Page last updated at 23:21 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 00:21 UK

Scrabble fan chases elusive crown

Allan Simmons
Allan Simmons is pursuing the major title which has eluded him

A Scots contender is hoping to realise a life-long ambition and be crowned the UK national Scrabble champion.

Allan Simmons, 51, of Coldingham, in the Borders, has played the game competitively for more than 30 years.

He has no fewer than eight major Scrabble titles under his belt but the national crown has eluded him so far.

The final takes place this weekend when he faces stiff competition from former Countdown champion Craig Beevers from over the border in Stockton-on-Tees.

Victory would be a major triumph for Mr Simmons who works as a professional Scrabble consultant.

He has done work for The Daily Telegraph and The Times.

Such is his dedication to the game that his a car registration plate is W70RDS.

The final play-off takes place on Sunday in London.

The Scottish contender will be hoping for glory in the best-of-five match play-off, which is taking place during Scrabble's 60th anniversary year.

However, he will have his work cut out against his opponent from north east England.

Despite having just five years playing experience, 27-year-old Mr Beevers impressed experts with his performance to win series 57 of Countdown.

Last year the title went to Paul Allan from Aberdeen who had just moved to Southsea near Portsmouth.

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