Bill Hirst

d. 2020

Bill was a former member of the England Senior Team. He played in two European Championships and The Olympiad and was non-playing captain for the English Open Team in Pau (2008).

There is a full obituary on the Manchester County Bridge Association website.

October 2013 Biography from Bill in his own words:

Retired having worked in Insurance and Risk Management.

Married- wife Sheila and two children, Andrew and Suzanne. Sheila no longer plays bridge, Sue will not allow the game to be mentioned and Andrew, when he gets the opportunity to play, is a fine player.
Other interests include most sport and in collecting first edition books.

Started playing bridge in the late 1960's in the Leeds Buisiness Houses League having played Solo Whist as a youth. Moved to Reading in 1974 where I was fortunate to play with and learn from some great players including Crowhurst, Wardman, Bretherton, and Pomfrey.

A career move in 1978 to Manchester introduced me to rubber bridge playing, at Jeff Morris's club, with the likes of Paul Hackett, John Meizes, John Holland, John Hassett and Raymond Semp. Serious rubber bridge is on the decline which is a shame as, whilst it does little for your bidding, it tones up your card play, defence and judgement.

In 1989 I formed a partnership with John Hassett and after some initial success at County and National level we were invited to play in the trials with John Holland and Michelle Brunner - a team in which I was lucky enough to play in, in major events, for the next twenty years.
Success in National/international Competitions include Crockfords, Hubert Phillips (with Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield) Corwen, Tollemache, Garden Cities, Gold Coast Congress, Two Star Masters and the EBU Senior events. My major disappointment was failing to win the Gold Cup notwithstanding playing in the final weekend on a number of occasions and being beaten, by 2 imps by a Scottish Team in the 2004 final.

Represented England in Israel, Australia three times, including a silver medal in the Commonwealth Nations, and Japan. I have never payed in the Camrose although we were selected on two occasions but unfortunately had to decline as I had arranged to visit Andrew and family in Australia. Playing in the Gold Coast Congress in 1999 I was introduced to the legendary Tim Seres who invited me to visit him at his bridge club in Double Bay Sydney which I duly did and where I have played rubber bridge, when visiting Andrew, each year. The club is now owned by Paul Marston and they will make anyone very welcome but one word of warning-you must understand their bidding, the standard of card play is high, the auctions can resemble poker rather than bridge and they love beating the old enemy. Thank goodness for Wilkinson and Vaughan.

Played for The England Senior Team in two European Championships and The Olympiad and was non playing captain for the English Open Team in Pau (2008).

Bridge has been a large part of my life. It has enabled us to travel, to play against most of the best players in the world and to make many friends

Major International Appearances

Senior European Championships: 2006
Senior World Olympiad: 2000 and 2004

Crockfords Winner: 2000

Autumn Congress Two Stars Pairs Winner: 2013

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1999 and 2003