Ormskirk Quiz League

A member of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues

Andy Francis

Andy Francis passed away at the end of last week. He was admitted to Southport Hospital early in the week and then diagnosed with liver cancer. He was 72 and leaves his wife and two children.

A native of Bedfordshire, after spells in Australia and at Edge Hill, he spent most of his working life as a lecturer at Liverpool Poly, then John Moores University. A tribute from a colleague can be found here.

He was a very keen philatelist.

His quiz career began in the 1979 Charity League as a founder member of the Ropers Arms team, taking over as team secretary in 1982, a post he held for most of the next fifteen years, resuming in 2016.

Ropers Arms won the Ormskirk Division One title five times between 1989 and 2003, being undefeated in 1994-1995.

Success continued after the team moved to the Greyhound with a runner up position in three recent seasons.

The team made appearances on TV shows as well as winning the Radio Merseyside Quiz 'Heads You Win' in 1985, seen below receiving the trophy with Andy on the right. 

Andy regularly topped the Ormskirk Individual Averages in the 1980s with scores close to or above 15 playing the traditional rules.

He was a member of the Ormskirk team which won the MQL President's Trophy for the first time in 1989.

Andy's greatest TV performance was to win a series of Fifteen to One in 1989. He also finished a close third in the Fifteen to One Champion of Champions in 1997 to Mal Collier, also from the Ropers Arms (watch on You Tube).

I quote from one of the many tributes received by the League 'Andy was a lovely man. Very good quizzer, modest and gentlemanly with it.' He will be missed.


George Lucy

George Lucy

George Lucy passed away on August 10th aged 95.

George played for Ormskirk Cricket Club, one of our original teams in 1970, I think from the start.

He then moved on to teams at the Plough and the Greyhound until around 2000.

He played in the President's Trophy and was a member of the Ormskirk team that won for the first time in 1988/89.

He was part of the team that vetted our questions before they went to MQL.

He was MQL President from 1990 to 1993 and was a current Vice President being first elected in 1993.

He served MQL as question distributor from 1986 to 1997 and President's Trophy organiser.

George is on the back row second from the right.

Brian Ball

Brian Ball

Brian Ball passed away on September 8th. He celebrated his 80th birthday on Valentine's Day this year which had been his goal for the last four years since he was diagnosed with bone cancer.

I am sure many of us will have stories about Brian. It has been said that he was vaccinated with a gramophone needle.

Two teams from West Park started in 1973-74, but Brian wasn't sure that he played in the first couple of them. Two teams became one in 1977-78 with Brian becoming secretary the following season until 1982-83 their final season. He reappeared after a few seasons with various teams, spending his last few with Sinners. He introduced his son Stephen to the League and they played together in the Pleiades team in the 1990s.

He served the League as Vice Chairman from 2002-2008 and took responsibility for our question submissions to MQL for a few seasons around that time.

Phil Duffy

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of well known Ormskirk League player Phil Duffy.

Phil, who has been ill for some time, was quizzing until very recently as a member of current Division 1 champions Unison. He joined the Ormskirk League when his team moved from the Warrington League, having previously played in the Liverpool League. Under the guises of Carr Mill, Top Nogs and Unison they were never out of the top two, winning the title on four occasions.

Phil won the MIMIR Trophy in 2004, having won it previously in 1997. He was a regular in the Ormskirk final, winning in 2008.

He also represented Ormskirk in the Presidents' Trophy on many occasions contributing much to the Ormskirk success in recent years.

A willing traveller around the country to take part in quizzes, he appeared on many TV and radio shows, including winning ITV's 'The Chase' shown below.

A nice man and a superb quizzer, he will be sorely missed.



A tribute to Phil:-

Sad news to relate, multiple-time winner of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues' MIMIR individual contest Phil Duffy passed away yesterday (Sunday 16 September) after a 10 month fight with cancer.

