LEN GURD, the much-admired fishery boss and pioneering angling video maker, has sadly passed away... and anglers have paid tribute to the inspiring, generous man.

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Len Gurd died at the age of 78, peacefully at home, with wife Fran by his side.

Len certainly made his mark on the angling scene for many years, and is pictured above (left) at one of the many events at his lakes.

He set up two complexes, with the original Linear Fisheries in Bedfordshire started in 1973.

Len sold up and started afresh with Linear Fisheries Oxford which he co-founded in 1993 with family run aggregates company Smiths Bletchington.

He set-up The Original Video Company and created many iconic early angling videos like Harefield Haulin, Tel & Jacko Go Carp Fishing, Big Cats of the Volga Delta and the Gardner Carpwise series.

Len also filmed, helped direct and produce The Total Fishing programmes with Matt Hayes.

Matt said: “Len was a visionary and a pioneer. There is no doubt he played a huge role in my career through the creation of the early Total Fishing shows on Discovery TV. The sport has lost a true legend.”

Former Angler’s Mail editor Roy Westwood said: “It is very sad news. He was one of the most genuine and well liked guys in the sport. The tide of sad news seems relentless.”

Linear Fisheries general manager Chris Blunt said: “All of us involved at the fishery are devastated and our thoughts are with his family and many friends at this truly sad time.

“You would be hard pushed to find a nicer or more helpful man, a man with many talents, talents that were not just limited to those of the fishing world.

“I can remember him telling me about a children’s book that he published back in the 1980s, all about a frog and the story of how he ended up illustrating an early book for comedian, Jim Davidson.

“Even in recent months, when his health was failing, he found time to write two wonderful new children’s books, books that were illustrated by his equally talented grandson, Luke. He was very proud of publishing these.

“Len was also highly involved with charity work and through the fishery he helped many charities.

“One charity, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, had a very special place in his heart, along with that of his wife Fran, as they had both lost their previous partners to this horrible disease.

“Through the Linear run ‘Fish with the Stars’ events, they raised hundreds of thousands of pounds and made many special memories,” Chris concluded.

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