Simon with a 32lb Mirror Carp he caught in Hertfordshire.
My older brother Simon King died yesterday. Simon was 52 and had been suffering from lung cancer. In the end it took him very quickly and he was in no pain, which we have to be thankful for.
Simon was well known and much admired in two separate fields – coarse fishing and reptile keeping. Simon was by all acounts an exceptional angler, and a member of the Osprey Specimen Group.
In January this year he was on the front page of Anglers website Fishing Magic and in Anglers Mail when he landed a massive 8lb 14oz Chub.
Simon was also well known for his expertise in exotic pets, especially reptiles. Simon had been keeping snakes as a hobby for many years, and gradually became an expert in them, including breeding snakes. Simon had his own exotic pet shop in Palmers in Parkway Camden in for nearly 10 years. When Palmers closed he opened his own shop Kings Aquatic and Reptile World in Mornington Crescent (a joke not lost on him as a keen fan of I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue). His shop became a popular place for people interested in exotic pets to congregate and it was also used frequently for filming.
Before Simon entered the world of exotic pets he was an accomplished bass player in a number of bands some of which nearly broke through – the last one being The Keatons. I think after the Keatons he got disillusioned with the life on the road and decided to concentrate on Reptiles and Fishing.
Simon was a very talented sports player at school and also excelled in music, playing cornet and piano.
Naturally siblings have rivalries, but I admired Simon greatly for his independent spirit and his total refusal to compromise or adopt an orthodox life. When he was interested in something he did it exceptionally well and gave it all his considerable focus and intellect.
I am going to set up a facebook memorial page for Simon so anyone who knew him can post memories, anecdotes, photos or anything else on there.