Sunderland eggheads lead world’s oldest quiz league

(left to right) Dave Taylor , Eric Darke, Tucker Mooney and Martin O'Neill  with the trophy they won after beating York CIU
(left to right) Dave Taylor , Eric Darke, Tucker Mooney and Martin O'Neill with the trophy they won after beating York CIU
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EGGHEADS from Wearside have seen off a challenge from some of the world’s most experienced quizzers.

Four teams of four picked at random from the Sunderland Echo and York Club and Institute Union (CIU) quiz leagues faced each other in the annual challenge at the Isis pub in Silksworth Row, with the top-scoring team from each city playing each other in the 
final.

The team from the Echo League won an absorbing encounter 22-19, meaning they now lead the York League — which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest — by 10-9 in the series.

And it was Sunderland’s least experienced player, sweet shop owner Martin O’Neill, making his first appearance in the challenge match, who ended up lifting the trophy as captain along with retired council transport manager Dave Taylor, former civil servant Eric Darke and former miner and council worker Tucker Mooney.

Martin, who runs Sweet Home Alabama in Sunderland, only started playing for the Hastings Hill pub last October.

“I’d hesitated about joining a team because I’d seen the questions in the Echo and been a bit intimidated by them,” he said. “But they’re often not as hard as you think and once you realise there are no individual questions and you can often work together with as many as six in a team to work out an answer, it’s a lot of fun.”

The York League was founded by the city’s working men’s clubs in 1946 and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest.

They played regularly against a team from Goole and a team of professors from York University.

The rivalry with Sunderland began when the CIU magazine Club Journal reported that they’d never been beaten.

After a couple of initial victories for York, it has been a case of honours even ever since.

The Sunderland League season has now ended but restarts at the end of July. New teams or individuals are welcome to go along.

For more information, contact league secretary Chris Brewis on 07768650189 or go to www.wearside.webspace.virginmedia.com.