Pat Cotter


A Master of 'par Bridge'

Pat Cotter. long time bridge correspondent of the Financial Times (and of Country Life), died early this year. Classically educated, he became a schoolmaster at st Paul's and was a keen sportsman, an expert croquet player and an enthusiastic golfer. As a bridge player he achieved high respect, winning the coveter Gold Cup in 1938 and the Hubert Phillips Bowl in 1953.

In later years he participated only rarely in competitive bridge, although he played rubber bridge in South London clubs regularly bridge in South London clubs regularly until his death. His particular interest lay in the rather scholarly and now unfashionable area of 'par bridge', where players win by achieving precise, pre-planned targets bub bidding, play and defence. Until quite recently, he officiated regularly at the Lords and the Commons, on one occasion absent-mindedly leaving his briefcase behind in favour of a Minister's despatch case laden with State Secrets.

His literary style was unique for its gentleness and quiet humor. He frequently described how a hand had been misplayed before taking the reader through a more reasoned and successful process, beginning with the words: "Now, let us re-play the hand together" - John Williams.

Major International Appearances

European Championships: 1938 and 1939

Camrose Trophy Selections: 1947 and 1953

Gold Cup Winner: 1935 and 1938

Crockfords Winner: 1951 and 1955

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1953

Tollemache Cup winner: 1953