Jack Wattley the "discus Pope" left us


It is a with a sadness feeling that we have learned the death of the one we called "the Pope of the discus": Our friend Jack Wattley.

I would not have enough words to describe what this man could represent for me, adolescent. I have discovered the discus through the words of the French Jean Claude Nourissat… I adulated it with those of Jack Wattley.

As young aquarist, I discovered through his book " Discus for perfectionists "A world which I did not suspect". I also wanted to immerse me with them, become a breeder and be next this mythical animal forever.


A source of inspiration…

Jack Wattley Duisburg 2010

Jack Wattley submitted in public a questions and answers game during the world discus championship 2010

This breeder has marked generations of enthusiasts. However, I regularly noticed that the younger generations did not knew him.

May this tribute stimulate them to know more about him and his life…

For it was of those who have left their mark on the & rsquo; history & rsquo; breeding discus. Became in the a few years an immeasurable star. His notoriety; he had acquired it thanks to his fantastic turquoise discus. He also popularized the artificial breeding method for fry developed in the United States. Participated in numerous events dedicated to discus. Judged in prestigious contests… His contribution to the king of fish and the hobby was just huge.

This man inspired me a deep respect. He had such an aura, a simplicity and remarkable humility.

He simply was the one of the pioneers of discus breeding, not being satisfied only with improving what nature could offer. But well and truly to create something new, through selective breeding. And at a certain scale…


An unforgettable meeting with the discus Pope…

Dédicace de Jack Wattley

Dedication of Jack Wattley

Following since long time all informations relating to discus; I discovered during a stay in the UK the famous section "Ask Jack" (Asks Jack in French) which appeared in magazines.

I rushed for at all newsagents searching literature that were unknown to me. It is also in part thanks to such publications I developed my taste for the English language. (At a modest level, however,)

Until the day I received confirmation of his coming in Europe and his participation during the Duisburg World Championship in Germany. I took my book that I had read and reread, analyzed and dissected; to meet him and get a dedication.

Magic moment for me, to be able to share and exchange with my idol. He offered to sit us. He discovered somewhat amused his book saying: " Well, show me; I did not knew that it was translated into French, show me what it looks like… "

Just unreal for me… I still remember how people looked at him… and what I heard behind me: "This is Wattley? Hey… look it's Jack Wattley at the table "

Jack Wattley et Yann Hoiret

An unforgettable moment at the side of discus Pope…

Stories like this one… you will hear hundreds… people called him the Pope of discus, a true model of humility.

I still think back to laughter we had some time ago with my friend Andrea Sassi:

– « Wattley? Did you saw how it is incredible! he do not appear to age! "

-"You're right we always knew him been like that, it's incredible "

Believing he was immortal… He is finally for us…

I would always remember those precious moments life offers. And would stain to make honor with my peers.

I take this note to invite you to read the article de mon ami Matthew Paolieri . You will discover his history and fantastic unpublished photos of "Wattley turquoises".

He talks about his career and his meeting with the discus Pope… An article I advise you to read…


Tribute to Jack Wattley


About Author

Discus Breeder and Discus columnist, Yann Hoiret share on the website Fanatik-Discus his experience and passion for the King of aquariums. From 2014 He worked as a writer for the french magazine "AquaMag", the German magazines "Discus Live" and "Discus yearbook". He participated as an international judge in France Discus show 2014 and 2016 in Arvert, au Greek Discus Show 2014 in Athens, Discus Show in Paris Grigny 2015, 2017 and 2019, au FIDO concurso 2016, 2017 and 2018 Spain, au Nordic Discus Show 2018 Sweden, au France Discus Show 2018 Cognac, Discusvrienden the discus competition 2018, 2019, 2022 in the Netherlands.


  1. Gary Walker on

    Hello Yann! Great article; well said!!!
    My sentiments are the same on Jack. I consider myself very fourtunate to have been in his company at the NADS Workshops as many times as I did!
    Also, I notice the smile on your face as jack was singing your book! That reminded me of the first time I met him at the second NADS Workshop in 1984 in Tampa Fl, I was very excited but also a bit nervous fearing I might possibly say something wrong being I had just been keeping discus a year!
    Didn’t want to make a fool of myself. I didn’t and it was smooth sailing ahead!
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experiences!!

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