ONE of Britain’s best loved and also most successful club bailiffs, Del Smith, sadly passed away just before Christmas.

Del Smith, who caught three British records at his beloved Horton Church Lake in Berkshire, lost a battling fight against cancer.

Also affectionately known as Delboy, Del worked under the now defunct RMC/CEMEX Angling before RK Leisure took over many of their waters.

Daughter Melanie Hill told Angler’s Mail: “It is with sadness to announce that my father Del, lost his fight to cancer.

“He was a true scholar of carp fishing and appeared on the front cover of the Angler’s Mail in 1979 and I don’t know how many more times he appeared in various additions.

“He held three British records and was well respected by his colleagues and friends at RK Leisure and Horton Church Lake.

“Del started fishing at the age of 15 when his uncle took him fishing and he only stopped fishing when he started the fight against cancer.

“He passed away quietly in his sleep, wearing his ‘Hookers’ t-shirt, a true fisherman until the end!

“Del will be sadly missed by his family, friends and colleagues. Horton Church lake will not be the same without him,” added Melanie.

Memories of Del Smith

Former RMC Angling boss and close pal Ian Welch said: “I first met Del when I joined what was then Leisure Sport Angling back in the late 1980s during the draining of the infamous Fox Pool fishery and the transfer of those famous old carp to their new home in Horton.

“Del was then one of LSA’s ‘Projects Team’, a rag tag band of ne’er do wells and volunteers who undertook the netting and fish transfer operations in the days before we became a professional outfit!

“A true all-rounder who was equally at home trotting for the barbel on Fishers Green as he was stalking big carp – one nickname was Stalker Del – we soon became firm friends and I was quick to make him my right hand man running firstly the Horton Fishery, and then overseeing the whole Kingsmead complex, where he was later to make his home.

“A quiet, unassuming man with a marvellous sense of humour, Del was one of the few anglers who truly understood what made fish tick and he was always happy to impart his knowledge to others.

“We shared many ‘interesting’ fish adventures together and put the angling world to rights over many a bottle of port. Like everyone who had him as part of their life, angling or otherwise, I shall miss him,” concluded Ian.

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