Mike Swanson

Mike was born and brought up in West London. He went to Liverpool University in 1969 and in 1971 he met Maureen at the University Bridge Club. Mike and Maureen were married in 1974 but have no children (no time!). Maureen worked as a GP for many years before moving on to become Medical Director of a Primary Care Trust, from which she retired in early 2013. However Maureen's main achievement in life is probably transforming Mike away from a love of Tottenham to become an avid Liverpool supporter; they have season tickets for Anfield and go to matches there whenever they can.

Mike worked for several years in Liverpool in the Civil Service, firstly in National Savings and then in the Job Centre, where he ran the Hotel & Catering section. His last "real" job was managing what was then the biggest government scheme in the country for young unemployed people. He played most of his “serious” bridge in the late 70s and early 80s during which time he played in Camrose Trials on several occasions, but never quite made the England team.

In 1983 he was approached to set up a private bridge club in Birkenhead on the Wirral. The club was a tremendous success numerically but only modestly so financially. However it led to other things, including his rise to the top of the Tournament Directing ladder in record time and offers to run bridge holidays. In 1990 he and Carole Yates started Diamond Bridge holidays which are still flourishing and take them all over the world

Mike was responsible for setting up the EBU’s national scheme of Tournament Director Training courses and qualifications. Over the years he has written several different columns in English Bridge (and other magazines), most recently with his “John & Julie” articles.