World and All England National champion loses battle with cancer.
Robin Harris, the only angler ever to win both the World Individual Championships and the All England National, has died at the age of 76.
Robin, who died in Peterborough City Hospital, had been suffering from cancer. He leaves a wife and two daughters.
Famous for his win in the World Championships in Bad Oldesloe, West Germany, in 1969 – only the second ever English man to have done so at the time - , Robin followed this with his All-England triumph two years later on the River Severn at Quatford, with 40lb 5oz of barbel. His winning peg is still known as Harris’ Pitch.
David Hall chairman of DHP fished against Robin in the 70s, describing him as a charming man and a wonderful angler.
“I first met Robin in the mid 1970s when I drew next to him on the North Bank of the river Nene just outside Peterborough. Having been only the second Englishman to win the World Championship he was obviously very famous and as something of a cub reporter as I was at the time I was reluctant to go up and talk to him," said David.
"In those days, way before the pole had made any impact we only ever set up a waggler rod, which took about 15 minutes. So with about half-an-hour to go before the off I plucked up a bit of Dutch courage and wandered down and introduced myself. He could not have been more charming, he told me about his groundbait mix, showed me all his baits, his shotting pattern, told me about his home made wagglers and why they was so effective on the North Bank, where it has to be said he had a formidable record.
"We talked all through the match, which he won with 6lb of roach and at the end he wandered down and gave me one of his floats. 'Dead right for here', he said. Over the next few years we saw a lot of each other, invariably on the Nene. He was never less than charming and let it be said he was a wonderful angler. I never felt he got the credit he deserved, but then he was a self-effacing man, who never courted the limelight. That said his record speaks for itself. I stood behind him when he won the National, no mean fete, but then he was a class act and a nice bloke to boot. He will be missed by all those who knew him.”
Kevin Wilmot, editor of MF's sister magazine Total Coarse Fishing, also paid tribute to Robin, the man who taught him how to fish.
“Robin used to run the junior fishing club in Peterborough where we’d meet in a smoke-filled room every Tuesday evening,” he said. “He always had something new and exciting to teach us, but we just took it all for granted,” said Kevin.
“He was an out-and-our rod-and-reel man, with no time for ‘roach poles’ which, he claimed, took the skill out of catching fish. Although I hadn’t seen him for a few years, I will always owe Robin a huge debt for starting me out on the path which was to become my obsession and my career.”
Last modified on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 09:50