Sean O’Neill obituary


My good friend Sean O’Neill, who has died aged 67 of problems from a bowel blockage, was a grasp of the pub quiz who turned a quizzing worldwide for Wales and a contestant on varied radio and tv reveals.

His most high-profile TV look got here in 2006 on Who Needs to Be a Millionaire, by which he received to the £16,000 stage earlier than failing to appropriately reply a query about Joyce Grenfell – which meant that to his chagrin he got here away with solely £1,000.

Nonetheless, Sean was most happy with having represented Wales in European and world quiz championships, and he was a member of varied profitable groups at native and nationwide stage – as soon as, for the Beehive pub in Swindon, taking a nationwide championship three years in a row in the course of the Nineties. He was additionally energetic in on-line quizzing.

Famous for his experience on questions referring to politics, sport and geography, he gained some first rate prizes via his quizzing through the years, together with, on one event, an all-expenses-paid journey to the Grand Nationwide. However he took half for the love of it somewhat than for any type of monetary reward.

Sean was born in Hamilton in Canada, the oldest of three youngsters to Welsh dad and mom, Dan, a journalist, and Margaret (nee Lowes), a homeware purchaser. Succumbing to “hiraeth”, a homesickness for Wales and Welsh tradition, they returned to the UK when Sean was eight, though within the occasion their work took them to County Durham, the place Sean went to Washington complete faculty earlier than learning worldwide politics and economics at Aberystwyth College within the mid-Nineteen Seventies.

As soon as he had gained his diploma he moved to London to work for British Telecom as a purchaser of phone programs, ultimately transferring into the world of satellite tv for pc communications. In 1988 he transferred with BT to Swindon, and it was there that he started to make use of his huge data of information and figures on the earth of pub quizzing, which was actually starting to take off. It was additionally in Swindon that he met Mickie Jackson, a trainer, and so they married in 1994. He continued to work for BT till 2002, when he arrange as a self-employed procurement advisor, earlier than retiring in 2014.

In 2004 he and Mickie had moved to Ludlow in Shropshire, and there Sean stayed concerned in quizzing, additionally writing questions for the Mastermind TV programme at one stage. After some years residing within the city he determined to face for election as an unbiased councillor, and over two phrases ending in 2017 he grew into the function. The flag over the council places of work was flown at half-mast after his dying.

Sean was a quiet man, a deep thinker but with calm buoyancy, fashionable with all who met him and with many buddies.

He’s survived by Mickie, his sister, Susan, and nieces, Francesca and Elena.


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