For a few years afterwards, he was living in fear of a visit from Hughie Allen. He narrowly missed out on selection for the England junior team in the 1990s. With partner Simon Preece, an angler of similar standard to Motty, they've so far been just about the most consistent team in the Canal Pairs championships winning in 2014, fifth in 2015 and fourth in 2018. Superb at catching canal roach, Simon more than holds his own on rivers and is no mug on the commercials as we have seen at Tunnel Barn and elsewhere.
He broke the Hodnet canal match record with 47 lbs of chub in 2018, won his section of the 2018 winter league final and was part of the bronze medal winning team in the Division One national in 2017. A recent open victory on the Trent & Mersey Canal with 21lb 9oz of roach shows consistency but all of this would not be enough for there are dozens of anglers with similar records.
Simon's been the leading technical coach on our Let's Fish campaign, inspiring dozens of other coaches to improve and develop their canal fishing coaching skills. The term mottification may yet enter the wider vocabulary. It sounds like mortification, which might describe his partner Mandy's thoughts when 1,000 whips were deposited by the author on her dining room floor at 6.00pm on Christmas Eve, 2017.
Volunteering to elasticate that lot ahead of the 2018 Let's Fish campaign shows a serious amount of commitment to the future of canal fishing. It's mostly for that reason that I have made Simon my twelfth pick. Asked what inspired him to make the effort, Simon responded ‘I don't want to get to Roundy's age and then have nobody else left to compete against'.