The nation has spoken and the legendary Ivan Marks has been voted as the greatest canal angler of all time.
Officials from the Canal & River Trust launched a campaign in October to find out who was worthy of the accolade, listing 10 potential candidates for the title.
Hundreds of votes have since been cast and the much-loved former England international has now been honoured, with a majority 32 per cent of the votes.
Nobody else came close to stealing the title from ‘The People’s Champion’, with second placed Kevin Ashurst taking 21 per cent of the vote and Billy Lane came third with 10 per cent.
The award comes a week after the tenth anniversary of Ivan’s passing and his widow, Linda, believes the award is a fitting tribute. She said: “Ivan was a big fan of fishing canals and my son Chris and I are extremely moved and happy at hearing this result. We would like to thank everyone for taking the time vote for him.”
Canal & River Trust National Fisheries and Angling Manager John Ellis expected a tight race but admitted that Ivan’s popularity was clear from day one of the voting process. “Having won numerous local, regional and national championships, Ivan played a key part in changing the face of match fishing on canals, including embracing new tackle innovations, styles and techniques.
“The Likely Lad from Leicester was a true inspiration to me and thousands of others and he thoroughly deserved to be the winner of this award.”
Voters were also asked to pick an angler they thought was worthy of praise that hadn’t been named on the initial list of 10, with Billy Makin just pipping the likes of Mark Pollard, Dickie Carr and Dave Berrow.