Marathon fishing trip raises charity funds

Les Lozone and Dennis Wickens have raised �10,000 for charity by doing 24 hour fishing trips. Pictured with Dennie's mum, Justine, Terry and Dennis Wickens
Picture by Cheryl Bryant-Owens

Les Lozone and Dennis Wickens have raised �10,000 for charity by doing 24 hour fishing trips. Pictured with Dennie's mum, Justine, Terry and Dennis Wickens Picture by Cheryl Bryant-Owens

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Two Crawley fisherman have raised £10,000 for three charities by casting their rods non-stop for 24 hours.

Leslie Lozone of Broadfield and Dennis Wickens of Pound Hill have raised money for the Heart Foundation, Guide Dogs UK and most recently Cancer Research UK and MS Society.

The pair, who have known each other for 28 years, raised £820 in their latest fundraiser by fishing without a break at Hunters Lodge Fishery, in Copthorne.

They decided to pick those specific charities because Mr Wickens’s mum has had cancer while his brother, Doug’s wife died from multiple sclerosis last year.

The latest fishing marathon saw the friends catch over 200lb of carp.

Mr Wickens, 65, said: “The 24-hour fish went fine but it was really cold in the morning at 3am but we managed to do it.

“We had a laugh. We do a lot of fishing together and we were taking the micky out of each other. I have never made him as many cups of tea in my life.

“We have done it before, two 24 hour ones and one 48 hour one but when we go fishing we always have a laugh.

“We have a little competition, whoever catches the first fish buys the first drink. I found out he was putting no bait on his hook a while back so I sussed him out in the end.

“His wife even told me and said ‘you do realise Les has not got any bait on his hook so I was always catching the first fish and buying the drinks first’.”

The pair presented a cheque of £410 each to the MS Society anbd Cancer Research UK.

Mr Wickens, who is a lorry driver, explained that he wanted to do something for his 95-year-old mum and his brother, Doug.

He said: “She was all for it and was backing me as mothers do.

“She came down to see us and will be 96 a week today so it’s great. We always have a laugh.

“(Doug) was ok. He came down to and tried to help me but couldn’t. He is not a fisherman but he was ok.

“He came up to the club on Friday with my mum and they met the two guys from MS so it was fine. He will probably never get over it as he lost his wife.”

Mr Lozone, 75, was glad he could raise the money that will go towards helping other cancer and MS sufferers.

The retired lorry driver said: “It is a natural thing. If you can do something for somebody you should do it.

“As we are all friends it was a great thing and a lot of people helped us.

“I do not think I would do it again as I will be 76 next year and I found it very hard.

“He (Dennis) was quite upset that his mum had got it. I have known him for a long time so I said to him ‘let’s do something for them’ and he was all up for it.

“We discussed it and other people thought about what they could do and were asking if they could help. Dennis’s son, Paul, came down with his wife and son and they came down and brought fish and chips.

“I am glad I done it and that it has helped somebody.”