FORMER Angler’s Mail columnist Chris Clark became the only angling-nominated Olympic torch bearer when he carried the flaming emblem in his home town of Lymington in Hampshire.

Despite torrential rain, a crowd of around 20,000 turned up to see former World shore champion Chris, who collected over 20 International medals, pound the streets.

Retired turkey farmer Chris had been nominated for his dedicated work with getting juniors and the disabled into angling with the then NFSA and now Angling Trust.

Chris told Angler’s Mail: ‘To get 20,000 there was amazing really as torrents of rain was falling down.

‘I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life, better than winning an individual World gold.

‘If it raised the profile of angling then it can only been a good thing. I’ve been inundated with messages from anglers around the world who saw it.

‘If just some of the kids who watched have been inspired to take up a  sport then it would have done a lot of good.

‘You get to keep the uniform but have to pay £200 to keep your torch which is what I did and now I’ve been taking down to all the local schools for them to look at and give talks,’ added Chris, who also coarse fishes and started the season with a 6 lb 4 oz Hampshire Avon chub.

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