LONG-STANDING former Angler’s Mail editor John Ingham – the man who rescued the title from a publishers’ scrapheap and took it to a national favourite – has sadly passed away the age of 88.

Likeable John was editor for 20 years from when Angler’s Mail went mainstream in 1966. He was key to a takeover and re-birth of the title after its first ever year of existence was a flop.

His early years of creating a vibrant and authoritative brand brought the most successful period in the Mail’s history with circulation figures of up to 120,000 issues sold a week.

John, who retired to Highcliffe-on-Sea, Dorset, also wrote a weekly angling column for The People for 55 years which must have made him the longest standing national angling columnist ever.

Former weekly columnist John Bailey has an awful lot to thank him for.

John explained:I only ever actually met John on a couple of widely-spaced occasions and although he struck me as a very sincere and caring gentleman, his main role in my life was one of snail mail mentoring!

‘I approached him more years ago than I care to remember over the possibility of submitting articles to the Angler’s Mail, a comparatively young publication in those days.

‘At first, I got very kind, very encouraging letters back from him suggesting I was perhaps a tad too young to start advising the nation’s anglers. Come back when you’ve got a little more experience under your belt were his words. And that’s what I did.

John Bailey pays tribute to John Ingham in this special online story - read our magazine for much more on the title's widely-respected "father".

‘Thanks to John’s advice, I began to concentrate on the things I knew I did well and on the local waters which I knew could produce the goods. It was largely, then, because of John Ingham that I began to major on roach fishing the River Wensum.

‘Thanks to John’s prompting, by 1973 or thereabouts, I’d already become a very miniature star in the roaching firmament. As a result, I was given my chance.

‘My initial features editor was Gerry Hughes, a firm friend of John’s and the perfect guy to guide a very novice writing angler. The support I received from both of these guys was immense. I owe them both an enormous debt of gratitude. So, thank you, John, for shaping my life the way that you did,’ he added.

For more tributes to John, check out this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine, out today December 14.