Sam Leckie sadly passed away after a long illness in June 2017. Many of our current players will have no memory of Sam who stopped playing competitive bridge in the 1990s but those of a certain age will remember Sam as a colossus of Scottish Bridge.
Sam represented Great Britain in a junior friendly then soon thereafter formed his partnership with Victor Goldberg, described by Liz McGowan in her must read history of Scottish bridge "as one of the greatest partnerships in Scottish bridge." They spearheaded the Camrose team in the 60s and early 70s. They played in the first Scottish team to defeat England and were part of the first Scottish team to win the Gold Cup. They were selected twice to represent Great Britain in the World Pairs Championships and along with Willie Coyle and Victor Silverstone played in the British Open team at the European Championships, the first Scots to do so.
His role of honour is as good as most, winning the Gold Cup twice, the Scottish Cup four times, the National Pairs, the Jesner, the Bowman and the Benjamin three times.
He regularly played in the Camrose between 1960 and 1972, winning four times with another tied match. He also captained a winning Camrose team and captained a British junior team to a bronze medal at the Common Market Championship.
He retired from active bridge when he became disillusioned by modern bidding methods especially the disruptive nature of the game. He continued to play club bridge at the Glasgow Bridge Centre and was non playing captain of the St Mungo team for many years. He also was chairman of the club. His contribution to both Scottish and Glasgow bridge was recognised when he was appointed Honorary Life President of the GBC. He took his role seriously and, as was his right, attended committee meetings where he was happy to comment on the various matters up for discussion.
Sam was a wonderful raconteur full of stories about his contemporaries and their travails both at and away from the bridge table. Anyone who attended the Albert Benjamin memorial lunch will never forget Sam at his best, the enjoyment of his bridge career shone through as he regaled the audience with his anecdotes.
Sam wrote a column for the Daily Express that exposed his humour to a wider readership and some of his articles have appeared in an anthology of the best bridge writing. Sam could be feisty at the table but was always approachable and helpful when required.
He will be missed but will now have the opportunity of renewing his partnership with Victor.