A CANCER survivor who defied the odds by winning a memorial match set up ten years ago when he was thought to be dying, has just fished the TENTH anniversary event. And he just been given the all-clear.

Plucky Sam Howson (pictured above) was operated on a decade ago for stomach cancer and given little chance of survival. He credits his love of fishing with helping him through this and many other ailments.

The 75-year-old former bricklayer, van driver and cabbie explained: “I have actually had a lot of medical problems over the years starting with a stroke 25 years ago, a triple heart by-pass seven years later, then the stomach cancer. And four years ago I fractured my spine.

“We all thought I was dying from the cancer so my lads decided that they would arrange a fishing match in my memory and actually went out and bought the trophy for it.

“When I didn’t die as quickly as expected they decided to go ahead and hold the match anyway and I actually won the thing.

“I bet not many people have actually taken part in their own memorial, never mind winning the event.”

Keen fisher in crew called ‘The Old Farts’

“We decided to carry on holding it each year and finally after ten years the hospital has discharged me as cancer free.

“I’ve been coming to Whitmore since it first opened nearly 20 years ago, and love fishing there.

“I try to make light of my ailments but its the fishing that keeps me going,” he added.

Battler Sam’s still fishing a lot – and catching plenty too.

Ricky Moore, owner of Lancashire’s Whitmore Fisheries, near Preston, said: “Sam is as keen as mustard on his fishing and he comes here two or three times a week in summer with a group of other old boys who are collectively known as ‘The Old Farts’.

“Sam loves telling jokes and has a very jovial, positive outlook on life.

“He has a caravan at Great Eccleston a few miles from the fishery and the group come down as regular as clockwork while he is staying there every summer.

“He doesn’t fish in winter as he feels the cold, but he still calls in now and again for a cup of tea and a chat when he pops down to check on the caravan,” he concluded.

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