is with great regret and immense sadness that I have
to tell you all of the death of one of our best
friends and most inspirational WithQuizzers, Dave
Dave died last night
(6th/7th March 2020) and was discovered this morning
by those who came to help him.
Although he has had many
'health crosses' to bear over the past few years, of
late he had been managing pretty well, so his sudden
death came as a great shock. Indeed he seemed
in good health not to mention sparkling form at last
Wednesday's WithQuiz match when the Prodigals put
KFD to the sword at the Albert Club.
He was also in
winning form at the monthly Albert Club quiz on
February 24th when it was lovely to see him being
dropped off by Ella, his daughter of whom he was so
I have known Dave for
well over 30 years (and I know others in the league
count the years of their friendship with Dave back
even further). He never had a bad word for
anyone. He was gracious, kind, considerate,
encouraging to those less able to muster up the
answers than himself, and always thought of you
rather than himself. Sounds a bit passť, but
he was a true gentleman.
We were all so
pleased, therefore, when he won £250,000 on Who
Wants To Be a Millionaire. It was no
surprise to those who knew Dave well that the first
slice of his winnings went towards treating his many
friends to a freebie evening at the Red Lion.
When he earned his place amongst the nation's
quizzing elite by becoming one of the Eggheads it
seemed a natural progression. I know he will
be greatly missed by his colleagues on that show
(indeed his great mate, Jeremy Vine has already
tweeted a warm tribute). Amongst the Eggheads,
Dave was the one who exuded personality in
bucketfuls. He had the chat - and boy could
you hear him! In another life perhaps a
stint as a continuity announcer on Radio 4 would
have made his fame.
But back in WithQuiz
Dave had never been part of a team that won the
league - or at least that was the case until last
season. How pleased we were - and are - that
Dave and The Prodigals stormed to the title last
season. Thanks for your years of friendship
and support, Dave. I will miss you a great
Here are some tributes
from others who knew and loved Dave....
First Anne-Marie his closest quizzing friend and
team captain of Dave's team, The Prodigals...
"It is with
tremendous sadness that we have to report the
sudden passing of our great friend David
Rainford. Michael, Jimmy, John, Kate, Stella,
Cheryl, Mark, Danny and and I are all shocked
safe to say that the WithQuiz community would
all agree with us that David will be sorely
missed by us all. As well as being a fabulous
quizzer, he was a fabulous human being too.
I doubt we will ever meet a more generous and
kind man; a big personality, who could fill a
room with his presence and that voice!
Even his whispers were loud.....
He had had his
difficulties recently and he bore them with
such good grace and humour. We never once
heard him complain or moan. He always tried
his hardest to get to the Wednesday quiz, which
says a lot about the affection he had for his
fellow WithQuizzers. He loved the quizzes
but loved the post-match banter even more.
You all meant such a lot to him.
We are delighted
that his last match was a hard-earned win
against Kieran and his fellow KFD team mates.
He enjoyed his victories against KFD in their
various guises the most, which is a massive
compliment to the skill and knowledge of such
formidable opponents. KFD are always
tough, always fair, always fight hard, but are
always great fun to be with. Thank you
Barry, Martin, David and Kieran.
with my team mates we have agreed that we will
turn out (Coronavirus permitting) on Wednesday
to play another WithQuiz legendary team, the
Pigs. There will be a massive David-shaped
hole in our team, but we will try our best to
On a personal
level, I have had the pleasure to have had David
in my life for nigh on 30 years; we never had a
cross word, always looked out for each other and
I came to consider David as one of by best
My thoughts are
with Tina and Dave's lovely daughter Ella at
this difficult time. I will pass on any
messages you have about David to them.
Next time we are
all together at the end of season Quiz evening
letís raise a glass or two to our opponent, our
colleague and our much missed friend the one and
only David Rainford."
Long time quizzing
adversary and good friend Kieran sends
"We played the
Prodigals at the club last Wednesday and we
lost, in no small part due to Dave's customary
four or five twos. Dave was also in
appropriately 'tremendous' form during the
after-match chatter which inevitably focused on
football. We lamented the direction the game is
taking but also confessed to an unshakable love
for our respective teams. The Blue me and the
Red Dave acknowledged that we shared something
deep and, to us important, beneath all the
banter and pre/post match wind ups.
We also shared
over thirty years of competition and friendship
in the Withington Quiz league. I remember
his unmissable presence in the Red, as long ago
as the 1980s (I think), hanging around the quiz
machine and dominating the space and the people
around him in his perfectly gentle way.
Dave recognised an equal in Martin and they
divided up the quiz machine routes between them
(I think Martin may have even acted as chauffeur
sometimes) to their mutual advantage. Martin
got banned from fewer pubs however being
somewhat quieter in his work.
In recent years
as the Prodigals became a serious force in the
league my heart would sink when I saw that Dave
was in their team on the nights we played them.
Not, of course, because I didn't enjoy his
company but because I knew our chances of
victory were substantially reduced with him on
the opposing side. Win or lose I could
only admire the breadth of Dave's knowledge and
afterwards there was always his great company
and unfailing good humour to enjoy.
