Fatha’s Day as Denis celebrates his 70th

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England Feeder Team Manager and former world champion Tommy Pickering paid tribute this week to the man who has been the biggest influence on his angling career,

Denis White, known universally as ‘Fatha’ and has reached the grand old age of 70, not that you’d know it. Fatha is as sprightly as ever and still winning matches on the open match circuit.

Denis and Tom first met 46 years ago on a South Kirby club match. Denis won it and Tom was second.

“He must have seen something in me and asked me to go fishing with him. From then on we travelled Europe with England and the Barnsley Blacks producing memories we could only have dreamed about at the start.’

“He started the Barnsley Blacks and was involved in the introduction of feeder and quivertip fishing. He was ruthless, never gave in, fought to the death. He drove all this into me and that’s the way I am today. I now pass on his knowledge to other people.

“A few years ago, when the Ryder Cup (golf) was on, I was asked, ‘Who would be your partner Tom?’

“Easy, I said, Denis White. Nobody would beat us. Denis would drive them into the ground on his own while I watched!’

“But Denis is a fisherman. While I don’t like pleasure fishing he would fish seven days a week, 24 hours a day, whether it’s match, pleasure or even salmon fishing, he just loves fishing. We went to Southfield last Wednesday for a practice. I was only going for an hour to wet my lines, so as I was driving off the bank at 3pm, he was still sat there trying to get better! Was I surprised? Not a bit.

“For me, he’s the best all round angler there has ever been.

“A lot of people owe him for what he’s done for them, including me, so Fatha, have a great birthday pal.”