On Tuesday November 24th Marsh Pratley lost his final battle , he was quite simply the bravest man you would ever meet – a special person indeed.

He was a Barbel Society Vice President and it is no exaggeration to say that we owe our very existence to him.

Marsh was instrumental in the Societies formation, back in the early nineties he was the General Secretary of the National Association of Specialist Anglers ( NASA) and his wealth of experience was invaluable as we put together our own blueprint.

But it was his friendship with that great angler Peter Stone which ensured the Barbel Society was going to work and be successful.
Without Marsh it’s doubtful that Peter would have been able to attend our inaugural meetings and Peter’s attendance was absolutely key.

Marsh went on become a complete icon in the carp world and his fund raising for his favourite charities is legendary.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Marsh achieved so much, he was a Royal Marine and they are tough guys. Anyone who followed Marsh on his Facebook page as he wrote his incredibly personal reports on how he was dealing with his illness would have realised this was a special man, a real hero.

Marsh became the owner of Orchid Lakes and developed them to become one of the countries premier carp fisheries, he has left a fine legacy.

We will miss him, the angling community has suffered a huge loss because guys like Marsh are rare indeed.

Read his book, ‘ The Road to Orchid Lakes’ and you will get an insight into the life of a true legend.

Rest in peace Marsh, it has been an honour to know you.

Our thoughts are with his family and so many friends.

On behalf of all your friends in The Barbel Society