Way back in 1991, long before the days of telephone or internet polls, the BBC Sports Personality of the year was selected by a postal vote. Anyone could write in nominating the man or woman of their choice. How reliable this process was we don’t know and have to rely on trust! You really have to wonder whether track and field athletes with most the wins (18) in the past 66 years have really captured our hearts more often than say footballers (5) or jockeys, snooker players or rugby players (1 apiece).
During the early 1990’s Bob Nudd was an international angling superstar. He had just won the World Freshwater Angling Championships for the second time and would eventually go on to win it four times. In recognition of this achievement the Angling Times, a newspaper with a bigger readership than the Daily Telegraph at the time, organised a write-in campaign helpfully providing a form for readers to complete and mail to the BBC. It worked. Bob garnered over 100,000 votes, winning the award by a country mile.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. For reasons unknown except to the BBC apparatchiks, Bob was disqualified by virtue of his votes being sent in on a form. For the record the award went to the decent, but hardly stellar middle-distance runner Liz McColgan, with rugby’s Will Carling second and soccer player Garry Lineker third.
Hopefully better things are in store for England’s Howard Croston (pictured right) who last week w/c 9th December 2019 became the 39th World Fly Fishing Champion. Contested this year in Tasmania. Huge congratulations to both Howard, for his individual success, and the England team who came in eighth.
It is slightly ironical that neither the brown nor rainbow trout caught in the competition are indigenous to Australasia. Brown trout were first introduced to the continent on 4 May 1864, when 2,700 live brown trout ova, which had been packed in ice since leaving England, were hatched into the Plenty river near Hobart, Tasmania. If I am correct the eggs were reared on the River Itchen at Brambridge, a few miles downstream of Winchester, at the place now known as Qing Ya Xi.
A true case of fishing coming home.