Richard Fleet

I learned to play bridge by watching my parents play with friends some 55 years ago. It was a relatively informal game: since more sophisticated methods of signalling were unknown, the conventions included rubbing one’s chest if a heart lead was wanted.

I first played duplicate at school in 1969 and rapidly became obsessed to the detriment of my academic results. More by luck than anything else I obtained a place at Cambridge where the standard of the university club was remarkably high: over a ten year period in the 1970s, more than 20 of the university players became junior or senior internationals.

I emerged from Cambridge with a very moderate degree and no idea of what I wanted to do. I accepted the first job offer that was made to me and started work in a tax office in 1975. I remained a tax professional for the whole of my career though combining it with pensions for the last 22 years. I retired from full-time work shortly after my 60th birthday at the end of 2013 though remain a part-time pension scheme trustee. In addition, I am now researching the history of English tournament bridge and hope that the first instalment, covering the period from 1925 to 1945, will be completed at some point during 2016.

At one stage I competed in a lot of bridge tournaments and even managed to win some of them, including the Brighton Teams, Crockfords Cup, Hubert Phillips Bowl and Spring Foursomes. I represented Great Britain at junior international level on three occasions and played in eight Camrose matches. I am now retired from tournament bridge and have not in fact played at all for over eighteen months.

Over the years I have been heavily involved in bridge administration, having served for lengthy periods on the London Committee, including ten years as Chairman, and the EBU Laws & Ethics and Selection Committees. After a hiatus from administration lasting some nine years, I have very recently been elected back onto the L & E.

Finally, I have served as an international non-playing captain on about 30 occasions though not since 2004. However, I have just been appointed as NPC of the England team for the second Camrose weekend in 2016.

Last updated: January 2016

Update: Richard completed his work on 'Tournament Bridge in England: 1925-1945' in autumn 2016, and it is available to read here.

Major International Appearances
European Junior Championships: 1974

Camrose Trophy Selections: 1987 1988 1989 1992 and 1993

Junior Camrose Selections: 1974 and 1975

Crockfords winner: 1990

Spring Foursomes winner: 1989 1993 and 1994

Brighton Four Stars Teams winner: 1986 and 1990

Hubert Phillips Bowl winner: 1997

Tollemache Cup winner: 1988 and 1995

Sunday Telegraph Salver winner: 1978