Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Matthew Hoskins - Obituary

MATTHEW HOSKINS of Sussex who died on the 1st February 2011 at the age of 51 of a heart attack had been an ever present and well known figure in the Bridge world for over 25 years. Bridge had been a significant part of his life from his days at Whitgift School onwards.
Matthew was a Premier Grand Master and prolific master point winner and won the Annual Master Point Award when sponsored by Macallan. He had numerous domestic tournament successes in Sussex where he won the Spring Congress twice, the County Pairs three times and the County Teams on five occasions in addition to representing the County in the Tollemache. His successes on the tournament circuit included the BBL Isle of Man Teams, a number of EBU One Day Events, the Scarborough Pairs with his wife Liz, the Porthcawl Congress Pairs and Teams, Autumn Congress Satellite Pairs and the National Swiss Teams.

He and Liz were also third in the Portland Pairs. In knockout events he was twice a Crockfords finalist, once being runner up and less than a month before his death he was on the Horsham Team which won the 2009-10 National Inter-Club Knockout claiming a number of significant scalps along the way.

At Brighton he won the Mid-week Knockout teams several times, the Mixed Pairs with his wife Liz, twice the Mixed Pivot Teams, had frequent appearances in both A & B Teams Finals and finished third in the Main Pairs in 2010.

In tournaments abroad he had reached the knockout stages of the Rosenblum in 1998 in Lille losing to the eventual bronze medallists. In 2003 in the European Open in Menton he was on a team reaching the last sixteen of the knockout phase before losing to Sabine Auken.

Always courteous at the bridge table, he was one of the nominees for the inaugural John Armstrong Award in 2009.He would always make sure of welcoming players to the table and of encouraging newcomers to the tournament world.

Away from the bridge table he had a keen interest in horse racing and was proud to have been in the Winners Enclosure after the 2009 Grand National won by Vida Bingham's horse Mon Mome.

Whilst Matthew loved teams play especially knockout events Matthew was also a careful Pairs player and in one season had second places in the Easter Guardian Pairs and the National Pairs in addition to the Crockfords second place. He often joked about exchanging those seconds for a win!

On a personal note Matthew has been my good friend for nearly 25 years at and away from the bridge table. It seems hard to believe I won't again have the 'phone call on a Monday morning to chat about the weekend's bridge. I was fortunate to have played bridge with him for many years and in his last event, the National Swiss Teams, where the team finished 4th, the weekend before his death.

Matthew was a popular figure through his competitive but fair attitude to the game allied to a fine if occasionally cutting sense of humour and a keen eye for a practical joke. Matthew lived in Shoreham and is survived by his wife Liz. He will be very sorely missed.

(Andrew Southwell, printed on the Sussex website)