On the way home
last Wednesday Martin and I agreed that we
hadn't seen him in such good form and apparent
good health for several years. It's so
strange to recall that conversation now.
I'm glad the
Prodigals won the league last season and Dave
finally got his hands on the trophy he'd
competed for for so many years. He was
always so generous in his praise of us when we
were at the top and that meant a lot to us.
And I'm glad that the Prodigals beat us on
Wednesday and that that game would be Dave's
last memory of the league which he graced for so
long. It was a perfect WithQuiz evening
and nobody could have imagined there wouldn't be
Thank you Dave
from Barry, Martin, David, Mike, Antony, Simon
and me. You made the league brighter and
we were all better for knowing you.
Goodbye friend, it was our great honour to share
so many evenings and so much fun with you."
last memory of Dave was via this amusing Facebook
posting that Dave himself made last Monday...
"What a disgrace
that the lift wasn't working at the Palace
Theatre last night. It was impossible for me to
get access to my seat. The bastards
upgraded it to a box and gave us free drink all
His good friend,
Ashton, from the Albert team has sent
this moving tribute...
"When I mentioned
Dave in my comments to this week's matches, I
little thought I'd be writing a tribute to him
just a few days later.
I think the
reception he got when he made his first
appearance after his illness at the WithQuiz
40th anniversary event summed up the regard in
which he was held by all of us. I'm glad
he got to see that. Our little hobby is
pretty inconsequential in the great scheme of
things but it is competitive and we are probably
all at our happiest when we win. Dave was
almost unique to my mind, in that he seemed to
take as much pleasure in other people's
successes as his own - one of the last things he
did was to write a note for the website about my
minor achievement in York a couple of weeks ago.
It seems that was typical of him - social media
is awash with similar stories today. It
seems that nearly everyone has a tale of a
text/voicemail of congratulation or
commiseration from him after their own
particular triumph or disaster whether on a TV
show or just a local quiz event. After my
own inauspicious appearance on Brain of
Britain was broadcast last year, I got home
to find a lovely voicemail from him encouraging
me to have another go as soon as I'm allowed to
enter again. For his sake, I shall."
Dave had many
good friends in the Stockport Quiz League as well as WithQuiz as this tribute from Mike Wagstaffe
"I had already
heard about Dave's death this afternoon, in the
first instance on a City message board -
not sure what he would have made of that!
I am shocked by the news as, although he'd had
his health problems over the last few years, he
seemed to be on the mend and was in fine fettle
when I last saw him at the Albert Club in late
I'd known Dave
from the local quiz circuit since the late '80s
and was actually at school with him a few years
earlier, but with little awareness of him at the
time as we were two or three years apart and
'the quiz thing' was yet to enter either of our
lives. He was always a formidable quiz
opponent but was scrupulously fair and always
played the game in its true spirit. Outside of
quizzing he was just a lovely, genuine bloke and
I have yet to hear anyone with a bad word to say
about him. Quizzing round these parts just
isn't going to be the same without him, but
rather than being too sad that he has gone we
should reflect on how lucky we are that we were
able to share the time that he was here.
Barrie, and I, and a few of his other friends in
the Stockport League, will be raising a glass to
him this week in honour of a life well lived."
captain of Compulsory Mantis Shrimp, who have been WithQuiz's
closest rivals to Dave's Prodigals team over the past few seasons,
has this touching eulogy...
"Just wanted to send you a
quick e-mail as we learnt the terribly sad news about Dave Rainford.
We can't quite believe it; I'm still in tears. He was truly
one of the kindest, warmest, friendliest and most generous people I
have ever met - as well as being an amazing quizzer and wonderful
friend. He was ever the life and soul of the party and
we always looked forward to playing The Prodigals because we got to
spend the evening in his company, even if it invariably ended in us
losing the quiz! We were so happy when Dave returned to
WithQuiz after his long stay in hospital; I remember saying to the
Shrimps that it just hadn't been the same without him; he really did
light up every room he was in.
Adam has just observed that, of all the nice
things that people are writing about Dave online, none of it is
hyperbole - in fact, they probably don't do him justice. He is
simply one of the loveliest people I have ever met and his loss will
make quizzing, and the wider world, a sadder place.
Sending much love and deepest condolences to
Long time quizzing
friend, Greg adds his own fond memories...
"I've known Dave since the early
1990s when I used to take part in the Monday night quiz at the
Greyhound pub in Cheadle. He was a one-man team named Solo in
those days - he didn't need anybody else. During his recent
health scare I visited him a couple of times while he was recovering
in Trafford General. On each occasion he asked me to bring him
something to eat. On the second visit he asked for hot
chicken, so I stopped off at the supermarket on the way and then
watched him wash it down with a couple of cans of coke while we
After he was discharged I offered to
give him a lift if he felt up to attending the WithQuiz 40th
anniversary event. He accepted gladly because he didn't want
to miss out on the celebrations with his quizzing buddies.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to manoeuvre him from his wheelchair
into my car because he couldn't bend his legs. The multiple
attempts to shoehorn him into the car, involving various positions
and props, played out like a scene from a Laurel & Hardy sketch.
