Si­mon’s marathon match for wor­thy cause

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

SQUASH is well known for the pre­mium it places on fit­ness – with an hour’s play burn­ing off any­where be­tween 600 and 1,000 calo­ries.

Quite enough in one go for most of us mere mor­tal play­ers – which makes the re­cent achieve­ment of lo­cal busi­ness­man Si­mon Fisher all the more re­mark­able.

For Si­mon, 33, a di­rec­tor at Mac­cles­field com­pany Elec­tr0serv, has re­cently bro­ken the Guin­ness World Record for most con­sec­u­tive squash sin­gles matches against mul­ti­ple op­po­nents.

This ex­tra­or­di­nary feat has al­ready raised a sum ap­proach­ing £2,000 - dou­ble Si­mon’s orig­i­nal tar­get – for the Mo­tor Neu­rone Dis­ease As­so­ci­a­tion (MNDA), fol­low­ing his loss of fa­ther-in-law Alan Brown to the dis­ease in 2012.

And if that were not enough, he took on his 102 co-par­tic­i­pants in best-of-five con­tests over 25 hours while suf­fer­ing from a flu bug – as well as sus­tain­ing mul­ti­ple blis­ters and what later turned out to be a bro­ken an­kle!

Si­mon, who plays squash both at Mac­cles­field Leisure Cen­tre and near his home in Stock­ton Brook, hit upon the idea just be­fore Christ­mas of at­tempt­ing the record for char­ity.

And with Prest­bury Squash Club booked as the event’s venue for April 9 and 10, the hard work be­gan as soon as 2016 was upon him.

“Af­ter new year’s eve I cut out al­co­hol, went on a re­ally strict diet and be­gan train­ing every day,” ex­plained Si­mon.

“I con­tacted every player I knew about help­ing me in the at­tempt – and gave free lessons to others who had not played be­fore, so they would be pro­fi­cient enough to join in too.”

With the ex­ist­ing record stand­ing at 100 op­po­nents, Si­mon also ap­proached re­gional leagues about pro­vid­ing op­po­si­tion. And the re­sponse to his call was mag­nif­i­cent, as play­ers turned up not only from clubs around Mac­cles­field, Stock­port and Manch­ester – but also from as far afield as Derby, Black­pool and Birm­ing­ham.

Sup­ported by a back­room team of wife Zoe, best friends Rich and Jen Martin, Greg Cas­sidy and An­drew Thomp­son, as well as phys­io­ther­a­pist Nick Pearce, Si­mon did not feel in the best of health from the out­set when he took to the court.

“I had been poorly with a virus overnight,” he ex­plained.

“And it was touch and go whether I would start at all.

“My throat had closed up, so I couldn’t swal­low the food we had pre­pared – ex­cept for corned beef which was soft enough to get down.”

Si­mon’s plight went from bad to worse around the four-mark when he turned on an an­kle – and then had to play for another three hours be­fore earn­ing enough break-time un­der Guin­ness rules to re­ceive treat­ment from his physio.

“Nick strapped the an­kle up,” said Si­mon. “Although we dis­cov­ered af­ter­wards that it was bro­ken.

“I also had nine blis­ters on my hand, with a ban­dage to cover them all.”

Af­ter play­ing through the night, an ex­hausted but ec­static Si­mon broke the record just be­fore 10am on the Sun­day.

“I would have had no chance of achiev­ing this with­out my fam­ily and friends who kept the play­ing rota, of­fi­cial pa­per­work and ev­ery­thing else or­gan­ised over the week­end,” he said.

“And I must also thank Bader Khan who coached me in the lead-up to the event.”

Do­na­tions in aid of the MNDA may be given through Si­mon’s just­giv­ing page: www. just­giv­ing.com/si­mon­fisher5.

MAC­CLES­FIELD:

15 Mayor, 14 Fowles, 13 Bri­er­ley, 12 O’Re­gan, 11 King, 10 Ea­ton, 9 Brookes (c) 1 Man­tell, 2 Mil­lea, 3 Kent, 4 Marwick, 5 Lewis, 6 Barker, 7 Thorp, 8 Parkin­son 16 Moss, 17 Gadd, 18 Robin­son, 19 Palmer, 20 Lo­max

2 Thorp, 22 O’Re­gan, 34 60 King, 50 Brookes, 72 Mayor, 80 Ea­ton

2, 22, 50, 80 Ea­ton

TRIES: CON: STOUR­BRIDGE:

15 Bridger, 14 Elvers, 13 Heat­ley, 12 Otu­taha, 11 Trin­ham, 10 Scott, 9 Petty 1 Thorp, 2 Wilkes, 3 Ge­orge, 4 Dep­per, 5 Roddy, 6 Mukarati, 7 Hard­ing, 8 Rod­ley 16 Webb, 17 Davis-Moore, 18 Sturdey, 19 Mur­phy, 20 Ni­cholls 42, 54 Otu­taha, 70 Elvers 42, 54 Scott Jamie Leahy 417 Paul Mil­lea

TRIES: CON: REF­EREE: AT­TEN­DANCE: STAR MAN:

●● Si­mon Fisher with coach Bader Khan

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