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Tributes to Huddersfield's 'cleverest man' who has died aged 85

Leslie Duncalf won the BBC Radio 4 Brain of Britain quiz

Leslie Duncalf known as the 'cleverest man in Huddersfield' who won the Brain of Britain quiz has died aged 85. He is pictured far right

A man once dubbed Huddersfield’s ‘cleverest man’ has died aged 85.

Leslie Duncalf was born on May 23 1932 and brought up in Paddock Head and educated at Hillhouse School.

He was renowned for his studious demeanour and went on to win the BBC Radio 4 Brain of Britain quiz, the longest-running of all the broadcast quiz shows, at the second attempt.

This was a victory which he quickly followed up by winning Brain of Brains.

The only son of the late Jim Duncalf, who won the Military Medal for bravery in World War One and the late Edith Duncalf, Leslie served in the RAF in the 1950s.

After demobilisation he went to work at the Yorkshire Building Society eventually becoming deputy chief executive.

Many years later he took early retirement to care for his mother and finding plenty of time of his hands, decided to put it to good use by becoming a quiz star.

He played in several quiz leagues in West Yorkshire winning them all on more than one occasion.

In 1986 he joined the Old Contemptibles quiz team, winning the Brighouse Rotary Club charity quiz.

The Old Contemptibles who won the annual general knowledge quiz at St Paulinus Social Club in Dewsbury. From left to right: Leslie Duncalf, James Heaney, the Rev Mike Smith, Natalie Heaney and Alistair Whitehead.

His mind was sharp right up until his death and he played in his final quiz as recently as this summer.

Colne Valley Quiz League members said they would like to say a final farewell to ‘Les’ saying he would not be forgotten.

His good friend James Heaney, who has been playing in quiz teams for 41 years, said he met Leslie in 1975 while playing in the Tetley Brewery Quiz League.

He said: “Leslie was quite simply the cleverest man in Huddersfield and I and many others will remember him fondly.

“He seemed to know everything about most things, the only thing he wasn’t very strong on was pop music.

“If you came up against him in a quiz match you had better be prepared. He was also extremely loyal.”

Leslie died on August 7 and the funeral service was held on September 25.

His sister Joyce predeceased him.

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