LIKELY LADS: 125lb of Bar­bel

Angling Times (UK) - - 50 GREATEST CATCHES -

40

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.

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