A POPULAR plumber could be crowned the best in the country after making it into the final five of a national competition.

Martin Warnes, 38, of Stour Close, Dovercourt wants to thank all his customers who enabled him to make it this far.

He is in with a chance of winning the Plumber of the Year accolade run by JT, Bristan and Watersafe.

The final stage of the competition will see Martin go to Birmingham on September 4 for an interview.

He will be competing against the other four contestants from Somerset, Yorkshire and Merseyside.

But as voting has now closed, Martin would like to thank everyone for their continuous support.

He said: “I am completely overwhelmed.

“I never would have thought I’d make it to the final five top plumbers in the entire UK.

“I am just so pleased for myself and all the people who work with me, I see this as a group achievement. I couldn’t ask for better staff.

“Also, my wife Kelly, has been a huge support and without her I couldn’t have grown the business as we have.”

Martin started his own plumbing company in 2009 and worked by himself for a couple of years.

Now, he has nine members of staff, and is also installing kitchens and bathrooms.

He said he still cannot believe the incredible news. He said: “It is amazing.

“We live in a small town and to have a nomination in the top five in all off the UK is incredible.

“I’m looking forward to the final next week, and hopeful I’ll be able to secure the top spot and put Tendring firmly on the map.” The competition was launched five years ago to find the nation’s top plumbing talent.

The judging panel, made up of experts from JT, Bristan, Wolseley and Watersafe, will decide the winner next week.

The winner will be receive £15,000 worth of plumbing equipment.

The dad-of-three said without all the votes, he would not be in with a chance of winning.

He said: “This is a huge industry recognition.”