The man who founded Linear Fisheries has died.
Len Gurd, who also created dozens of iconic fishing films through his Original Video Company, passed away at his home this morning [March 10] aged 78.
Announcing the news, Linear Fisheries Oxford general manager Chris Blunt said: “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.”
A prodigious fundraiser, Len created the Fish with the Stars events that raised many thousands of pounds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
He also wrote children’s books and made many fishing videos, notably with Matt Hayes.
Speaking on Facebook, Carp Team England boss Rob Hughes said of Len: “A true gentleman and a man who was significantly responsible for the growth of day-ticket carp fishing in the UK. We have a lot to thank Len for. Thoughts are with his family and his legacy will live on.”
Mark Holmes said Len was “in my eyes, the best carp angler I ever saw”. He added: “He was also a gentleman through and through who took a young lad to one side and opened my eyes as to how to approach catching carp.
“You had a profound effect on me, Len. RIP to a true great.”
On Instagram, Ian Russell wrote: “I worked with Len for many years and a nicer man is hard to imagine.”
Commenting on Ian Russell's post, England international Tom Maker said: "This is terrible news, mate. Such a lovely and generous man who has done so much for fishing."
Len founded Linear Fisheries in Bedfordshire in 1973 before going on to open the now-famous Oxfordshire day-ticket site in 1993.
Fishery manager Chris Blunt added: “Although Len wasn’t based in Oxford, every week he would show up at the lakes for our fishery meetings, box of cakes or donuts in hand.
“Myself, Roy [Parsons, former head bailiff] and Len would then talk all things Linear, inevitably we would go off track and end up listening to one of Len’s many fishing-related stories; stories that kept you engrossed for ages.
“He was always a pleasure to be around and the world of carp fishing has lost one of its best.
“Len, you were someone that I took pride in calling a friend and respected as my manager, you were somebody that would always be there if I required advice or just wanted a chat and you will be missed by more people than you could ever have possibly imagined.
“Rest in peace, you wonderful talented man – the world of fishing has lost a true gentleman and a legend - Linear will never be quite the same again!”
Len died peacefully at home with his wife Fran by his side.