Well, where to start?
A bit of history first I think, for those of you that haven't heard of the Osprey Specimen Group, or of Simon King.
A dozen or so years ago RMC Angling (that later became Cemex Angling), and managed at the time by Ian Welch, was encouraged to start a specimen group by long time member Bob Hornegold.
With applicants being asked for, some of the more committed specialist anglers got their names down to form the nucleus of what became the RMC Specimen Group.
It lasted for a few seasons before the RMC management decided in their wisdom that the group was doing nothing beneficial for the company, and Ian then had the unpleasant duty of pulling the plug on the now thriving group.
This situation left a small band of us feeling that there was still more to be had from being part of the group, and with many meetings, and plenty of phone calls, a new stand alone group was formed in 2003... the Osprey Specimen Group had arrived.
Needing someone to make the general decisions regarding group matters Bob and myself took up the reins as Chairman and Secretary to form the group's initial committee. As years passed and we became more organised Simon King took on the role of records officer, with Daryl Close becoming the groups treasurer.
Now we come back to present day, or back to the end of 2012 to be more precise, and a few members had already started putting forward the idea of possibly doing a book to celebrate Osprey's tenth year in 2013.
Simon took on this challenge and began collating articles from past and present members, but as his untimely illness took hold the book was pushed into the background.
He sadly passed away in August 2013 after a short battle with cancer.
It didn't take long for the members to decide that the book should now be completed, and that it should be dedicated to Simon. It was also decided to change the original remit and include friends and acquaintances of Simon, which would give the book a much wider appeal.
And boy, did those friends rise to the call! Just look at these 'names'.
Tony Gibson starts us off with a story about his campaign for a record bream at venues such as Fen Drayton, Lodge Lake and Ferry Lagoon, with some huge slabs gracing the pages, but it all ends in disaster…?
Then Chris Ball takes us on a pilgrimage to the fabled waters of Beechmere. Invited by a friend for a couple of days carping Chris ends up battling the elements, as well as some of the local residents.
Now have you heard of Boris and Betty? They're record perch catcher Neill Stephens reason for us anglers not catching our targets, and why monsters get caught by first time visitors to new venues? He reckons it all came to him in a dream…!
Chris Turnbull on the other hand gives us an insight into his pursuit of a 3lb+ roach from a local carp water, but it seems all he can attract is plenty of small snotty bream.
And what about Jerry Hammond and his quest for the big 'un, with a 100 mile drive up to Norfolk where it seems the carp is only being caught by his mates!
With Martin Bowler recounting his Angling Times article about barbel fishing on the Lea, when he was ably assisted by none other than our Simon, you start to see how many 'stars' came together to contribute to this publication… and I've not even mentioned Chris Yates, Bob Buteux, Gary Newman, Len Arbery, Mark Walsingham, Mark Salt, Graham Elliott...
And of course in between these notable anglers there are plenty of chapters from existing Osprey members, who themselves have great stories to tell about their angling endeavours, and you even get a bit by yours truly… but don't let that put you off!
With over 14 species covered, beautiful illustrations by Chris Turnbull, and fishermen young and old giving you their mad, happy, strange, and sad memories in 40 chapters, this book really does have something for everyone.
And perhaps best of all, the profits from the sale of the book are going straight to Cancer Research UK, to help in the fight against this awful disease.
Published by Calm Productions, the book retails at £25. You can order your copy at www.calmproductions.com/acatalog/ospreysg.html