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International Disabled Anglers Competition - Llandudno Pier 1981

September 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Here’s another entry from Tony Lever’s considerable archives.
Tony describes a Home International Competition for Disabled Anglers in 1981……………………………..

The year 1981 was proclaimed the “International Year of Disabled Persons”.
The UK angling fraternity decided to hold a home international for disabled anglers. Dick Elliott was one of the main organisers and it was held over two days.

The first day, being the boat section, was held at Rhyl. I can’t remember which boats or skippers were involved (Anthony Parry might remember). The second, the shore section, was at Llandudno Pier.
Because our boat was one of the fastest in the area (60 knots flat out) we were asked to support the Rhyl fleet in case any of the competitors needed to be brought back to shore quickly. We also had two of the Angling Times correspondents on board taking photographs; unfortunately, because of this, I hardly used my camera, as we were promised copies of all the photos (they’re probably lying in a vault somewhere gathering dust..) The two journalists were also excellent anglers, both having fished internationally for their respective countries, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Even more surprising was that the Scottish representative was female, a rare thing at this time. I can’t remember either of their names but I’m sure they’re still fishing and writing to this day.

2 Photo’s do survive.
Unknown foreground, but possibly Anthony Parry’s boat in the background???

There were plenty of fish caught on all the boats, including ours, and the day passed without incident. The range of disabilities of the anglers didn’t seem to deter them, and most fished as hard as, if not harder than, able bodied anglers. We all felt very humble at the end of the day’s fishing.

The second days fishing we became a bit more ‘hands on’. We helped ferry the wheelchair bound competitors down the pier and assisted with baiting up, casting and landing fish.
One lady who was wheelchair bound and also totally blind (you can see Lawrence pushing her wheelchair in one of the photos) could probably have caught fish out of a puddle. As soon as we had baited up and cast in for her, she would strike the rod and reel in a fish.

(l-r)Robin Lever, Lawrence Titley, Paul Rowlands, Dick Elliott(blowing nose)

(l-r) Robin Lever, Lawrence Titley, Remarkable lady in wheelchair

Somebody once said “It not the competing, it’s the taking part”. That’s a load of crap - each one of those competitors fished to win.

I think the competition was won by the Northern Irish team, I can’t remember.
As I said earlier, Dick Elliott arranged all the local accommodation, boat hire, fishing tackle, bait etc. His organisational skills were excellent and the whole event ran smoothly. He did a lot for angling in North Wales and Merseyside over the years, as a journalist for the Angling Times, Sea Angler etc, and was on many committees, up to government level, arguing the case for sea anglers in the UK.
Sadly missed as a friend and angler.

Competitors, Dick Elliott baiting up

Competitors, Dick Elliott baiting up

Dick Elliott pointing

Dick Elliott pointing again

Dick Elliott , IYDP Irish Journalist

Dick Elliott (He was very good at pointing)

Tags: A Blast from the Past

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Paul Rowlands // Oct 25, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Nothing but great memories. Looking back, it really was worth lugging the camera around, well done and thanks Tony.

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