Is this 74 year old man the UK’s oldest app creator? Grandad invents ‘the next Wordle’


A 74 year old man based in Leeds has dubbed himself “the UK’s oldest app creator” after inventing the next Wordle.

Graham Jaggers (74) had been obsessed with word games for over 60 years – and decided to create one of his own after going through “thousands of crosswords and hours of Scrabble” in lockdown.

“The app is based on a game I used to play in school called Donkey where one player says a letter, then the next and so on until you’ve spelt out a word. The person who says the letter that finishes that word is the loser – so you want to keep saying letters and make the word as long as possible”.
Graham explains that when they heard about his latest venture, his friends and family didn’t believe he was tech savvy enough to see it through.

“A lot of people, my own family included, think older people are hopeless with technology, so they weren’t expecting me to pull it off – but I reminded them I was one of the first people to own an Apple Mac in the 80s and that experience set me in good stead for today!

I worked hard to prove people wrong and once I finished the app my young grandkids and my older friends were all playing it. My wife was behind me the whole way and in many ways became my coworker helping me build the game’s dictionary. It’s lovely to see the younger generation connecting with the same things I did when I was their age”.

Graham spent a year and a half developing a digital version of his favourite childhood game – called The Never Ending Game and published as “NE-Lite”.

He explains that there is massive educational value in his new game, and compares it to the likes of global phenomenon Wordle.

“Wordle gives you a nice moment, but it’s 3 minutes and it’s gone – there’s no competitive element. NE Lite has huge educational value – it’s the first word game to give you the definitions of the words being made.

There are 4 difficulty levels so the game can be challenging for a 7 year old as well as a mastermind. You can also play on your computer so visually impaired older people can use larger screens, and I plan on adding a voice control feature for those who can’t type.

As possibly the UK’s oldest app creator I understand that technology can be daunting, so I want people of all ages and abilities to enjoy my game”.
Graham explains that he is a firm believer that it’s never too late to pursue something new, and offers his advice to ambitious members of the older generation.

“I worked as a teacher for 40 years, and I’ve had the idea for my own game floating around in my head since I was 12 years old – I never worked in technology or IT, but I loved challenging myself and learning a new skill from scratch.

People are used to hearing success stories from the younger generation, but with experience on your side it’s never too late to do the things you want to. Your age should never hold you back from achieving.

NE Lite is available to download for free from Google and Apple app stores now.