Rita Oldroyd è nata nel 1921 e viveva a Pudsey nel West Yorkshire dove si è spenta nel 2000 dopo essere stata una delle migliori giocatrici inglesi e, una delle prime al mondo a potersi fregiare del titolo di World Women Grand Master.
Oltre a numerosi titoli nazionali, Rita ha vinto due volte i Campionati Europei Femminili nel 1975 e nel 1979, arrivando terza in quelli di Valkenburg nel 1980 e ha conquistato la medaglia d'argento nella Venice Cup del 1976 e nelle Olimpiadi dello stesso anno con la squadra delle leggendarie ladies: Nicola Gardener Smith, Sandra Landy, Fritzi Gordon, Rixi Markus e Charley Esterson.
La sua carriera bridgistica si è sviluppata prima a Manchester e poi a Bradford.
Quando il figlio Mikael ha cercato i Trofei della carriera nella casa materna, ha trovato solo una impolverata medaglia d'argento degli Europei del 1976, perché Rita era solita dire che le medaglie riguardavano il passato e bisognava pure spolverarle mentre lei guardava sempre al futuro!
Scomparve il 10 di gennaio del 2000.
Rita, who lived in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, was probably known to every tournament woman bridge player in Britain.
Her bridge career was legendary. In 1976 she was part of the British Women's Team beaten in the finals of the Venice Cup by the United States. The rest of the team are also legends - Nicola Gardener (now Smith), Sandra Landy, Fritzi Gordon, Rixi Markus and Charley Esterson who was Rita's regular partner at the time.
The same team won the European Women's Championships in 1975.
In 1979, with Nicola Gardener, Sally Sowter (now Brock), Sandra Landy, Michelle Brunner and Rosemary Hudson, Rita again won the European Gold.
Rita Oldroyd was England's first woman Grand Master, only the third player in the country to reach that ranking. Just two weeks ago Rita and partner Liz Rees won the main pairs event at the Blackpool Year End Congress. Before Christmas she flew to the Canary Islands and, with partner Brian Jackson, won the Las Palmas Pairs.
In the 1960s and early 70s, Rita was a key player in Yorkshire's top team with Joe Bloomberg, Eric Newman, Alf Finley and Irving Manning. A young Tony Forrester and Roman Smolski replaced Eric Newman for the last couple of years.
When her son Michael looked at Rita's home for trophies and records of his mother's bridge career, he found nothing at all except a rather dusty silver medal from the 1976 World Championships. Rita didn't want the silver cups and trophies she won - too much dusting, she said. Rather than look back at triumphs gained, Rita always looked ahead to the next match. The same fierce competitive spirit was brought into play as much at her local club as at an international event.
Rita died in 2000, she was 78.
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