UK’s last Nigel! Couple gave son the country’s rarest name

A couple have given their son the country’s rarest name despite officials claiming it had ‘died out’ last year.

Lauren Reed, 21, and Keiran Ball, 24, from Willenhall, West Midlands were ‘chuffed to bits’ to name their baby after his late grandfather, Nigel, when he was born in August last year.

However, while the parents see the name as a fitting tribute, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that the moniker’s popularity had plummeted – meaning the tot could be one of only three Nigels left in the country.

Nigel William Lee Ball

Lauren Reed, 21, and Keiran Ball, 24, were ‘chuffed to bits’ to name their son after his late grandfather, Nigel

It is not clear why the name has taken such a fall, but some have argued it could be due to the notoriety of former Ukip leader and arch Brexiteer, Nigel Farage.

The political connotations don’t bother Ms Reed and Mr Ball though, who said they like that their son’s name is ‘unique’.

Mr Ball, whose father died of a heart attack, aged just, 38 in 2008, told the Sun: ‘As far as I’m concerned you can keep your Olivers, Kyles, Jacobs and Jordans.

‘I think Nigel is a great name and after losing my dad at such a young age I’m chuffed to bits my little boy will know carry his name on. He’s the last Nigel and he’s unique.’ 

Peak Nigel occurred in 1963 when 5,529 babies were given the name. But the name is now so rare there were more babies named Elvis than Nigel last year.

Ms Reed said her partner was hoping for a boy to carry on the Nigel name. 

Nigel William Lee Ball could be one of only three Nigels left in the country, with the name plummeting in popularity

She added: ‘We named him Nigel because it is a unique name.

‘We don’t know anybody else named Nigel.

‘Nigel is genuinely such a happy baby. He gets on really well with his big sister and his loves playing with his cousin.’

ONS survey, conducted last year, found that Oliver remains the most popular choice for a boy, ahead of Harry, George and Jack.

The couple said they are love that their little boy's name is unique and 

The family, from Willenhall, West Midlands, said they  love that their little boy’s name is unique

While Olivia tops the list of girls’ names, ahead of Amelia with Emily in third. 

Charlotte, chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their daughter, moved up to 12th.

Muhammad is now the eighth most popular boy’s name. However, it would top the list if two common alternative spellings were included.

Jaxon was the fastest growing boy’s name, taking 51st place – well ahead of the more orthodox Jackson.