Ken Drane, who has died aged 81, was for many years a stalwart of the Middlesex County Bridge Association and Ealing Bridge Club.
Born at Stanford Abbots, Essex, at a young age his parents moved to Greenford where Ken attended the Ealing Boys County Grammar School and attained his higher certificate studying Latin, French, Spanish and Italian.
After National Service in the RAF, Ken joined the Civil Service (MoD) where he worked until retirement, eventually becoming Director of Contracts (Avionics) after working on the Tornado project.
Ken married Jean Cole and had three children, Sheila, Chris and Heather. The family were always completed by a dog; Ken had five throughout his life, all of which worshipped him.
Ken loved sports and games. He was an accomplished club cricketer playing firstly for GWR 1945-1965, and Brentham Cricket Club from 1966. After retiring from playing he continued to support the club acting as their Colts administrator/treasurer for 18 years, until his recent illness. He was also a keen hockey player playing firstly for GWR (1948-1975) and subsequently Eastcote Hockey Club, where he continued to play into his sixties.
Ken was good chess player, winning the Junior Civil Service competition and enjoyed solving cryptic crosswords, often co-opting all crossword literate members of his family for the more fiendish jumbo Christmas editions!
After chess, Ken took up bridge and became an accomplished club and county player, culminating in his captaining and playing in the victorious Middlesex team in the 2011/2012 Home Counties League.
Ken joined the Middlesex County Bridge Association Committee in the 1990ís, initially as Membership Secretary, and went on to serve as Honorary Secretary of the Association from 1997 until 2010, when he reverted to Membership Secretary. Over the years, Ken worked tirelessly for Middlesex; multi-tasking where and whenever needed, often in the role of competition secretary, event manager, congress host, marketing man and much more besides. For over a decade, Ken was a dedicated Middlesex delegate to EBU Council / Shareholder meetings.
Since the mid 1980s, Ken played a pivotal role at Ealing Bridge Club, serving as club Chairman for seven years.
Ken was a recipient of a Dimmie Fleming Award in 2011.
Ken is survived by his three children and three grandchildren. His wife predeceased him in 2011.
Ken Drane, born August 23 1931, died April 25 2013
Written by Chris Drane & Peter Hasenson