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Ivan Marks the finest match angler of his generation claiming more big wins during the 1970's and 1980's than any other angler. When he died in December 2004 the angling world lost not just a great angler but also one of the sport's great characters. This is a compilation of Ivan's best stories that cover his big match wins, what it was like to fish for England, the success of the Leicester Likely Lads and how he plundered Ireland and Denmark during the glory years. There are also chapters on the tackle, bait and tactics he used to become the most famous angler in the country.
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Ivan Alec Marks was born in Leicester on April 13th, 1936. The angling bug bit early in his life and by the age of 12 he was taking part in local club matches, but soon found himself facing a ban - not because of any wrong-doing but because he was just too good. The seniors simply couldn't face taking a bashing from a schoolboy. In 1954 he joined the area's foremost match team of the time - the Black Horse Pub Angling Club - where its captain, Eddie Allen, recognised the burgeoning talent and taught Ivan the intricacies of bream fishing. It was to shape his life. Having completed National Service, Ivan joined the open match circuit and soon established himself as one of the most potent names on the scene. Leicester became a hotbed for angling talent and Ivan, along with Roy Marlow - who Ivan was to run a tackle shop with for many years - Dave Rossi, Brian Envis, Dave Downes and Howard Humphrey, Leicester AS became known as the 'Likely Lads', a nickname that was to follow the team throughout the 1970s. Big honours - both at team and individual level - soon followed. Individually, he won the Nene Championships in 1967, also taking claiming top spot in the Great Ouse Championships in 1970, 1972 and 1973. He also grabbed first place in the Welland Champs, both in 1970 and 1972. These, remember, were huge contests, some upwards of 1,300 pegs, and his consistency was unprecedented. Ever the team man, he was the cornerstone of winning Likely Lad sides in the 1971 and 1974 National Championships. His growing profile in a booming sport made him angling's first real superstar. He wrote his first column for Angling Times in 1972 and for the next eight years he was a regular in a newspaper selling 170,000 copies a week. Voted 'Angler of the Year' three times in succession, he became the most famous fisherman in the country and regularly drew crowds in excess of 200 wherever he fished. England, inevitably, beckoned. Ivan's first cap came in 1972 when, under the leadership of Stan Smith, he fished for his country in Czechoslovakia. Eleven caps followed, but despite individual silver in 1976 and six team medals, he never got his hands on one coloured gold. It was to be his greatest regret in fishing. By the early 1980s, the Likely Lads had disbanded and Ivan had joined the Barnsley Blacks, a team that was to dominate the scene in much the same way Leicester had done in the previous decade. His international career though came to a close, the appointment of Dick Clegg and a new era spelling the end for Ivan. Despite continuing to fish to a high level, ill-health was to beset much of his later life. He only started smoking at the age of 35, but became addicted, often smoking upwards of 40 during a five-hour contest. At 51 he suffered a heart-attack before, in 1993, undergoing a heart transplant. Despite slipping somewhat from public eye, his popularity remained undimmed and, in 2005, he was voted third in an Angling Times poll to find the UK's greatest ever anglers. Ivan still fished every week up until his death, helping out with Leicester Sensas, and his enthusiasm was as keen as ever. He died, after a short illness, on December 5th, 2004, leaving a wife, Linda, and son, Chris. He was 68. Tributes were plentiful. The great and good of his own - and the current - era of match fishing were in attendance to say their goodbyes and even today a memorial match in his name takes place every year. A monument on the banks of the River Welland was also erected, inscribed with the one quote that symbolises the great Ivan Marks. It reads: "At the end of the day, I was just an ordinary bloke who could fish a bit."Review:
"This gem of a book takes you back to a golden age of fishing...treat yourself to an early Christmas present and buy it," David Hall, chairman DHP. "Ivan Marks: The People's Champion should be on the wish-list for every match angler - or anyone that just loves reading about fishing," Keith Arthur, star of Tight Lines "No-one needs convincing that Ivan Marks was a brilliant angler - now, at last, we have a book that does his brilliance proud. This is set to be an angling classic," Mark Sawyer, Angling Times tackle editor "If you know an angler of a certain age, buy them this book for Christmas. It's the perfect reminder of just how special Ivan was. It's the best fishing book of this, or any other, year," Tommy Pickering, former World Champion
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Book Description M Press (Media) Ltd, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0956701590