Wednesday, 11 February 2009 21:57

Angling’s great moderniser dies


Fred Jennings OBE, one of the most influential figures in the development of coarse angling, has sadly passed away in his sleep at the age of 76.

West Midlander Fred had a major impact on angling, both at club level and on a national scale.

Fred jennings collects his OBE in 1996He was the first full-time executive chairman of Birmingham AA – at a time when they had a staggering 60,000 members (they have 12,000 today) – and was the National Federation of Anglers president from 1973 to 1978.

Fred was also a board member of Severn Trent Water and chairman of its Fisheries Advisory Committee, as well as being the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food’s appointee to the National Water Council.

Former Anglers Mail editor Roy Westwood commented: ‘Fred succeeded Jack Baker as president of the NFA and faced the daunting job of trying to get the NFA membership to see further than the next National, at a time when asking for an extra 1p in subs was like trying to persuade delegates to walk the plank in shark infested water. He will be remembered as the great modernizer of the NFA.

‘Fred had great charm, persuasion and vision, and took the membership and executive with him far further than many of us believed possible at the time. Only poor health robbed him of achieving much more for the sport – the award of an OBE was thoroughly deserved for his huge contribution in fighting the sport’s corner. He was a visionary and a man I much admired'.

Birmingham AA secretary John Williams said: ‘We are very sad to have heard about the loss of Fred.'

‘He was a stalwart of the BAA and helped us through rocky financial times. The BAA would not be around as it is now if it wasn’t for the work that Fred did.'

‘He was a man of quiet authority and great stature", added John.

Derek Dauncey

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