Former World Championship player
Trans Tasman Representative: 1996, 1998, 2002, 2004
Occupation: Mother of four
When did it all begin?
Scrabble has always been part of Esther's life. In fact,
she can't remember life before she was able to play the game. She first
played with her brother Russell – not just the occasional game –
marathon sessions every Sunday. After he won the British National
Championship she began to wonder how she might fare. Russell moved out
of home and Esther moved to Bristol to work and carry on her hobby of
bellringing. She first entered the British Nationals in 1983 – and
surprisingly won the South West Regional. But she bombed out in the
final as one of her opponents happened to be a rising youngster called
Esther met Mark again later that year while competing in
the TV show Countdown. They played each other in the semi-final and she
lost again! Since that time they have remained firm friends. This was
helped by his move to Bristol Uni – so they got to play many games of
Scrabble there. They were both founding members of the Pill Scrabble
Club which went on to win the English Club Championships.
She won the Northern Regional of the National
Championships in 1985 and went on to win the Nationals with a record
breaking 3 game total of 1782 (almost 600 per game). This was recorded
in the Guinness Book of Records for 1986. It must be noted is that in
those days the UK system was determined by "high score" ─ so winning tournaments really depended
on how open your opponent played.
Esther played in the first "professional" tournament in
England. Eight top players from around the country were invited to
Somerset to play for prize money (a thing unheard of in England) which
caused a reasonable amount of controversy.
In 1986, Esther won the Postal Scrabble Club weekend tournament in
Scarborough (12 games).
Team Australia 2004
Back to Oz
Esther moved back to Australia in June 1986 (she was
born here but moved to England while very young).
She has continued to play in Australia when family commitments have
allowed. She didn’t play at all for nearly 3 years from the end of 1990
and it's thanks to a phone call from Bob Jackman one day that got her
back into things. Luckily, her husband Bill is reasonably supportive
and has been to tournaments on a few occasions ─ bringing children to be breastfed
Both Esther and her brother Russell competed in the
World Championships in Melbourne. She represented Australia, while he
represented England. They were never drawn to play each other!
- World Scrabble Championships – 1997 (31st).
- Australian rep, Trans Tasman Challenge: 1996, 1998,
- Played in tournaments in Singapore, Malaysia and
- Australian National Championships:
Finished 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th.
- Sydney Masters Champion 1990, 1997
- NSW Championships Runner-up: 1994, 1995
- Sydney Marathon Champion, 1994, 1993 (5 days before
giving birth to her third child).
- Sydney Marathon Runner-up: 1997, 1998
- Beecroft Marathon Champion: 2002, 2003
- NSW Winter Masters Runner-up 2000, 2003