Simon’s marathon match for worthy cause
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.
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