100 years of angling great Dick Walker

Bob Church - MBE

Bob Church
Bob kindly provided this photo of him with a Ferox of 17 lbs 2 ozs. A completely wild fish returned alive from Lough Corrib in the West of Ireland, and added that Dick would have loved fishing for such fish.

In the Queen’s birthday honours list June 2015 Robert John Church was awarded the MBE for Services To Fishing.

Congratulations to Bob! It has taken a little time to get in touch with him, but we did want to have his reactions to the great honour of receiving his MBE. Bob said that he was a bit shocked at first, but later having thought about it and recalled all the things he had done over the many years, he agreed that perhaps he did deserve it.

We spoke also to Bob’s wife Jeanette, and she told us that Bob had worked to promote fishing and he helped many people to “enjoy this lovely sport”, in which they have both taken part.  It was Bob’s exciting writing and his enthusiasm that encouraged others, including ladies and young girls and boys to take to the sport.

Jeanette spoke of Bob’s family moving to the countryside when he was five, which started his lifelong interest in fishing.

It was in 1963 that Bob started to write articles for the angling press, writing for his local paper for 15 years.  Then from 1972 he wrote for the Angling Times, and that continued for 28 years.

Fishing for England eleven times resulted in gold, silver and bronze medals, and Jeanette thinks that he is the only man to have done this at world level.

The Angling Times readers voted Bob Millennium Angler of the year in 2000.

Bob has nearly finished his 18th book, on top of setting up a manufacturing and distributions company, from which he has now retired.  He invented many flies, reels, lines – Jeanette says far too many to list!

Bob has raised thousands of pounds for many charities through arranging angling matches, and giving talks, including Parkinson's UK.  It was only in the last few years that Bob has allowed people to know that he has this illness. 

On the day that we spoke to Jeanette, that despite Parkinsons, and being blind in one eye, it was good to know that Bob was fishing at Arnold’s Fishery, together with his friend Mike Green.

Bob asked that we mention Dick and all the help he gave to Bob - saying he learned so much from him:

"Dick was much admired by ALL anglers. His weekly column in Angling Times came as a real learning curve and I personally learnt so much from him.

Some of the tackle we use today was the brain child of Dick. Forgetting all his successes, he is best known for his record 44 lb common carp.

He began the trend of carp fishing we have today. Carp is the most sort after fish. The weights may have changed getting better but Dick catching that 44 lbs carp was the original seed set."

We know Dick would be absolutely chuffed to bits that Bob has received this honour, as are we and the many, many anglers and people who are better off in one way or another from Bob's contribution to angling and beyond.


Bob Church
Bob with a fine brownie at 2 1/2 lbs from The Ivel Valley Trout Fishery.
"Probably the best marked fish I have ever caught


    Copyright dickwalker.co.uk 2015