Barry Capal

Barry retired as General Manager of the EBU in July 2017. His 'farewell blog' is available here. He was awarded Life Membership of the EBU in November 2018.

Place of Birth: London
Siblings: One brother, Stephen.
Wife: Hazel, married 1971; regular bridge partner and we never argue at the table but rarely talk on the way home..
Children: Jonathan 1976 – lives in Sydney, Australia now, Adam 1979
Grandchildren: Two: one granddaughter in Sydney and a grandson here, both born in 2013.
Lives: Live in Hertfordshire now.
Education: Not much
Previous jobs: Whole life in IT industry, MD of own international software business.
Do I play Bridge:
Yes I do- quite a lot when I wasn’t working; probably an average player, (I can be accurate now – NGS 9/10 and occasionally for a blink, J. I am an EBU Premier Regional Master. Also, very pleased to be an ACBL Life Master, having achieved that just before I started my job with EBU.
My EBU job:
Saw the advert on the website and thought it worth a try. Feel my job is a great challenge and I am hoping to help the EBU move forward at a greater pace.
Seven plus years on the challenge still remains. We have gone through Universal Membership and introduced the National Grading Scheme – two non trivial things!
What do I do:
I am the General Manager, responsible for the performance of the 19 professional staff who work for the EBU. I work with the Directors to implement their agreed policy and, of course, act as an interface between the members who wish to speak with me and the staff and Board. As an average bridge player, I also share the views of many of our “mass membership” and I try to promote their needs to the policy makers.
Favourite Bridge hand:
Can never remember them!
Favourite hobbies:
Well, apart from Bridge, which was quite a consuming hobby before I recommenced work, I support Tottenham Hotspur, so I am very used to high stress levels; I enjoy overseas travel and I eat too much which is self evident when you see me. Enjoy a good action film, and watching The Sopranos, The West Wing and 24; these days also The Newsroom and Scandal!

We asked Barry some questions about himself and his answers are below:
Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with and why?

Tough question that I probably shouldn't answer here!

If you could come back as an animal what would it be?
A Cat. Eat, sleep a lot, eat, sleep a lot more, bit of exercise terrorising some rodents or rabbits, and then repeat the process endlessly. My fifteen year old cat has truly perfected the art.

If you weren't working for the EBU, what would be your ideal job?
I wouldn't work

If money was no object, tell us about your dream holiday?
"I really love Australia, and would like to spend a year or so living in different parts of the country" – that’s what I wrote in 2006! Never thought I would have part of my family living there. I could now be on master mind answering questions on “Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs by bus”!

Who do you most admire and why?
Winston Churchill inspiring man, great orator and above all, unpredictable

What book are you currently reading?
These days it is a Kindle I use during my travels. Mainly political or similar novels.

What CD is in your car?
These days it is all Bluetooth or Ipod!

Which 4 famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party?
My 4 famous people: Bill Clinton, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe (had to include a pretty woman for Bill) and Margaret Thatcher. Conversation should be interesting!

What is your ideal night out (or in)?
As we are getting old we like to do the 60’s music stuff; lots of tribute bands, and real people when we can…Frankie Valli, Beach Boys, Neil Sedaka etc. Only seen Jersey Boys eight times!

Tell us something about you that no one else in the EBU would know?
"I love technology and gadgets and have wasted way too much money on them in the past. Hope to grow out of this habit soon, but no sign yet!" Again I wrote that in 2006 and still undaunted in being an early adopter.

First written in 2006. Last updated in 2013