A STROKE survivor from Bolton who appeared on Countdown was pipped to the post to win the show despite taking an early lead and finding a nine-letter word.

Trevor Grundy, aged 61, had a stroke in 2009, but this did not stop him from taking part in the Channel 4 word-finding show, hosted by Nick Hewer and Rachel Riley, after discovering that quizzes helped to keep his brain trained.

After a solid performance, the Countdown Conundrum changed the game’s dynamic and the chartered legal executive lost by five points.

Mr Grundy, who attends Bolton stroke group Jigsaw, said: “I quickly realised that the word was ‘stickiest’, but could see from the corner of my eye that Ann had worked it out as well.

"We both went for the buttons at the same time, but I was just a fraction of a second slower.”

Despite losing at the last hurdle, Mr Grundy — who has starred in 10 different game shows over the past 25 years including the Crystal Maze and Crosswits — said the experience has not deterred him from auditioning for more in the future.