On Sunday 15th November 2009 Andrew suddenly and inexplicably died. He was in Basingstoke for the day and went out alone for a walk. He died of heart failure.
Andrew was only 42 years old.
At his age he had everything to look forward to. He was young enough to have eventually become a grandmaster at bridge though it was not the height of his ambition. That, I believe, was to become a leading light in the English Bridge Union. He started playing bridge some twelve or fifteen years ago and discovered that not only did he enjoy the game but that he could play it very well. Perhaps eight years ago he began playing regularly at the Acacia Bridge Club.
Just over three years ago he agreed, reluctantly I thought at the time he was asked, to take over the running of the club. Traditionally, Acacia gives the secretary a free hand, who then has the task of organising everything, directing and scoring. He took to this with alacrity and made it his own, bringing to the position energy, dedication and panache. There were few Wednesday evenings when the result was not up on the website that same evening.
Andrew found that he had untapped talents of leadership and administrative powers and sought to develop them.
For the benefit of Acacia he went on 'director' courses with the last being paid for by Acacia, giving us great pleasure in that he passed out not just top of the class, of a limited number, but the only person to be given a distinction.
In pursuant of his ambitions he became treasurer to the Hampshire County Bridge Association and was a Liaison Officer with Surrey County Bridge Association. With the latter, back in the summer, he was invited to a meeting where on behalf of the EBU he answered the questions and dealt with the concerns that the representatives of many bridge clubs were having over the Pay to Play dilemma. Indeed he was so persuasive in this matter with Acacia that when we voted on it a few months ago with fifty odd people present the vote was unanimous in its favour.
In dealing with people he was kind, courteous and good-natured. When directing, his judgement was sure and his rulings given in a manner which did not cause offence.
As his playing partner I knew when his patience had been taxed yet never did I hear a disparaging comment pass his lips. Even in the most provoking circumstances he never lost his temper.
As the secretary of Acacia Bridge Club he will be sadly missed.
As a fellow bridge player he will be sadly missed.
As a friend, as he was to everyone, he will be sadly missed.
We thank him for what he was.
G M Clements
Chairman of Acacia Bridge Club