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Clay pigeon shooting champion found dead

Clay pigeon shooting champion found dead.
John (61) a massively popular shooter both here and abroad was found at his home in Stapleford, near Warminster, Wiltshire.

His death has stunned and shocked shooters worldwide.

A.J had recently split from his second wife Tina who he met through a mutual love of shooting and friends say he had been feeling down about the marriage break up.

He was also due to appear in court on charges of alleged drink driving.

This former Hampshire farmer dominated the competitive world of FITASC Sporting during the 1970s and 80s with a plethora of titles that included two World and three European crowns ? an unprecedented record at the time.

In addition to his individual successes John was a regular member of the medal-winning Gt. Britain team.

He earned the nickname ?Smoker? for the way he broke clays during his days as a successful international trap shooter before making a seamless switch to Sporting.

His fiercely competitive streak coupled to an easy, natural and instinctive shooting style was ideally suited to the demands of FITASC but he was never able to dominate English Sporting in the same way.

?I simply lose concentration shooting five pairs of the same targets from one stand,? he once told Sporting Gun.

Three-time World FITASC Champion John Bidwell said A.J?s death was ?incomprehensible.?

The two travelled the world together, often as members of the British team.

?We had great fun, shared all sorts of adventures and enjoyed tremendous successes. His death is senseless, a complete waste,? said Biddy.

A.J?s achievements set a benchmark for others to emulate, one being George Digweed, who has since amassed an unbelievable tally of seven FITASC World titles and 12 Europeans.

?A.J. was old school, as fierce as they come on the field, someone who never gave an inch but who was a good mate off it once the competition had finished. He hadn?t shot much over the past few years but the fact so many people still remember his past results says everything about the respect he?s held in, and the class of shooter that he was,? said George.