Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bill Palmer is Pike Angler of the Year

Dimples to Wrinkles author Bill Palmer is Pike Angler of the Year, the PAC said tonight.

Bill's well-earned award was announced at the Annual Members Meeting.

But when club officials tried to contact Bill to let him know, they found he had flown out to Italy to be with his wife Sheila, who had been rushed to hospital for an emergency hip operation.

Bill learned of his award for the first time when he returned to his home in Essex tonight with Sheila, who is now on the mend.

"It's lovely - no, it's a bit of an embarassment," he said. "It's a real bonus, it's an honour. I'm looking forward to coming up to the convention to see everyone."

Bill, 67, had the audience in stitches at last year's event, when he took to the stage to the strains of Victor Meldrew's One Foot in the Grave theme tune.

He soon had them on the edge of their seats with a talk on his Golden Season - the first winter after he retired in which he caught 30 pike over the 20lbs mark.

Bill is one of the PAC's unsung heroes, who clocks up the miles doing talks and slide shows to regions.

Announcing the award at the AMM, PAC secretary Mark Barrett said: "His pike fishing career spans more than my lifetime but he still shows the young 'uns the way home with his catches."

Peter Green was awarded the Angling Development Shield, which has been re-named the President's Shield, in recognition for his unstinting work on behalf of the club.

The late David Overy was posthumously awarded the Colin Dyson Memorial Award, in recognition for all his work on behalf of the pike and pike anglers of his beloved Ireland.