GCH Fox

By Patrick Jourdain
BM May 1998

G C H Fox, who died in March, aged 84, was bridge columnist of the Daily Telegraph for 34 years, retiring as bridge correspondent in 1992, and, a year later, also giving up the Saturday column. Fox, known in the bridge world by his initials, or, affectionately, as ‘Foxy’, was one of the most enduring and well-liked of Britain’s bridge journalists. He was an England international, partnering Tony Priday, the former bridge correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph.

George Clive Henry Fox was born in London on 19 January 1914, to a mother who was an actress. He was educated at Broadstairs and Winchester where, later, Tony Priday was also a pupil. At school Fox specialised in the classics, he then studied law in the Middle Temple and was called to the bar in 1937. He had a successful career as a barrister, but in 1950 retired to concentrate on bridge. He had learned the game at the age of 13 during a school vacation and started tournament bridge in 1938. War intervened and Foxy, not fit to serve, joined the Civil Defence as a lecturer.

In 1950 he founded, with Dolorosa Shammon, the first established bridge school in Britain, the Mayfair Bridge Studio in London. They lived in a flat above the studio and Dolorosa, after an illness, died at home on an evening that a tournament was held in the club below. The story goes that when the contestants enquired after her health, Foxy, not wishing to upset the customers, replied, ‘Not so well today,’ and play continued.

In 1958 he had one international for England, beating Scotland 4-2, and in October of the same year, obtained the post of bridge correspondent for the Telegraph on the death of Guy Ramsey.

Fox was author of 11 books on bridge, and the twelfth, an autobiography, is with the publishers. In 1968 he married Betty Harris, a British bridge international who was 11 years older than him. Betty in her nineties, and Foxy, 80, were keen supporters of junior bridge, and prominent, but sleepy, spectators at internationals, with the occasional snore disturbing play.

In their retirement, they lived in Hove. In 1995, not long before Betty died, Mr & Mrs Fox won a bridge event at a major tournament in Brighton in a field littered with current internationals.

Camrose Trophy selections: 1958

Easter Congress Guardian Trophy winner : 1966

Tollemache Cup winner: 1966