Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Sunday, 5 October 2008 17:29 UK

Scrabble fan wins elusive trophy

Allan Simmons
Mr Simmons winning repertoire included eggy, yutz and bogart

A Scot has realised a lifelong ambition by being crowned the UK Scrabble champion after more than 30 attempts.

Allan Simmons, from Coldingham in the Borders, has come up short since the annual competition began in 1971.

But the 51-year-old finally broke the hoodoo when he beat Craig Beevers, from Stockton-on-Tees, by three games to one in the final showdown in London.

The professional Scrabble consultant follows in the footsteps of Aberdonian Paul Allan, who won last year's title.

The board game makers Mattel, which organised the competition, said Mr Simmons's winning repertoire included the words eggy, yutz - meaning fool - and bogart - meaning to selfishly take or keep something.

'Keeping check'

The father-of-three said: "It was the only trophy missing from the cupboard and I am delighted.

"The game is like cards really, keeping check on what letters have been played and what letters are left.

"It can be quite tactical but obviously you need a good knowledge of words."

The former IT manager quit his job in the south of England and settled in the Borders to launch his new career as a Scrabble consultant.

As well as the trophy, he collected a cheque for 1,000.

This year is the 60th anniversary of Scrabble being invented.

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