Eric Milnes

EBUQ February 1984

Eric C Milnes, who died on 3rd January, will be well remembered for the many contributions he made to the game of bridge. His major one, as editor of “Bridge Magazine”, lasted for fifteen years up until his partial retirement after the October, 1980, issue.

However, not far behind in importance was his voluntary service within the English Bridge Union. Starting as a delegate from Yorkshire in the early sixties, he quickly became an ever-present member of the EBU Selection Committee, and has also been on the EBU Board of Directors since the Board was formed in 1972; latterly, he has been one of the driving forces in building up the EBU’s Teachers Training Scheme.

During the War, Eric had served as a pilot in Coastal Command, and his bridge playing career did not start until some four years after demob. In those early days, his successes included winning the Yorkshire Pairs championship and being in a Yorkshire team which won the Hubert Phillips Bowl, but, as a player, he was to make his real mark with Phillip Purcell, in a partnership and close friendship spanning the last 22 years. They were consistently part of the Yorkshire teams in the Roses matches over two decades, with Eric as captain on many occasions, and, in their first county outing in the Tollemache Cup, they helped Yorkshire to a rare win in the final. Twice winners of the Northern Pairs, within a fraction of winning the National Pairs three or four times and regular finalists in the Gold Cup and Crockfords Cup, their most recent wins were in the 1980 Saga Over Sixties and in the 1981-82 English Silver Plate.

Eric’s other passion was Rugby Union, firstly as a player at Bradford, later as President of the club and finally as one of the architects of the amalgamation of Bradford and Bingley.

It is not possible to cover all facets of his full life in such a short précis. He will be greatly missed by his many friends in the English Bridge Union, and our kindest condolences go to his wife, Pam, and family.

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1958 and 1963

Tollemache Cup winner: 1960 1965 and 1968