Champion's way with words helps him to national Scrabble title


Paul Gallen 26, from Belfast, was crowned the 41st national Scrabble champion in west London today. In the final he scored 71 points for "neonates" – meaning a newborn child or mammal – which helped give him an unassailable lead over Wale Fashina, 43, from Liverpool.

Gallen, a solicitor, said said he would celebrate with a few drinks after bagging the £2,500 cash prize at the event in central London.

Mr Gallen said it was not a sure victory and he was uncertain of his win in what had been a difficult contest.

"My opponent won the first game so I thought I was in a bit of trouble.

"I kind of just looked at how he played and knew there was not much I could do if I made a mistake."

Mr Gallen, who was watched by his father who had flown over from Belfast to support his son, appeared on and won Countdown in 2006 and once that was over for him said Scrabble was the game for him.

He added: "I'm delighted. It's not really sunk in yet."

The 41st National Scrabble Championship final took place at in The Cavendish Conference Centre in West London.