John Wilson says goodbye.

One of angling’s most prominent celebrities – John Wilson, has announced a farewell lunch, before retiring to Thailand.

Over the last 20 years, John has become one angling’s most recognisable faces, starring in the famous ‘Go Fishing’ series, and regularly featuring in the angling print press. He has also received an OBE for his services to angling.

John announced his retirement to Thailand earlier this year – but is hosting a farewell lunch and book signing prior to leaving.

His book ‘One Man’s Passion For Carp’ charts the life of Norman Symonds, one of the UK’s first commercial carp breeders.

Wilson explained: “This is a story about one of carp fishing’s greatest unsung heroes, Norman Symonds, who through his business acumen purposely acquired lakes and big fish with the intention of starting a fish farm to produce quality carp for his anglers.

“As his interest in carp and their culture grew, Norman brought his son, Martin, into the business. This is a true and frank account of how a timber merchant came to be one of the largest providers of big fish for leisure angling in the country, almost by accident. He opened up a whole new concept for anglers wishing to catch beautiful big fish, not from private lakes but day ticket and syndicate fisheries open to all. Small wonder that today there are more magazines, more books, baits, tackle and sundries available to those who seek carp than any other freshwater species.

“In 50 years, starting with Dick Walker catching a 44lb (then) monster carp from Redmire pool at a time when roach were Britain’s most common and popular species, the freshwater scene has completely turned around, with carp now by far the most common and popular species. My good friend, Norman Symonds, has been responsible, perhaps more than anyone else, for making that happen.”

Norman Symonds will also be attending the signing, which is taking place at the Lands End pub in Twyford, near Reading on Saturday, September 14th. The doors open at 12 noon.

Postcode of pub: RG10 0UE