Ayrshire’s Grand Masters of Bridge.



Grand Master Since


Home Club.

Mrs. Fiona Abbott




Mr Sandy Anderson




Mr. John Burn




Mr John Dick




Mr. Stewart Duguid

2011 6134 Kyle

Dr Stuart  McCreadie




Mr Eddie McGeough




Mr Sam  Malkani




Miss Frances Murphy




Pauline Phillips




Mr Gordon Smith




Mr John Stevenson




Mrs Fiona Abbott

Fiona became a Grand Master in 2010, having just completed 2 years as SBU President.

She doesn't remember learning bridge, but remembers playing at the RAF Club in Gibraltar, where her husband was stationed. There were no boards or wallets, and cards were transported from table to table in HMSO envelopes.

After moving to Ayrshire in 1977 she joined Troon Bridge Club, and soon became involved in bridge administration. Fiona is a qualified Tournament Director, and took over as Master Point Secretary when Moira McVeigh retired in 2000. This, in addition to an earlier spell on Council as an Ayrshire delegate, gave her the experience on Council that qualified her to become President in the SBU's 75th anniversary year, only the 3rd Ayrshire representative to hold the office. (Largely because the Ayrshire Constitution does not allow anyone to serve more than 4 consecutive years on Council).

A keen curler and golfer, Fiona is a member of the Ladies Club, Troon.


She plays regularly in Troon, Kyle clubs.

Mr Sandy Anderson


Sandy’s greatest regret is that he did not discover bridge till he was in his twenties. As a child he played simple card games, then took keenly to chess at secondary school. When he was introduced to bridge he immediately gave up chess:sixteen games every two hours were much better than one!

Sandy has won the Bowman Life Masters Pairs with Sam Malkani & Tony Waldron, the Harrison Life Masters Individual, and the Stirling Pairs with Tony Waldron.

He plays regularly in Caledonian, Ayr, Kyle clubs.

Sandy runs the Kirklee club based at the Ayrshire Bridge Centre.


Mr John Burn


Ian became a Grand Master in 2012.

A National SBU Director, former ABU President, Ian, with his wife Linda, maintained the Bridge Centre for 30 years, stepping down in 2011. He ran the Summer Cup as Host. Handicaps were applied, using his Pure Maths skills, in such a way that no one knew who might win from one week to the next.

He plays regularly at the Kyle, Riggs.

Fuller profile required, please, Ian, and congratulations.



Mr John Dick

John was introduced to cards very young: in his family the adults played Solo Whist while the children played simpler games such as Knockout Whist, Rummy and ‘Stop the Bus’.

When he started work in a Glasgow office in 1963 lunch times were spent playing Solo for small stakes. He travelled to work by train with, among others, Ross Woodburn, Frank Hewitt, Jim Hendry and Tony Waldron. For the first year or so they played ‘Hunt the Queen’ (‘Hearts’) for 1/4d per point. Which might not sound much, but with the Queen of Spades worth 50 points and the Ace of Hearts 15 points and amonthly salary of less than £12.00 he soon learned to count the cards.

About a year later someone in the office introduced Bridge. This replaced Solo in the Office and ‘Hunt the Queen’ on the train where there were usually two tables, sometimes three, as others were roped in to make up the numbers.

‘Although we played at a very basic level several of us became engrossed in the game, and a high proportion became experienced tournament players. My later career in Chartered Accountancytook up less time than playing bridge.’

John plays regularly with Stuart McCreadie, and became Ayrshire’s second Grand Master only slightly later than his partner. Their partnership is one of the longest in Scottish bridge, thoughthey occasionally play with other Ayrshire experts. Together they won the National Pairs in 1985, andhave since won the Men’s Teams, the Spence Cup and numerous other events.

He plays regularly in Kilwinning

Mr Stewart Duguid

 Stewart became a Grand Master in 2011, just as he completed his 2nd year as ABU President.

Stewart is a butcher (purveyor of meat products rather than in the bridge sense) from Ayr. He left school at the age of 15 to start working full time, but achieved a Diploma in Butchery, and a City and Guilds qualification in electronics.

He is a licensed Radio Ham, where he goes under the name of Tony Hancock, but confines his Morse Code wizardry to that hobby. He started playing
bridge at age 32, then more seriously 12 years later when he fell in love with the game. He works hard to improve, and his results are beginning to reflect his dedication.

He has won the Lord Thomson National Simultaneous Pairs twice with Ian Burn. Stewart represented Scotland in the first Seniors
Camrose in 2008.