He was obviously in a lot of pain but bore it all with his trademark
good humour. In the end he had to phone for a taxi that was
able to transport him in his wheelchair. At the end of the evening
Danny and I followed the taxi that took him home and we somehow
managed to ease him back into his room and onto his bed, resulting
in another comical performance.
Farewell my friend; I raised a glass
of your favourite San Miguel to you when I heard the sad news."
John adds this recent memory...
"Dave Rainford's passing will give
rise to many anecdotes and I could certainly add a few. The
last time I played against Dave there was a general agreement that
the paper wasn't up to much. Dave refused to join in the
condemnation on the basis that setting papers is difficult and
someone had put in a lot of effort to produce that paper.
RIP 'Tremendous Knowledge'
simply has this to add...
"Dave was a great
guy, one of all our favourites.
He will be very much missed.
Much love and
very deep condolences to his family, and of
course to the Prodigals, and all his friends at
As Dave I'm
sure would wish, let's remember him with a smile on
our faces. The Father Megson
article below was published on the WithQuiz site on
13/04/2005 just after Dave had won his Who
Wants To Be a Millionaire
- SUMMA CUM LAUDE
Hoc semano Withquiz
in conjunctione "Osservatore Romano" Davidum
Rainfordium summa cum laude salutat. Ipse Davidus
de facto rex mundi quizzorum cognentia generale et
infantus terribilis leaguae tavernorum Didsburiensis
et proximis villagiis plus plebian qui recenter
multos spondulikos vicit in populario ITV
ludo-spectaculo nomine Quis Possessor Millionis
Spondulikis Esse Vult.
Davidus Magnus qui
frequens imbiber est in populario sed superpricendo
hostelio nomine "Leo Rubidus" nunc potest non solum
affordare in omnis hipissime vino tavernis et
discothequis Mancuniensis Stocportiensisque imbibere
sed etiam regulenter procurare crustum grandum
servatum cum condimento bisto (gustanter) et sacam
patatas fritas devouratum dum ille in domum
inebriatus ambulat media in nocte. Deo gratias
tamen positivus est que successio suam
personalitatem convivialiam non una iota alterabit.
"Nulla via, Jose",
dixit eloquenter, sedente in suo novo constructato
palacio media in Via Palatine - monstrous
carbunculus in opinione Camilla nunc regina de facto
angliae sed definiter non hiberniae.
equaliter meos CCL mille spondulikos et meos amicos
pauperos qui miserabiliter obligatos in squalore
abjecte in saecula saeculorum subsistare....turdum
durum, amici....sic transit in Gloria Hunniford!"
Relaxante et sippende
pinam coladam duplicatam in sua sauna privata,
describat Davidus momentum grandum quando ipse
videtur in TV contra inquisitorem Chris Tarrantum
(ex Tiswas quod programmum infantile in decado LXX
erat). Necne ille nervosus erat?
responsit Davidus sotto voce familiaro, "especialiter
in prima parte nomine 'Digitus Prontissime Primus'.
Difficile est movere digitum et cerebellum in tandem
in studio ITV. Facile est domo in sofa sed non in
studio. Urgenter in lavatorium visitare desirabam!
successum est et Chris me embracevit fortis quale
ursus. Bonum ovum est Chris - meus hero puerile -
amabam olim diem saturni ante meridiam quando tempus
"Crusta custardi et
canis nomine Spit! Brillianter!!! Atque amabam
observare non solum Tiswas sed etiam Champion,
Equus Mirabilis et Torchi Torchi, Puer Batterius.
"A beatus meus
perditus juventus - sed odious AC Milano, bastardi.
Sed digresso. Non iam nervosus media in ludo.
Multi faciles questiones et Chris inquisitor
gentilior quam Jitka est. Non potest conferrare sed
Sed nota bene: non
bona idea est hoc attemptare dum ludente in taverno
nomine Cygnus Albus - multo periculo!
Hoc me totaliter
confusavit - detesto anagramas
ludent mei optimi amici pro squado Parco Alberto qui
normaliter in profundis recessis leaguae localae
"Dormit - hoc ergo
definiter non bona idea est. Necesse est ipso solo
rubicon transversare noteo gradualiter patternum
emergentum in ludo id est omnia correcta responsa
cum letteris alpha, beta, gamma vel delta commencare
tendit. Ludum infantum nunc est.
"Estimo tandem que
satis spondulikos habeo. Fatigus sum et
incredibiliter non imbibo pintum lageris dum duas
horas!! Dico: 'Finale responsum absoluter Chris.
Ita missa est. Vale.'
securis depositis in valiso sub jimjamis designo
Winnie ille Pooh, decideo in domum ambulare. Non
pluvit et ultimum omnibus transnocte de Londineo ad
Mancunium multos spondulikos costat. Nulla via,
Bonum ovum es, Davide.
Withquiz te salutat in saecula saeculorum.
And finally as my own small
'condolences card' for Dave you will find my 'DR' picture quiz if you press