We are very sad to report the passing of Nigel Merrigan on the 20th January, aged just 51. Nigel was a regular player from the nineties onwards, and he won the BIBA British Open Championship twice, in 1993 and 2006, although he doesn’t seem to have played much tournament backgammon for the last five years or so.
The photo shows Nigel (left, foreground) enjoying dinner with a few backgammon friends at the Nordic Open in Copenhagen around Easter 2012. Nigel’s family is with him on the left, and on the right (from far end) is Stuart Mann, Yan Kit Chan and Fai “North” Chan from Hong Kong. I was the photographer! (Fai’s life was sadly also cut short a few years ago.)
I remember Nigel as a very genial character who was a pleasure both to play and socialise with. He was always ready for a discussion about new backgammon theories, of which he was a great exponent. Our deepest sympathy goes to Nigel’s family for their great and untimely loss.
Nigel’s daughter Alana has given us details of the funeral arrangements for players who would like to pay their respects:
The funeral service will be on Thursday 8th February, 2.30pm, at St Mary’s Church, Church Avenue, Penwortham, PR1 0AH followed by the burial at Penwortham Cemetery, 20 Poplar Drive, Penwortham, PR1 9AA. Afterwards, at about 4pm, all are welcome to attend the wake which will be at The Fleece Inn, 39 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, PR1 9XD. If you are not already in contact with Nigel’s family please let us know if you plan to attend the funeral, and we will pass this information on.
I think that 2012 might have been the last time I met Nigel, and it was probably even longer ago that we last played a match together. It is very sad that I won’t be able to enjoy this experience again. Others are invited to post their own memories of Nigel in a comment below.