Alan Wardman

By Eric Crowhurst

Alan Wardman died on 21st October, as a result of complications following an operation for the removal of a brain tumour. He had taught in the Classics Department at Reading University for 35 years, and had been professor of Classics since 1983. He was 60.

Alan had always been interested in chess and bridge, and he reached county standard at chess before being bitten by the duplicate bridge bug ii the late 1950s. He and I played together for many years, and we achieved moderate success at local, county, national and international level.

However, I was never allowed to forget that bridge is merely "a game". Alan's highly developed sense of fun was never far below the surface. no matter how serious the event.

Alan Wardman's obituary in the Times mentioned that he was a highly individual scholar. One might also suggest that he was a highly individual bridge player, for he was essentially a natural player who was reluctant-to burden himself with too many conventions: it was, for example, many years before I managed to convince him of the theoretical advantages of transfer bids in response to one no trump.

Having said that, however, Alan had a remarkable ability to play his very best bridge when the occasion demanded it, and our four major successes the Gold Cup, the Crockfords Cup and the Masters, pairs (twice) were all due to his enviable concentration and determination when the pressure was on.

Alan will be sadly missed by his many friends in the bridge world and elsewhere. The Reading Bridge Club will certainly not be the same without him.