THE friends of a trivia buff who died in January have paid tribute to him with a winning performance in one of the Capital’s biggest quiz events.
The Dude Abides team was joined by Laura Thomson, sister of Max Thomson, who died just two days after the team’s victory on TV quiz Eggheads was broadcast.
They scooped the £1000 first prize in the Giant Pub Quiz held in aid of St Columba’s Hospice at the Corn Exchange on Thursday evening.
Team member Brian Pendreigh said he had entered the event several months ago, planning to put together a six-strong team including 49-year-old transport planner Max, who lived in Leith, and a selection of other quiz players from their pool of regular team-mates.
Mr Pendreigh said they had pulled together despite the shock of hearing that Max had taken his own life.
“We were meant to be doing a quiz the Sunday after Max died and Laura said ‘You should go ahead and do it’,” he said. “I think it helped us because that was the core people that had been on Eggheads and all knew Max.
“We did the quiz half-heartedly but it gave us a chance to see one another within a few days of Max dying.
“Laura used to do quizzes with Max at Spiers Bar years ago, and she enjoyed the social element, so we thought it would be nice to ask her if she’d like to come along.”
The team was delighted to move into first place in the very last round, having not been ahead the rest of the night.
Despite being a late addition to the line-up, Ms Thomson helped ensure the team’s victory over 29 other teams by correctly identifying a picture of a pair of eyes as belonging to Beyonce, and not Leona Lewis, as the rest of the team thought.
She said: “I thought straight away I would do it, and my mum encouraged me as well. I was just a bit worried that I wasn’t going to be very good! It was a very good night and we thought it was a nice wee tribute to Max. We raised a glass to him at the end – and I’ve got an open invitation to join the team.”
The team split the winnings between them, with a donation going to St Columba’s. The hospice has also been chosen as the nominated charity for Victoria Primary School, where Ms Thomson is headteacher.
Lesley Christie, Director of Fundraising, said “The Giant Pub Quiz 2012 was a massive success. There were pies, pints and lots of laughs. We’re very grateful to everyone who turned out.
“Well done to the winning team The Dude Abides. Their success was a fitting tribute to their absent team member.”
St Columba’s is currently raising funds for its rebuild campaign – for more information see www.bluedove.org.uk.