Hubert Phillips

By Terence Reese

Hubert Phillips, who died last month at the age of 72, deserves to be remembered by all bridge players for his influence on the early development of the tournament game, and by myself for his friendship with my mother and the kindness and trust he showed me at the beginning of my career.

ln the late 1930s Hubert was president of the National Bridge Association and editor of the British Bridge World. These occupations were very much of a sideline for a brilliant journalist, mathematician, and wit, a man of exceptional erudition.

Cards were something of a blind spot for him but he brought enormous zest to the game and a succession of astonishing puns that kept everyone in fits of laughter.

In his heyday, when he was appearing on Round Britain Quiz, he earned a five-figure income, but such was his generosity and conviviality that he never kept pace with his income tax.

In later years the illness of his wife and a fondness for gaming and cheery potations (and especially the two in combination), led to a decline in his fortunes, but he never lost his courtesy and good humour. He married again in 1962. and I hope his last years were happy and free from worry for he had a largeness of spirit that one seldom sees in this game or indeed in these times.