Dad raises over £100,000 in memory of his daughter through fishing challenge

With the help of his family, friends and local fishing enthusiasts, Colin Cook, 50, has raised over £100,000 in memory of his daughter Ellie.

The Claire House Club Challenge is a fishing contest set up by Colin in 2012. Since then, the Challenge has grown with 2021 seeing over 100 anglers taking part to raise funds for the children’s hospice.

“Claire House were there for our family and we want to make sure they are there to help future families, just like ours. That’s why we’ve continued to do this each year, for Claire House and for Ellie,” said Colin.

Claire House supported Colin and his family when his daughter Ellie was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She passed away in September 2011, aged seven.

Colin, who is from Wallasey, is a keen angler and was originally approached by three local angling clubs who wanted to put on a fishing match to raise funds in memory of Ellie.

“The first year saw around 20 anglers taking part and we raised around £1,000, which we were made up with. Each year the contest has grown bigger and bigger. It’s now an annual event which sees fisheries from across the Wirral and beyond come together for a friendly fishing contest.”

In October 2021, Ellie would have turned 18 years old. To mark this, Colin and his family were determined to reach the £100,000 fundraising total.

“Without the kindness and generosity of local fisheries, their owners, tackle shops and everyone who takes part, we wouldn’t have been able to do to raise such a huge amount of money for such an important cause. I can’t thank them enough.”

The challenge which is now in its 10th year has raised £106,000 and sees around 12 teams of eight anglers compete against each other to take home the Claire House Club Challenge trophy and winnings.

To ensure they reached their target, Colin and his wife Linda also ran online auctions to sell fishing equipment and clothes on eBay.

“There is no other fishing match like it. From donating prizes and their winnings to getting involved in online auctions and coming along to our presentation evenings, everybody gets on board to support us and Claire House,” shares Colin.

Amanda Mitchell, who works at Claire House, said, “Colin’s fishing match has become a really big date in the diary. It’s been fab to see it grow over the years and I always look forward to match day, so I can go around and say thanks to the anglers in person. They should all be really proud of what they’ve achieved!”

The winning team

Main image: Ellie Cook

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