The 41st national Scrabble champion was crowned today after winning a high-stakes war of words at the final of the annual competition.

Paul Gallen, 26, from Belfast, beat 43-year-old Wale Fashina, from Liverpool, to the title by coming up with with high-scoring words such as "neonates" - to do with children and pregnancy - which was worth 71 points in the last game and gave him a 100 point lead.

Solicitor Paul said said he would celebrate with a few drinks after bagging the £2,500 cash prize at the event in central London.

scrabble

Scrabble champion, Belfast solicitor Paul Gallen

Mr Gallen said it was not a sure victory and he was uncertain of his win in what had been a difficult contest.

"My opponent won the first game so I thought I was in a bit of trouble.

"I kind of just looked at how he played and knew there was not much I could do if I made a mistake."

Mr Gallen, who was watched by his father who had flown over from Belfast to support his son, appeared on and won Countdown in 2006 and once that was over for him said Scrabble was the game for him.

He added: "I'm delighted. It's not really sunk in yet."

The 41st National Scrabble Championship final took place at in The Cavendish Conference Centre in West London.

Loading Slideshow...
  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London between finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and 2, 000 prize money, as members of the public watch the match from the auditorium.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London between finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money, as members of the public watch the match from the auditorium.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London between finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money, as members of the public watch the match from the auditorium.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and 2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and 2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and 2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and 2, 000 prize money.

  • National Scrabble Championship final

    The world National Scrabble Championships in London with finalists, accountant Olawale Fashina (left) from Liverpool and solicitor Paul Gallen from Belfast, competing for the world title and £2, 000 prize money.