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Gone, not forgotten
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Gone...but not forgotten

Over our twenty-four full years, the family of the Five Towns Quiz League has sadly seen some of its greatest stalwarts move on to the great quiz in the sky.  Here are the ones we know about and a bit about them.
 
If you know of any other former FTQL players who deserve to be in this section then let the Secretary know.
 
Obituaries written by Simon Curtis

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Christine Szmyt - Christine, like David Marsh of the Junction, was one of what we in the Five Towns Quiz League like to call our day one'ers.  She was Captain of the Golden Lion/Cartners Arms/Hope & Anchor team who along with the Station Hotel were so dominant in the league in the early and mid-period days.  Christine was a very strong-willed and independent person, who didn't take kindly to being told that, as I recall from one incident recited to me by Keith "the Cardigan Man" King, "Szmyty's wife has won the quiz", and she was apparently heard to counter with "I'm a person in my own right you know!".  When Christine passed on, another victim to cancer, not too long after Peter McVeigh, in 2002, several of us went to her funeral and attended a very moving service at All-Saint's Church and also at Pontefract Cemetery.  Another one of nature's nice-guys, Christine Szmyt is keenly remembered and sorely missed by the Five Towns Quiz League. 

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Peter McVeigh - Peter McVeigh, like Steve Crew, was one of life's nice guys.  I knew him myself from the very early 1990s when I used to talk to him about quizzes and cricket and things like that, at the Spread Eagle pub quiz night in Darrington on Monday nights (yes, before the FTQL started).  Peter played later in the 1990s for the Rustic Arms B team when the Rustics first entered teams in the Five Towns Quiz League.  Peter was acknowledged to be one of the best players in the league and I well remember how devastated we all were, including of course his lovely wife Elaine, when he passed away a while after a successful operation in 2001.

As I said at the time in the obituary I wrote for the league at the time, it always seems to happen to the nice guys, and if there was one thing that every single person I have known who met Peter McVeigh agreed upon, it was that Peter McVeigh was one of the nice guys.

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Steve Crew - Steve was not an FTQL player at any time, but he was co-founder of the quiz solutions company Wise Old Owls, whom the Five Towns Quiz League retained for three years in the mid-1990s to set our questions.  Steve Crew really was the nicest man you could ever wish to meet, and he was also no mean quiz player himself, being leading light in the Redoubt Inn team of Wakefield.  Steve's big principle was the issue of fair play in quizzes and he founded Wise Old Owls in 1992 or so along with John Rowbottom to tailor questions for the Tetley Quiz League, but when that league sadly folded in 1996, he and John carried the league on, on an independent basis until Steve's death from cancer in 1999 when Chris Jones inherited the company name.  The Wise Old Owls League carries on to this day and holds a Steve Crew memorial quiz night every January.  Steve Crew is probably the best quiz setter I have ever met and he is fondly remembered in the Five Towns Quiz League.

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Linda Yelland - Linda played for the Redhill Hotel quiz team, captained by our Committee member Brenda Clayforth, in their Division Two Championship season of 1994-95.  She was a virtual ever-present in that side, before sadly succumbing to cancer in 1997.

The Five Towns Quiz League was privileged to be given prmission to send a wreath to Linda's funeral and for the 1997-98 season, when the Carlsberg Tetley Handicap Cup was introduced we were very pleased to give the new cup the name "The Linda Yelland Trophy", the final of which has been played every year at Castleford Anglers.  The trophy was presented to the winning team for the first three years by Linda's husband Paul.

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David Marsh - David was a founder and stalwart member of the Junction team which spent every single year of its Junction existence in the Five Towns Quiz League Division One.  He played every match in the 1991-92 season, our first season and was generally known as a very knowledgeable player and a very nice guy.  David passed away in the summer after our inaugural season and an amount of the money he left was used to buy a beautiful silver salver, which was competed for as the curtain-raiser to the Five Towns Quiz League season, normally between the League Champions and the Knockout Cup winners until it was discontinued in 2009.

David's family attended the Charity Shield match every year since its inception in 1992 and presented the winners with this fine trophy, which by tradition never left the Junction or their subsequent home venues.

 

Barney Brennan - coming soon

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Shaun Flanagan - Well what can I say about Shaun?  He was simply my best mate in the whole world ever and losing him in June 2003 to an undetected and completely unexpected heart condition was the biggest trauma of both my his wife Andrea and their children's lives.  He was an FTQL day-oner and played in the all-conquering Station team of the early and mid-nineties before moving to play with the Dude Steve Scott's team at the end of his time.  Shaun was only 38 and had just started a new job as a train driver (previously Arriva bus driver) and bought a new house when he suddenly passed away on 21.6.03.  Like I said, it was the biggest loss of my life and it was that event that made me realise just what people come to mean to you.  The hole in all our lives is just as big as the day it happened.
 
Shaun Flanagan - born 22.5.65, died 21.6.03.

 

Edgar Slater - coming soon

 

Meryl Currie - coming soon

 

Cliff Cordingley - coming soon

 

David Lyle - coming soon

 

Terry Moxon - coming soon

 

Jack Cockerham - coming soon

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When John retired in around 1991 quizzes became one of his main hobbies and like many quiz players I have known over the past twenty-five years or so, he was one of those who simply always seemed to be there.  He got into quizzing via playing in a one-off VE Night quiz at the Windmill Hotel in Foulby where he met John Howarth and they became original members of the summer Royal Oak team which played first in the Whitbread League, John Smith’s Quiz League, Tetley League, Wakefield League and finally the Five Towns Quiz League from 1995 when they took the Second Division by storm winning all seventeen league matches and losing in the semi-final of the Knockout Cup at their first attempt.

John was one of the mainstays of the Crofton team and it is testament to his commitment to quizzes and quizzing that he had risen to the lofty heights of 8th position in the FTQL’s all-time league appearances list by the end of his last season, the highest of all the members of the Crofton WMC team.  Individual questions on pop music apart, which he hated, John Mutch certainly brought quality to the Crofton WMC quiz team and has played in the Five Towns Quiz League for 18 of our 23 seasons.

John Mutch - born 1935, died 21.12.13.

 

Shirley Helm - coming soon

 

Harry Beevers - coming soon

 

Jason Mosley - coming soon

If anyone sees anything here that they think is wrong, offensive or inaccurate then please let us know and we will of course correct it.  My intention here was to pay tribute to these people.  We hope we have succeeded in everyone else's eyes as well as our own...