English matchfishing has a long history of stars, legends and achievers at the highest level and next month in Portugal, four of the biggest and best will line up for the Veterans World Championships with team boss Dick Clegg already sniffing gold.
Making its debut on the international calendar on July 12 and 13, the over-60’s event will see England battling on the River Tamega against old foes, including France, Belgium and Italy. But England’s International Events Director Dick has selected a team that he is confident can produce the goods despite their advancing years.
Current Drennan Team England co-manager Mark Addy is first on the teamsheet, bringing a wealth of experience from his current role, along with Denis White, still actively fishing with Maver Barnsley and one of England’s most consistent performers in his time.
The gentleman of angling Ken Giles is next, a former star of the mighty Cofton Hackett and Shakespeare teams. Kenny is still winning opens with alarming regularity.
And last but by no means least is jovial Londoner Dickie Carr who completes the line up, again another angler still mixing it regularly at the top level.
“The level of opposition will be very strong, especially from the Italians, but our prospects are very, very good,” said Dick.
“The team that has been picked is still active and competing at the top level, but I really do think we have excellent chance of victory with such immense experience,” he added.
For some anglers the match will represent a step back into the international fold after up to three decades away.
Dickie Carr, who last fished for England in Holland in 1983, is relishing the prospect of Portugal.
“It’s exciting to be fishing for England again,” Dickie Carr added. “When I last fished internationally back in the 80’s I could never have imagined being back again. I’m told it’s fishing up in the water for carp and barbel and I hope so because that’s what I’ve been doing recently and doing well!”
What’s their pedigree like? England’s golden oldies have 18 caps at world level amongst them. Here’s the roll of honour…
1979 - Spain
1984 - Switzerland
1985 - Italy
1986 - France
1987 - Portugal
1989 - Bulgaria
1990 - Yugoslavia
1991 - Hungary
1992 – Northern Ireland
1993 - Portugal
1994 - England
1995 - Finland
1996 - Italy
1977 - Luxembourg
1983 - Holland
1973 - France
1974 - Belgium
1976 - Bulgaria
1995 - Finland
1997 - Hungary