LIKELY LADS: 125lb of Barbel
IN 1971, the last ever All-England national took place on Birmingham AA’s stretches of the River Severn.
With anglers such as Ken Giles and Clive Smith in the Birmingham side, the starstudded local team were hot favourites to win, in what was to become known as ‘The Barbel National’. But everybody was shell-shocked when Birmingham were overturned by the famous Leicester Likely Lads.
Ivan Marks and Roy Marlow helped Leicester to a 124lb 8.5oz total as a record 116 teams took to the banks for the last event to be decided on overall weight.
It was Leicester’s first ever National victory and Roy recalls the event fondly, especially the huge crowds which lined the banks, with 200-plus spectators cheering every fish behind some anglers.
“Although Ivan and I used to visit the Severn regularly, not many of our team did and nobody thought Birmingham could be beaten,” he said.