Stuart first appeared when with his twin brother Gerald (and their Father), who he would go on to have all his bridge successes with, he arrived at Beckenham bridge club as a young teenager and started wiping the floor with everyone with absolutely no mercy whatsoever!
He arrived on the competitive scene in his early 20s, basically becoming an integral part of a strong Junior Programme organised by the wonderful Raymond Brock. He showed great early promise, playing many Junior events (always extremely well) and reached the Semi Final of the Gold Cup in 1987 at the ripe old age of 23!
This culminated in him playing a starring role in our winning team in the World Junior Championship in 1989 (Nottingham). The team was excellent: Gerald and Stuart (they were always always known as Gerald and Stuart never the other way round! Derek Patterson and John Hobson, John Pottage and Andy Robson.
The only problem people had with Gerald and Stuart in those days was telling them apart. I can honestly say I never had this problem – those of us who knew them well ALWAYS knew which was which…
My abiding memories of the twins in those early years was as quite magnificent in the auction. Their accuracy, judgement, and competitive instincts more than made up for any inexperience in other areas. We all found it quite funny that Stuart found it much harder to have success partnering others. When we used to play in teams and sometimes switch around partnerships – we used to humorously refer to any partnership with Stuart as “the short-straw”. Somehow he never found it as amusing as we all did (including Gerald I hasten to add). The infamous Stuart-Mrs Rosen partnership sent judders of fear down the spines of team-mates but rarely the opponents sadly.
He and Gerald were quite outstanding at Pairs events, winning both the Brighton and Two Stars Trophies on two occasions. These were seriously good events to win back in the early 1990s.
He was also a wonderful County man – playing for his beloved Kent for countless years both in the Tollemache (winning on four occasions) as well as several Kent events.
The twins managed to win everything there was to win:
Gold Cup (twice)
Spring Fours (twice)
They played together in many Camrose matches as well as no fewer than four European Championships.
Away from the bridge table Stuart was a keen sportsman. His favourite was undoubtedly squash – though he was a keen tennis player and golfer. He was also quite an accomplished skier.
His ferocious competitive spirit always shone through at anything and everything he did. Many of us remember his ability to turn a friendly game of “in the hat” into a highly charged competitive team battle.
I was fortunate enough to have had Stuart as a regular team mate of mine for many years – he was always nothing short of superb. I consider myself very lucky.
He will be much missed.
Rest in peace my friend
Stuart lives in Woking in Surey, and also spends much of his free time in Kent. He has spent his career as a Software Developer. He has won all of the major domestic bridge events, in partnership with his brother Gerald.
Stuart was a member of the Junior World Championship winning team of 1989 and then went on to be a regular in British and English Open teams throughout the 1990s. Since the 1999 European Championships he has cut down significantly on his bridge appearances to spend more time on other (mainly sporting) interests, but has continued to play in some of the major domestic events.
Major International Appearances:
European Championships: 1993 1995 1997 and 1999
World Youth Team Championships: 1991*
European Junior Championships: 1986 1988 and 1990
* - 1st place
Camrose Trophy Selections: 1992 1993 1995 1996 1997 and 1998
Junior Camrose Selections: 1987 and 1988
Gold Cup Winner: 1994 and 1995
Spring Foursomes Winner: 1995 and 1998
Crockfords Winner: 1991
Brighton Pairs, Harold Poster Cup Winner: 1991 and 1993
Brighton Four Star Teams Winner: 2008
Autumn Congress Two Stars Pairs Winner: 1986 and 1991
Tollemache Cup winner: 1990 1997 2008 and 2009