Gone Fishing At McLaren

Gone Fishing At McLaren

Have McLaren always been super-friendly, but mis-interpreted through the press, or is Ron Dennis getting a bit soft in his old age? Either way, the McLaren boss has agreed to give 13 year-old Liam Fairhurst £50 of his hard-earned money for every fish the young lad manages to catch at the team’s lake, arcing around the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. The aim is raise as much money as possible for CLIC Sargent, a charity specialising in children’s cancer, its treatment and the care of the child and family.

The challenge was put to Liam, who after a tour of the McLaren factory in July, met the team chief and explained his fundraising efforts – Liam has raised in excess of £250,000 for charity in the past 20 months, and all this despite fighting his own battle with cancer. Dennnis apparently couldn’t resist Liam’s competitive streak and suggested he try and see what he could get out of his lake. The real challenge is that Liam has never fished before in his life, but he will be able to bring an expert with him. And much like Formula One, Dennis has some rules…

Liam has one hour to catch as many fish as he can. But only he is permitted to handle the rod and only I can count up the number of fish before they are returned to the lake. Having said that, I’ll let him bring an expert angling coach. In return, I have promised Liam £50 for each fish he catches. Ron Dennis.

Liam will be fishing the lake today, but people can still donate via Liam’s CLIC Sargent page – so far £700+ has been donated. Let’s hope Liam can put Ron out of pocket by as much as possible!

If people sponsor me just £1 it will help make a difference. CLIC Sargent has been there for my family throughout my treatment. I want to give something back so that they can help other families like mine. Liam Fairhurst.

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  • Ron gets a ridiculously inaccurate reputation in the press at times. I think most of it comes from the odd way he speaks. He admits to being painfully shy and to hating speaking in public and so goes to great lengths to make sure everything he says is absolutely accurate. Hence Ronspeak. Add that to the polished everything and the press decide he is cold and clinical when nothing could be further from the truth.

    This is the man who recently said that he would rotate his staff next year as it was unfair to his staff for them not to get some time at home. This is the man who bought Lydden Hill Circuit in Kent with a view to building the MTC there with its own test track on the door step like Ferrari. But after he spoke to his staff he found that they didn’t want to move from Woking so he built his new factory in Woking and had to forego the test track. Ron Dennis is not the cold grey man that he is painted.

  • i am happy that Liam will make money for his cause, but it screams of ultra desperation from Ron.

    i dont like ron, and i never will. he is obviously trying to copy Ferrari’s publicity from the charity of the stillborn babies, initiated by Smeadley.

    he retired from his family, and i wish he whould retire from f1 as well.

    i just dont understand people backing him, just cause his British. he has no credibility, look at his past. take the spy-saga. i dont believe him.

    also, the crying? wtf? what a drama queen.

    he is a desparate and needy old man. see him for what he is.


  • i am happy that Liam will make money for his cause

    So am I – the total’s pretty much doubled since this morning.

    Regarding the rest of your comment, I find it a little distasteful simply because this is a story about a kid raising money and using McLaren as a means to do that. Besides, you could pretty much say the exact same things about every other team boss.

    I almost chose not to publish your comment – not because of any allegiance because I don’t really have any – but because I feel that feeling sour about someone wanting to do something good is wrong. We all have our views, but there is a time and a place when it is valid, and when it is not.

    Let’s rejoice in Liam fighting hard and raising lots of money for a worthwhile cause. Go Liam!

    Does anyone know how much Ron is out of pocket? 😀

    Edit: I haven’t read it yet, but I’m 99% certain Steven was writing his comment below as I was commenting – just in case anything crosses over oddly.

  • Will,

    Just to clarify. I am Scottish. Ron being English is not a particular advantage in my view. I am in no way anti-English but I see myself as Scottish and only British as a result of the actions of a couple of dozen self serving individuals 300 years ago.

    Now we have the nonsense out of the way I think you should look at Ron Dennis’s history before you make ridiculous statements like you just have.

    Every team in the history of F1 has taken information from other teams but because Max went after Ron people believe he is the bad guy. Read the transcripts published by the FIA. Not one piece of Ferrari paper was found at McLaren. Not one Ferrari file was found there. At Renault in a ridiculously less thorough investigation they found a stack of McLaren documents and several files with thousands of hits and 28 back up copies. Those are the facts from the FIA’s own investigations. At no point could the FIA find that Ron Dennis had seen any of the Ferrari data or that he knew about it.

    This year McLaren are not allowed to use any info that the FIA believe came from Ferrari. At the same time Renault, Ferrari and others are using J-dampers which were part of the package Renault ‘acquired’ from McLaren. So who is the bad guy? Ron, Flavio, Max?

    Toyota previously had two of their ex-Ferrari personnel jailed in Germany for taking info. Ron is not the bad guy that Max would have you believe. You really need to think about the facts before you decide who is the good guy and who is not.

  • @Steven: I think William is just looking for a flame-war, but I allowed his comment because of the first half of his first sentence and because it highlights just how many people are still living in 2007.

  • William,

    This is the most disgusting statement about Ron that I ever read through internet. What a shame, mate.

    Yes, Ollie, sometimes you can ignore all this crap, but this is a chance to learn and this is why I loved Steven´s answer. Sometimes, even this Trolls have some worth…

  • I’m slightly-more-pleased I allowed that comment now. I was feeling a bit crap about it, but it allows me to see how many great people are around. Go [majority of] F1-blogosphere and its readers! Thanks guys. 🙂

  • I would like to thank Ron and the whole McLarens team for organising such a wonderful day for my son yesterday. Liam loves a challenge and despite having never fished, managed with some expert tuition to catch 25 carp. I take people as I find them and found Ron to be an extremely down to earth and sincere guy. Much of McLarens publicity in relation to this event was done in order to maximise the money Liam raised and it worked because the figure is going up by the hour.

    Liam is going back in to hospital this week for more chemo but I know that his day and challenge at McLarens will keep him smiling SO THANKYOU TO EVERYONE aT MCLARENS AND EVERYONE WHO SPONSORED HIM!!!! xx

  • Liam loves a challenge and despite having never fished, managed with some expert tuition to catch 25 carp.

    Wow, that’s fantastic! I’m pleased Liam had a great day and raised loads of money for such a worthwhile cause. Thanks for updating us, Sarah, and best wishes to Liam.

    From Liam’s CLIC Sargent page (linked to in post body):

    With Ron’s money we are nearly up to £3k which will make a huge difference to families like mine and this now takes my grand fundraising total to just over £278k.

  • What a great event. Ron is a driven individual who loves to win and that, I feel sowers people’s impression of him. But he is a compassionate individual who is always impressed by people’s drive. Liam clearly showed some of that drive to Ron. A kid who has been disadvantaged by life but still wants to win. That sounds like the kind of thing that would ring Ron’s bell to me.

    Very great to see Liam’s mum commenting.

    I will be making a donation.

  • It’s sad news. Liam came over as a really determined fund-raiser in the McLaren carp fishing episode and, to judge from James Allen’s entry about him, it was very much typical of him. The world has lost a great young man and condolences to his family and friends.

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