Former tackle dealer Joe Dumpleton – known to many across the country for regularly running a tackle stand at nationals and the John Smiths – has died.

A popular figure with a huge number of anglers, Joe ran ‘Dumpleton’s Tackle’ in Sundon Park Parade, Luton, Beds, for 37 years…where he was famous for doing bargain deals before retiring in 1999.

Confined to a wheelchair for the past few years following the loss of both legs he managed to maintain his cheerful disposition and, with the help of family and friends, still fished during the warmer months.

Joe died from pneumonia on Monday January 12 aged 73 and leaves a widow, Phyllis, daughters Julie, Janet and Lillian, four grandchildren and five grandchildren. The funeral is to be held at Luton Crematorium, at 3.15pm on Thursday January 29. All who knew him are welcome to attend.

Joe – ably assisted by his family – ran his stand at the nationals for more than 15 years and also attended world championship events held in the UK.

Julie said: “I remember when we were spectating at the Luddington world championship, dad had taken a stepladder with him and everybody was laughing. But when he climbed up and got a better view they all wanted to borrow it.”

Joe was nothing if not inventive and was probably among the first dealers to start importing continental groundbait, regularly crossing the Channel on a Friday night, after closing his shop, to bring back a van-load for sale the next day.

The canal was his first love, along with helping juniors into the sport, and when big carp first became a match-winning prospect in the Luton area he designed, built and sold short specialist tip rods to cope with them – another first, certainly for the area.

Former NFA Chairman and current Angling Trust board member Terry Fell said: “Joe was incredibly generous to all, especially to the NFA in relation to junior anglers. He was one of the old school, a really genuine man with a friendly word for everyone. He will be sadly missed.”

MKAA chairman Trevor Johnson added: “Joe sold our, and other clubs’, tickets for years. But he did more than that, becoming a great friend to the association. That was the nature of the man, a real one-off.”

Words by Trevor Johnson