Peter Littlewood

"At our club on Monday September 17 we were playing the EBU sim pairs, the hands were commented on by Peter Littlewood. I knew that night he was critically ill in hospital, in a coma. he died four days later at his Doncaster home. he was 67.

Peter's death, following a stepladder fall at home and internal injuries, will leave a big hole in my life, but also a void in English bridge too.

As well as establishing himself as a top player Peter did much for the game in other ways. he was a bridge journalist for 35 years; he was vice-chairman of Yorkshire CBA and his behind-the-scenes work for bridge included service on the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee.

The sixth of 11 children, he was born in Sheffield and in his youth excelled not only as a cards and chess player, but at sport in general and soccer in particular.

He was also a great family man and was proud of his three children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. With his wife Margaret he also fostered five children.

My partnership wth Peter began in the early 1970s and we became one of England's most successful partnerships - and popular winners too, which was nicer still. We won the National Pairs in 1977 and again 20 years later, with seconds and thirds in between. We also tied for the Crockfords Cup in 1977, but lost on a split tie. We played in Warsaw as a result of the 1997 win and came 21st out of 399 pairs - the highest placed British pair. We won the Northern Pairs five times - a record-equalling feat.

In recent seniors events we earned success and represented England in the first Seniors World Championships in Maastricht, finishing fourth and so just missing out on a medal - but what an experience!

Peter also had another long-time bridge partner - his brother Frank - and the two of them dominated the Sheffield League for about 25 years. Frank was in our successful Crockfords Cup team and the two brothers won the EBU Graded Pairs at that time.

As a bridge journalist Peter contributed many articles to the Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Telegraph and Star, reviewed bridge books, and wrote Gallimaufry and other articles in English Bridge. He was an expert on the history of cards.

His manner at the bridge table, in a focussed way, was an example to all. his analysis was quick and correct. He was a model partner. We had few arguments at the table considering we partnered each other for 30 years.

Our secret? I could moan at him, but he wouldn't answer back! hence no argument!

Peter copied down many hands for the articles he wrote and often when we met up to play he would not ask how's your health or family etc., but would say that I could have made that 3 contract last month! Such a mind for bridge.

After a poor session at bridge on a long weekend and after a bit of discussion, he would close it by saying: "Keep smiling". Good advice to anyone, especially bridge players. i will miss him almost as much as his family - and so will bridge literature.

he died on the day of the autumn equinox in the autumn of his life. bridge has been robbed of a nice bloke.

Since his retirement as general manager of Frigoscandia, a large freezing food company, Peter acted as chairman of the local charity Partnership for Carers. Recently he tried to improve the mental health facilities in Doncaster, as joint coordinator for the Doncaster Health Action group. He was also on the Doncaster committee of the MIND charity."

by Graham Jepson, English Bridge December 2001

Major International Appearances

Senior World Olympiad: 2000

National Pairs winner: 1977 and 1997