: “We built the house to live there forever but we miss the family, there’s no English speaking people for miles from where we live and it’s time to come home to Norfolk.”

He inspired young and old while presenting the long running series Go Fishing which ran from 1986 all the way through to the early 1990s.

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