Colin Simpson

1948 - 2018

Obituary by Kitty Teltscher

"Colin Simpson was a giant of a man, physically and mentally. He played in every tough high stake bridge game available and inevitably emerged a winner. Colin was born in England and his family moved to Scotland where he was educated. As a student at St Andrews he developed an interest in bridge and very quickly became top class. He came to London in the ‘60’s and started playing at Stefan’s Bridge Circle against some of the top players of his era, including Sam Lev, Alan Manch and Zia Mahmood. His optimistic outlook and affable manner made him highly popular wherever he played. Irving Rose, who was manager of St James’ Bridge Club, said that Colin, in his opinion, was the best card-player of his day.

"In addition to his prowess at bridge, Colin had an impressive career in the police force, special branch. In 1982 he came to the world’s attention when he was guarding the Israeli Ambassador to the UK who was attacked by a terrorist and shot in the head. Colin gave chase and shot the assailant at considerable personal risk as the assailant was aiming for him. Colin said after this happened he went back to headquarters and handed in his gun. In typical Colin form he was back on duty next day. He said with amusement that there was no counselling on offer in those days. Colin went on to be the bodyguard to Willie Whitelaw, with whom he developed a firm and long lasting friendship.

"Colin enjoyed over 40 years of marriage to Juliana, a sophisticated and very attractive French woman. They both enjoyed bridge and golf as well as skiing and travel.

"After retiring from the police force, Colin switched to duplicate bridge where he once again proved his enormous talent by coming fourth in the Olympiad at Maastricht in 2000. He was the mainstay of the British Senior Team, which qualified to play in the World Championship in Sao Paulo in 2009. Colin’s teammate Ross Harper said he was the nicest man he’d ever met. The team won the gold medal, so Colin finally earned the well-deserved title of World Champion."

Biography from 2015

Colin was born in London in 1948 but spent his childhood in Scotland where he learnt to play bridge at school and subsequently at university.
He returned to London to join the Metropolitan Police where he worked for over 30 years almost exclusively as a detective in counter terrorism.
He is married to Juliana and they are approaching their 35th wedding anniversary.
Work commitments precluded much tournament bridge but he always found time for his first love, high stake rubber bridge. In 1970s he was lucky to play with many of the best players including Rixi Markus and Irving Rose but his first international achievement was with his mentor Martin Hoffman, reaching the final of the World Pairs in Biarritz . Other international successes included St Moritz , the South Africa Championships and the Caransa in Amsterdam .
Colin has won all the major English competitions including winning the Lederer Invitation seven times. He also has numerous Camrose caps with three different partners.
In 2000 he was a semi-finalist in the Olympiad in Maastricht where he and Hallberg were the second best pair on the Butler Rankings behind Bocchi and Duboin. This resulted in an invitation to the prestigious Cap Gemini Tournament. After a disappointing 2001 European Championship, the next time he played internationally was in 2004, gaining fifth place at Malmo with new partner, David Price. They qualified for the Bermuda Bowl in Estoril.
Unfortunately David and Colin failed to qualify for the Bermuda Bowl after the Europeans in 2006 at Warsaw. But more was to come..
2008 saw a change when the partnership won the Gerard Falkner Seniors Trophy. They then became a part of the England Seniors team in the European Championships in Pau coming sixth equal. Later in the year, they were part of the Seniors team at the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing and reached the Quarter Finals.
The England Seniors team took part in the 2009 World Championships D'Orsi World Seniors Bowl in Sao Paulo, Brazil winning Gold. This was the first time the Bowl had been won by a team other than the USA. He was also part of the England Seniors team which won the European Championships in 2014, and the England team which reached the quarter-finals of the D'Orsi Trophy at the 2015 World Bridge Championships.
Colin has been a near ever-present in the England Seniors side over the last seven years.
In 2015 he won the Premier League.
Whether it was because he was involved in a shoot-out with terrorists when he was a detective, or because of his love of rubber bridge, the French magazine Le Bridgeur in a biography described Colin as un tueur de lapins. His other hobbies are golf and good food.

The Diamond Award: Colin was given the EBU's Diamond Award in May 2017 for his excellence and success over a sustained period for England's international teams.

Read Colin's, A day in the life of... - October 2008

Major International Appearances

European Championships: 2001 2004 and 2006
Bermuda Bowl: 2005
World Olympiad: 2000
Senior European Championships: 2008 2010 2012 and 2014*
D'Orsi Bowl: 2009* and 2015
Senior World Olympiad: 2008 and 2012

* = 1st place

Camrose Trophy Selections: 2001 2002 2004 2005 2006 2010 2013 and 2016

Teltscher Trophy Selections: 2008^ 2009^ 2010^ 2011 2012 and 2013

Crockfords winner: 1981 2014 and 2016

Premier League: 2015

Spring Foursomes Winner: 2000

Brighton Four Stars Teams Winner: 1997

Autumn Congress Two Stars Pairs Winner: 1992

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 2001

Tollemache Cup winner: 1989 2003 2004 2005 and 2006

Player of the Year Championship: 2015/16 - 6th=

^ - selections for GB/Patron's team