Phil exits this world far too early and leaves behind him a family as well as friends in the quizzing and football world. As good a quizzer as he was, his love of football and commitment to local youth teams meant he was never able to attend anything like the number of quiz events he'd have liked to. He did however compete in the World Championships a couple of times - including the very first one at Vila Park - and twice attended the Rainhill GP (2009 and 2011); on the first of those occasions his brother Peter attended also, tying with him in the individual contest!

Like myself, Phil was a former civil servant with the DHSS/DSS/DWP in its many incarnations and I had the 'misfortune' to face him and his team many times in HASSRA (sports & social association) events quizzes. Returning from one of these contests in West London I gave him a lift to Villa Park, for the very first World Quizzing Championships. I can well remember him chatting about some of the other Merseysiders who would be competing that day and his warm praise for the quizzing ability of his mate, Alan Gibbs.

Phil was a popular, likeable guy, always pre-disposed to smiling and enjoying a laugh with friends. He will be sorely missed by so many people!

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

R.I.P. Phil
Chris Jones
Director, Quizzing Ltd., BQA and iQa


Peter Richardson

It is our sad duty to report that MQL stalwart Peter Richardson passed away aged 83 in March 2012. He is pictured above speaking in May 2009 at MQL's 50th Anniversary Presentation Evening.

A memorial service was held at Peter's local church St Mary's in Knowsley on Maundy Thursday. There was a good attendance from Ormskirk teams and MQL. Jim Maloney gave a very moving tribute on behalf of the league. A buffet was held in the church hall, where a photo montage of Peter's life and quiz career was on show together with his Krypton Factor Trophy.

For details of Peter's quiz career see below:

Peter was there at the start of the Ormskirk Quiz League in 1970. His team the Golden Lion in Rainford had previously played in the Southport League.
They are the most successful team in the history of the League. They were runner up in the first season and then won the next nine. In 1980 they changed name and venue to become Rex Lions and over the next twenty years they won a further nine titles and were runner up on seven other occasions. They also won the Handicap Knockout six times.
When they left the League in 2002 Peter joined the Ropers Arms and was still playing this season by which time they were the Greyhound.
In Merseyside competitions they won the Challenge Cup three times as Golden Lion and once as Rex Lions. They won the Feeny Cup twice. As an individual Peter won the MIMIR Trophy in 1980 and played for the Ormskirk team that won the Presidents' Trophy in 1989.
As an administrator he gave his time to the Ormskirk League as a committee member and then as Chairman from 1982 to 2002. For many years he coordinated the production of the Ormskirk sets of questions which were used in the other leagues.
He was President of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues from 1999 to 2002 and Assistant General Secretary from 1987 to 1997. In this latter role he produced very detailed analyses of all question sets played throughout the area. In 2002 Peter became a Vice President of the MQL. He was an auditor from 1995.
Peter appeared on many TV and radio quiz programmes including 'Mastermind', 'Brain of Britain', Sale of the Century' and 'Winner Takes All'. He won 'The Krypton Factor' in 1979 at almost 50 years of age, famously walking the Assault Course as he was confident that he could score enough points on the General Knowledge.

There are some fine tributes to Peter in pass, the magazine of the Mastermind Club.

Norman Green

Norman Green

1935 - 2009

A donation was sent to a prostate cancer charity in his memory


Norman Green, our Secretary and Treasurer for many years, died at the end of the 2008-2009 season just after the last game. He’d been ill for some time but carried on playing right to the end. He will be sadly missed.

From the early 1970s, Norman was the Ormskirk League. For almost 40 years he got our leagues started every season, produced the fixture lists, did all the work needed to get questions to every game every week, took in the score sheets and processed and published the results, sorted out the few problems or protests, and kept everything running smoothly. For most of that time he was the Treasurer as well as Secretary and handled all the money very efficiently.

Norman served MQL as President from 1981 to 1984 then Deputy Chairman from 2006 to 2009. He was first elected a Vice President in 1985.

At an AGM Norman wrote the agenda and recommended the action to take on each item and the committee agreed with him after very little discussion.

He was very popular. He was good fun to play against, and nobody remembers ever saying or hearing a bad word about him; few could claim that.

We were very fortunate to have Norman to do so much for us so well for so long.

We will remember him.