WHAT DO POINTS MEAN? NO PRIZES FOR GUESSING
IT’S hard to argue with some of John Essex’s statements about the National Championship (page 24).
The old ‘All-England’ events ended in 1971 when points – and, dare I say it, professionalism – took over. What destroyed it for most anglers was that very professionalism that all sports should enjoy and promote.
Last year, in a bid to boost participation, the Angling Trust polled its members on how to regain the ‘must-have’ factor of Nationals which, in my 20 years’ fishing them, went from being the highlight of the angling year to almost punishment.
Much of that can be laid at the door of the ‘professional’ teams. Essex County, for example, under the brilliant leadership of Denis Salmon, had a rule that every team member had to have a week off work prior to a National to practice. For many anglers – and I include myself in that – it was just too much. Peterborough’s Robin Harris, on his way to winning the last National decided on weight in 1971.