A UK superfan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, after a long-fought battle with cancer, was memorialized in the summer of 2021 with a very special headstone, modeled after one of the game’s many trading cards. Simon George Konrad Hill-Williams, 22, lost his battle, but his memory lives on through his devotion to the game and the support of friends and family.
On the matter of Simon’s life, his close friend Sam Render had this to say about him:
I’ve been friends with Simon since 2014 which would have been towards the tail-end of our time at high school. He was introduced to me as a bit of a nerd, like myself, and from there we started talking about our favourite games. When he told me that he’d been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! since he was young, it interested me because I used to play when I was young myself but stopped when high school started. […] Seeing how Simon didn’t care how he looked to others and enjoyed the things he liked to the fullest, it inspired me to get back into the game and I’ve been playing ever since.
Sam told Bleeding Cool that his nickname and the Twitch handle that it inspired was Tricksterking and that Simon used the nickname because he was fond of any card with a clown or jester motif and was, in Sam’s words, “definitely a tricky opponent.”
Furthermore, his mother, Virginia Denley-Hill, had the following to say about Simon, and the circumstances surrounding his choice of headstone, which we are told cost the family £4,000:
The headstone went in on Christmas Eve 2021 and we were blown away by how fantastic it is, the detail the memorial company went into is astonishing. A week later was Simon’s 23rd birthday and the day after that was when I thought I would like other Yu-Gi-Oh! and game players to see it and hear of Simon. The response was and still is quite overwhelming and far beyond anything we were expecting. I wish I could thank everyone individually.
It is still a healing time for us all and so wrong for one so young to go through what he did and not live, so wrong for a child to go before a parent. You could say we all have our deck of cards to play, our life to play out, to love, to live, and to fight, but there comes a time when your left holding one last card and play it you must. Simon’s last card is now literally set in stone.
Virginia also told Bleeding Cool to clarify some questions many people have asked about Simon’s stone, that his headstone’s stats have Simon at a defense of “0” because he fought with everything he could. Furthermore, the picture they used for his stone shows Simon happy, and before he was too debilitated by the illness.
It is evident by the outpouring of love and camaraderie towards Simon that he is cherished and loved very much. He will be missed by his family, friends, and certainly the Yu-Gi-Oh! gaming community as well. If you wish to support Simon’s loved ones, they have asked that you donate to their choice of a charitable foundation, Young Lives Vs. Cancer, which can be found at their website or on Facebook by clicking here.