Fiona Brown

"I am from the beachy Australian town of Ballina situated in the North East of New South Wales. From a very young age I can remember watching my mum host bridge games at home. I was told I learnt through osmosis.

When I was 11 my mum took me to the Ballina bridge club which was hosted in the Senior Citizen Hall. On my second game we scored 56% and finished 2nd. We were then told that I wouldn't be able to play bridge in Ballina anymore because in order to be allowed in the Senior Citizen Hall I had to be over 50. There was big uproar and the club split so now there are two clubs in Ballina -The Ballina Bridge Club and the Ballina Senior's where I'll be able to play in 2035.

I was fortunate enough, with the help of Peter Gill to become involved in the Australia junior scene where I met other players my own age and saw a whole different life to the game.

In 2005 I met my boyfriend Hugh McGann at the Gold Coast Congress (best tournament on the calendar – everyone should go!) We live in Harrogate and occasionally play together. We came 4th in the world mixed pairs, 9th in the 2011 European mixed pairs, 5th in the teams and have a 1st and 2nd in the Scarborough congress.

My friendship and partnership with Susan Stockdale began in 2008. Our debut event was the first Channel Trophy girl’s event. In the most crucial match against France: Susan found a great 6NT bid and me being eager to impress raised her to 7NT which got doubled and after the leader cashed their ace proceeded to go one down. Despite this we went on to win the event. Susan even forgave me and since then we haven’t looked back. As a pair we have represented England twice in the Lady Milne, played in the English under 28 team which finished 5th in the World Mind Sports, played on the European English Women’s team that qualified 5th and then later that year went to Eindhoven and played in the Venice Cup, coming fourth.

Together with the England Women's team, I won Gold at the European Women's Teams in Dublin, and we followed this with Gold at the World Mind Sports Olympiad in Lille in 2012.

At present I work part time in an independent pharmacy which allows me the flexibility to play as much bridge as I like. Apart from bridge and work I regularly attend the gym and never miss a ‘Body Pump’ class. I like good wine, most beer, watching sport and quiz nights. My favourite bridge book is Card Play Technique and my favourite player to kitbitz is Geir Helgemo."

Read Top Table interview - February 2012

Since writing this biography Fiona's successes have included winning gold with the England Women's team in the 2016 European Championships, silver at the Venice Cup in Bali in 2013 and at the European Championships in 2014, and bronze in the 2015 Venice Cup in Chennai. She also won the Gold Coast Open Teams in Australia in 2014.

Playing with Helen Erichsen she was part of the England team which finished second in the 2016 Lady Milne, and won the event in 2017. They also won the 2016 Great Northern Swiss Pairs.

She was part of the winning team in the Four Star Teams at the 2016 Summer Meeting.

Fiona is also assistant squad leader of the Women's Under 26 squad.

Last updated: April 2017

Major International Appearances

Women's European Championships: 2010 2012* 2014 and 2016*
Venice Cup: 2011 2013 and 2015
Women's World Olympiad: 2012* and 2016
Junior European Championships: 2007 and 2009

* = 1st place

Lady Milne Trophy Selections: 2009 2010 2016 and 2017

Junior Camrose Selections: 2008 and 2009

Four Star Teams at the Summer Meeting, winner: 2016