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Andrew Thomas Leadbetter 1943 to 8th September 2022

The sudden death of Andrew Leadbetter has shocked not only the members of his club, Stafford, but everyone in Staffordshire Chess and beyond.

Andrew had been an official and a team captain at Stafford Chess Club for over fifty years. He entered all the internal competitions and attended nearly every club night. Indeed, it was his non-appearance that first alerted the club that there may be a problem.

Andrew Leadbetter

Andrew had been involved in chess administration all his life. He began by starting a club at his school as a teenager and in the last week of his life he was compiling financial reports for the [Staffordshire Chess Association]. Over the years he had been a committee member for all three Staffordshire Leagues. For the Staffordshire Chess Association, he was the long-term treasurer. He captained county teams for many years and continued to play in county matches. He was the financial director of the MCCU. His work with the ECF is remembered on this [link].

He served as WDCL President for four years in two spells from 1979 and then again in 1983 and was their long time ECF representative for three decades. We must not forget the dedication as the long serving Grading officer in times when everything was done by hand. He was a long serving member of the league and won the Harold Bidgood Trophy in 2006-07.

Besides chess Andrew had many interests. He was a keen cyclist and he assisted with a Stafford charity that provides low-cost bicycles. He liked art, literature, classical music, and the wider outdoors. He was a regular visitor to the Stafford Film Society and the only time he would refuse a game was on a Tuesday when a good film was showing. He also enjoyed a good game of bowls.

Andrew worked as a teacher of history and general studies at King Edward VI Stafford and later at Stoke 6th Form College. He was married to Jo for many years, and they had three sons, one of whom pre-deceased them. He bore his widowhood with fortitude. The chess world will send his sons and the wider family their condolences and Stafford Chess club have set up a webpage to do so [here].

Stafford Chess Club

WDCL playing career record