Any website about fishing on the River Yare could not be complete without mentioning the name ‘Keith Ford’ or as many match anglers knew him ‘Fordy’.
Keith spent many years dedicating not only his weekends but evenings making sure match anglers had this wonderful river to fish on week after week, year after year.
Only those that knew Keith closely or helped run the matches on a regular basis really understood how much hard work and time Keith spent making sure the wekeend matches ran as smoothly as possible, but also liasing with local farmers, fishing clubs and the Environment Agency throughout the season regarding any issues or concerns.
Sadly Keith collapsed and died on the river bank in June 2011 despite the efforts of his fellow anglers and the East Anglian Air Ambulance to revive him.
Keith was one of a kind and his pre-match draw antics, nicknames and presentation banter made fishing the River Yare unique to many other fishing matches.
Keith also knew the river like the back of his hand as newcomers and experienced anglers would often ask for advice after they had drawn their peg. Running the match Keith would often have whatever peg was left over in the draw and won matches and have a great days fishing from pegs that many other anglers would only moan about.
That was Keith!!
Keith Ford Memorial Match
In memory of Keith each year there is the ‘Keith Ford Memorial’ Double header which runs across two days with the overall weight deciding the winners. This match not only remembers Keith but also raises money for local charities.
Fellow match angler and a friend who knew Keith for many years Bob Cheesman wrote the poem ‘Keiths River’.
It’s a little tongue-in-cheek way of remembering Keith but every line of every word is nothing further from the truth and indeed the River Yare was and still is ‘Keith’s River’