John Rainsden was the runner-up of Series 44 in 2001.
He was a 61-year old former Head of Maths at Wallingford School, Oxfordshire. John defeated Stuart Wood in his first appearance on 29 March 2001, and won a further four games before losing at the hands of Stan Airey. He returned for the final rounds as #8 seed, and pulled off a shock win over Kevin McMahon in the quarter-final, before beating David Hoskisson in the semi-final. The final against Stuart Wood, a rematch of their earlier heat game, went to a crucial conundrum with John trailing by a solitary point. However, it was Stuart who buzzed and answered correctly, meaning John had to settle for second-best. John was invited back for Championship of Champions XI after Stuart Wood was forced to pull out through illness, but he lost in the first round to an on-form Tom Hargreaves.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|2979||29/03/2001||P||Stuart Wood||38 – 52||John Rainsden||Tim Rice||Gillian Evans||72|
|2980||30/03/2001||P||John Rainsden||48 – 30||Carol Forde||Tim Rice||Gillian Evans||84|
|2981||2/04/2001||P||John Rainsden||56 – 29||Dave Spall||Tim Rice||Gillian Evans||82|
|2982||3/04/2001||P||John Rainsden||45 – 37||John Place||Lionel Blair||Damian Eadie||84|
|2983||4/04/2001||P||John Rainsden||52 – 34||Jacqui Baker||Lionel Blair||Damian Eadie||73|
|2984||5/04/2001||P||John Rainsden||49 – 61||Stan Airey||Lionel Blair||Damian Eadie||72|
|3036||21/06/2001||QF||Kevin McMahon||45 – 50||John Rainsden||Martin Jarvis||Damian Eadie||72|
|3040||27/06/2001||SF||David Hoskisson||27 – 39||John Rainsden||Martin Jarvis||Damian Eadie||73|
|3042||29/06/2001||GF||John Rainsden||48 – 59||Stuart Wood||Stephen Fry||Damian Eadie||127|
|3395||13/01/2003||CP||John Rainsden||65 – 117||Tom Hargreaves||Tim Rice||Susie Dent||132|