14 October 1936- 1st January 2008
Patrick Jourdain writes:
Raymond Brock, who has died aged 71, was, for four decades, one of Britain's leading bridge-players and administrators. He was a member of the British team in 1987 that won silver at both the European and World Championships and was a World Bridge Master.
In the Home Internationals Brock had 26 caps for England as a player and, later, four as non-playing captain, including last year. Whilst resident in Glasgow in the early 70s he had seven matches for Scotland in the era when Scotland won the Camrose Trophy three times. Brock won the Gold Cup, the British knockout championships, on seven occasions.
Brock was educated at Manchester University and became a Physics teacher at a Manchester school. His international bridge career began in 1960 partnering Roy Higson of Lancashire. In 1968 Brock became a computer manager for Honeywell and moved to Glasgow. After his return to England in 1975 he lived in Middlesex and initially formed a partnership with Bill Pencharz, earning four caps for England. But his success in British teams came from the eight-year partnership with Tony Forrester, bridge columnist of the Daily Telegraph, which began in 1982. This included the World and European silver medals and two bronze medals at Common Market Championships.
Of numerous national titles his most recent was the England Teams Championship for the Crockford's Cup in 2004. This was his sixth win in Crockford's.
As an administrator Brock was twice President of the British Bridge League and non-playing captain of many of its teams, including a world bronze for the Women in 1980, and gold for the Juniors at the 1989 World championships in Nottingham. He was a key figure in coaching young players and in 1994 captained the British Junior team that won the Europeans and went on to win the world title the following year in Bali. Brock was an England selector.
Brock married for the first time in 1993. His widow, Sally, is one of Britain's leading bridge players. They won the England Mixed Teams title six times and the British Mixed Pairs twice. They had two children.
Anna Gudge writes:
Raymond was a very dear friend and mentor - it was owing to him that I started work within bridge, back in 1984, for the British Bridge League. It was always a pleasure and privilege to work with him - Raymond was kind, just, and a marvellous "boss" ! He knew exactly what he wanted, and wouldn't rest until it was done, but he never, ever, failed to thank those who worked with him. He was a generous host, great company and a true friend. I am sure that no one who knew him will ever forget him. Within his own "bridge world" he was once described as an elder statesman, and in his own biography on this site, referred to that with some pleasure and pride.
I am happy to have known him - my heart goes out to Sally and the children as I am sure do the hearts of all their many friends, both within and outside the world of bridge.
Pictures of Raymond
Courtesy of Peter Hasenson
Major International Appearances
European Championships: 1987 and 1989
Bermuda Bowl: 1987
World Olympiad: 1988
Camrose Trophy Selections*: 1960 1963 1964 1977 1978 1979 1982 1983 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 and 1990
Gold Cup Winner: 1979 1983 1984 1986 1989 1990 and 1992
Crockfords Winner: 1969 1978 1982 1986 1990 and 2004
Spring Foursomes Winner: 1983
National Teams Congress winner: 1985 1987 1989 and 1992
The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1968 1980 1982 2000 2001 2002 and 2004
National Pairs winner: 1960 and 1961
Tollemache Cup winner: 1965 1968 1977 and 1986
* - appearances for England only