He plays regularly in Troon, Kyle clubs.

Dr Stuart  McCreadie(d. 2020)


Stuart learned his bridge when a student at GlasgowUniversity. He is glad he did not find theBridge Room at the Union until his penultimate year in medicine, otherwise he might never have qualified. Contemporaries were Victor Silverstone, Willie Coyle and several others of international standard. He qualified in 1963 and after hospital jobs moved to Kilwinning to become a GP.Stuart is married with 3 grown-up children and 3 grandchildren. He retired 8 years ago and still lives in Kilwinning.

He took up bridge again in 1970, and became Ayrshire’s first Grand Master in February 2003.

‘I don’t do much work on my game and what depresses me most about bridge in Scotland is the fact that there should be significant numbers of the younger generation who shouldnow be better than me, and there just aren’t.’

He plays regularly in …Kilwinning


Mr Edward  McGeough

Eddie gets his cufflinks in his 2nd year as SBU President, and so he's attended most SBU events for the past 3 years on Council. Which only goes to show that if you play often enough, you'll get there eventually. He's acted as a National Director at Peebles, Lady Milne, and Senior Camroses.

He's won the Bowman, Men's Pairs, & Lord Thomson Trophy, and was in John Dick's team which was the first team from Scotland to win the Gold Cup Silver Plate. 

He plays regularly at the Riggs and Troon.


Mr Sam  Malkani (d. 2019)


Sam was born in England, but educated in Scotland. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from Strathclyde University, and a teaching qualification from Jordanhill College, and combined these skills as a teacher of Design and Technology in two Kilmarnock schools till his retirement in 2007.He can now indulge in his favourite hobbies: golf, travelling and bridge.

He began to take bridge seriously in the 1980s, and has won several national events: the Men’s teams, the Men’s Pairs twice with Jack Lowe, the Stirling Pairs with John Stevenson; the Spence Trophy with John Dick, the Bowman Life Masters Pairs,the Rayne teams of four and the Harrison Life Masters Individual three times.

He became a Grand Master in 2003.

He represented Scotland in the first Seniors Camrose with Stewart Duguid.

He played regularly in Kilwinning, Troon

Miss Frances Murphy

Frances played with Betty Stevenson in the winning Scottish Lady Milne team in 1984. They were the first, and only, Ayrshire pair to win a place in the Scottish Ladies team in a Trial. She won the National Pairs with Betty in 1986 and the Scottish Women’s Cup in 1992 with Elma Munro.

Most ofher other successes have been with John Stevenson, notably the Bowman Life Masters Pairs. She won the Fairlie Scottish Masters Individual in 1981, and became a Grand Master in 2004

Pauline Phillips


Pauline joins her regular partners as an Ayrshire Grandee.

A healthy lifestyle, living frugally, plenty of exercise, abstaining from alcohol, and being kind and patient with others, is the best way to enjoy your bridge, Pauline has heard others say.


Mr Gordon Smith

Gordon was taught bridge by his father, and remembers with pride how they reached the final of the Scottish Cup in 1974.

Another highlight was meeting his wife Irene in 1977 when she joined the first bridge class in the Ayrshire Bridge Centre, one of 84 learners that Gordon was to teach.

He is one of the Ayrshire team of four that is always there or thereabouts in national events.He plays with Sam Malkani, and, with John Dick and Stuart McCreadie, they have won the Men’s Teams, the Eurolink Trophy, the Scottish Cup Plate twice and the Gold Cup plate twice. He won the Bowman Life Masters Pairs with Ken Forsyth.

Gordon was the original Ayrshire Education Convener, and works hard to promote the game.

He became a Grand Master in 2004.

Mr John Stevenson (d. 2014)

Camrose1955-63, 8 matches, 3 wins, 1 tie

National TrophiesScottish Cup, National Pairs x2, Rayne Cup, Senior Pairs, Bowman

John was introduced to bridge at GlasgowUniversity in 1946, where contemporaries were Jimmie Arthur, Stan Kissen, and his Camrose-partner-to-be, Hugh Fraser. Their Camrose career was interrupted in 1964 when Hugh moved to Edinburgh to study.

John gave up bridge till 1985 when Hugh returned to Glasgow. The partnership reformed, but with less success.

Since Hugh’s death he has played mainly with Ayrshire’s Frances Murphy.

He became a Grand Master in 2005.





Much of the information above was collated by Liz McGowan for her book celebrating 75 years of the Scottish Bridge Union. See the SBU site for details on how to obtain a copy.