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25th Sep 2022

Hundreds turn up to biggest gathering of Nigels as the name faces extinction

Jack Peat

There have been no Nigels born over the past few years 

A pub landlord attempting to stop Britain from running out of Nigels staged a festival for men with the name – and hundreds turned up from all over the world.

Nigel Smith, 59, held Nige-fest last night – gathering hundreds of Nigels from all over the world together for a pint.

The entertainment was provided by musicians called Nigel, and attendees brought photo ID and signed the “the book of Nigel” kept at the Fleece Inn, in Bretforton, Worcs.

Nigel came up with the idea after the name became officially extinct according to new birth records in 2016 and 2020.

The landlord broke the world record for the largest gathering of Nigels after 432 joined him for a pint in 2019.

He was hoping to break his own record last night – but this year, 372 Nigels turned up for an evening of Nigel-themed refreshment.

The oldest Nigel in attendance was an 84-year-old who came from America for the event. The youngest Nigel was in his 30s.

Others travelled from Los Angeles, Florida and Texas to Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and Spain.

Entertainment was provided by other Nigels – two DJs, an MC, a comedian, a busker, and even a group of Morris dancers all called Nigel as well.

The second ever ‘Nigel Night’ raised more than £3,000 for British Heart Foundation.

Pub landlord Nigel plans to host it again in 2025.

Nigel said: “It was absolutely brilliant. We had a fantastic time.

“It was like we all had known each other forever, but obviously we didn’t. It was a great feeling of all of us getting together and celebrating our Nigel-ness.

“Times are pretty difficult at the moment for many of us so it was great to be able to get together for a party.

“We just had a jolly fine time.

“Tradition is something you do twice, that’s the rule, and we shall do it again. I think we’re encouraged enough to say every two to three years, we’ll do it again, definitely.

“We had people from all over coming to the event. Our friend from Texas – Texas Nigel – came for the second time, only to be joined by another Texas Nigel.

“One Nigel came from the Isle of Wight so we had to give him an award for the longest travelled Nigel in the UK.

“People who came this time heard about us three years ago and put it in their diaries.

“We were running shuttle buses from our local town and hotels so that all the Nigels who had travelled were able to get here and perhaps enjoy a beer or two and not have to drive home.

“We had a 14-week-old puppy called Nigel as well, which was nice – but he didn’t say very much!

“We are uniting Nigels from all across the world, and we would like to reach out to and invite all Nigels – and all non-Nigels – to come along and join us next time in 2025.”

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