Birmingham & Black Country

Could this Willenhall baby be the last Nigel?

Nigel Image copyright Laura Reed and Kieran Ball
Image caption The final Nigel? Nigel Ball's name is on the brink of extinction

The father of a rare baby Nigel says he hopes the name can make a comeback.

The name, according to latest figures, is on the brink of extinction in England and Wales, with fewer than three Nigels born in 2016.

The way data is recorded means it is not known whether there are two babies keeping the name alive, or just 13-month-old Nigel Ball, of Willenhall, West Midlands.

Despite its unpopularity, dad Kieran Ball had his heart set on the name.

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Image copyright Laura Reed and Kieran Ball
Image caption Mr Ball said his son really suited his old-fashioned name

Mr Ball, 24, and Nigel's mother, Laura Reed, 21, said they were "over the moon" with the name of their son, who was born on 26 August last year.

Named after Mr Ball's late father, Mr Ball said he had his heart set on the name Nigel and hoped his son would continue to pass the name down to future generations.

"If it was going to be a boy, we decided Nigel straight away," he said.

Image copyright Laura Reed and Kieran Ball
Image caption Mr Ball hopes his son will pass the name on to future generations

"I'm hoping my son will name his son Nigel," Mr Ball said. "And maybe his son will name his son Nigel, too."

Figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed there were fewer than three Nigels born last year compared with 5,529 in 1963 at the name's peak popularity.

"It's old-fashioned, it's out of date, maybe people have forgotten about it," Mr Ball said about the name's near-extinction. "I'd like to think the name will make a comeback."

Image copyright Laura Reed and Kieran Ball
Image caption Mr Ball said his son looked just like his father did as a baby

That he might be the only Nigel makes the name even better.

Mr Ball said: "My dad's the only Nigel I've ever known, and when my son goes to school, there'll only be one Nigel.

"My dad would have been so proud."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nigel Mansell, Nigel Kennedy and Nigel Farage - the last of a dying breed?

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