Leslie Ingram-Brown, a long-time international curling umpire, sadly passed away this fall and for us, and for all the Finnish curlers, he was one of those special people who truly embodied the spirit of curling.
He also had a special way of making the players feel like you alone were his absolute favourite, especially during the fun party times, when each drink would make him more and more Scottish, and more and more difficult to understand... 😉
Here are some nice memories from Jermu Pöllänen, the skip of the men’s national team from 2019, an experienced curling umpire and a dear friend of Leslie:
“For me Leslie was a great motivator since day one when we met for the first time. I got to know him as the Chief Umpire in 2001 European Championships here in Vierumäki, Finland and was instantly impressed by his warm welcoming behaviour! Equally impressing was his uncompromised professionalism when it came to Chief Umpiring duties – It seemed everything that happened in the arena ended up in Leslie’s books.
Later on, it turned out that he had a really good sense of humour too, or at least similar to mine. His dedication towards our sport was inevitable! A perfect example of it being his own personal pins, equipped with his own humorously clever nickname: “Stonemad”.
Mainly thanks to Leslie, my first experience as a Championship Level Umpire made such an impression on me that I even created a complete Finnish guide to organising a Championship level tournament from the perspective of an umpire. Little did I know that the passion and interest in this new aspect of the game that was created in 2001 Europeans would mean I will end up working as End Ice Umpire in the 2006 Olympic Final in Turin! An experience I probably would’ve never had, if it hadn’t been so much fun to work with Leslie and the whole Umpiring crew in Vierumäki.
May you rest in peace Leslie, my one and only Chief Umpire and Stonemad par excellence!”
The whole Finnish curling community would like to say a huge thank you for Leslie’s wonderful role and influence in the world of curling, and we wish to send our deepest condolences to his family and friends for their loss.
Leslie, you will be very missed.
PS. We were lucky enough to get an interview with Leslie in 2004, which you can check out here: