Sidney Lee

By Tony Priday
June 1999

A champion of charm and Patience Dr. Sidney Lee, who was one of Britain's leading Players between 1945 and 1970, has died at the age of 87. He represented Britain in the European Championships in 1965,partnering Louis Tarlo, and he won the Gold Cup five times with three different partners, Pedro Juan, Mrs Dimmie Fleming and his great friend Standish Booker (three times). He also won the Crockford's Cup and the Master's individual and he represented England five times in Camrose matches.

Sidney had great charm and patience and these attributes, combined with strength of character, led to him being appointed as captain to the British women who won the European Championship in 1951 in Venice. lt was due to his advice, after this championship, that the great partnership of Fritzi Gordon and Rixi Markus was formed. He also captained the British open team which won a bronze medal at the Olympiad in New York.

Sidney's Parents came from Lithuania, then part of Russia, and settled in Whitechapel, London, where Sidney was born in 1911 . His father was a cabinet maker and his mother was a milliner. He qualified as a doctor in 1933 and started work at Westminster Hospital. Shortly after this he and his wife, Ester, who was also a doctor, opened a practice in Stratford, in the East End of London, where Sidney worked for about 60 years, looking after poor patients for very little recompense. He was an excellent physician and first class diagnostician.

Due to his hobby he was also doctor to many of the country's leading bridge players including Rixi Markus, Doris Rhodes, Harold Lever, Leslie Dodds, Kenneth Konstam, Boris Schapiro, Claude Rodrigue and Michael Wolach. Sidney would help anyone' In the mid 70s at an event in Europe, Julius Rosenblum, the American President of the World Bridge Federation, fell seriously ill. Sidney was asked for his help and he immediately joined Rosenblum and accompanied him in an ambulance back to New Orleans' He will be remembered fondly by many of the older generation of British bridge Players.

Major International Appearances

European Championships: 1965

Camrose Trophy Selections: 1948 1949 1950 1957 and 1962

Gold Cup Winner: 1948 1950 1952 1953 and 1957

Crockfords Winner: 1955 and 1962

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1953 1955 1959 and 1960

Tollemache Cup winner: 1951 1952 1961 and 1964