Edward Isaacs 1924-2018

Ted Isaacs (1924-2018)

A little bit of History came to an end in September with the death of Ted Isaacs (Dulwich College and Christ’s College, Cambridge) at the age of 94.

Ted was National Doubles champion in 1949 with the late Barry Trapnell.

Ted was the last of the champions and outstanding players produced during the 1920s and 1930s by Dulwich College, i.e. he was an Old Alleynian rather than an Alleyn Old Boy. Among them were Richard Knight, Basil Gough and Robin Jasper from Cambridge; HN Harcourt and WGF Hoskins from Oxford; and Francis Truman, Geoffrey Rimmer of President’s Cup fame, and the legendary Freddie Vogler, major figures from the early days of the RFA.

With the destruction of the courts in an air raid in 1944 Fives at Dulwich College came to an end.

Ted’s name lives on in the Ted Isaacs Trophy for Mixed Past v. Present. He was a significant donor to the new Cambridge courts. In letters to the President of CURFC he often reminisced warmly about Fives at university and about his partnership with Barry Trapnell.


Edward Isaacs was born in Streatham. He won a scholarship to Dulwich College, where he was a contemporary of Trevor Bailey; it was at the College that he learned to play Fives.

In the early days of the war Ted served as an ARP Warden, then joined the 18/7 Indian Field Regiment (Royal Indian Artillery) as a commissioned officer. He sailed off to India on his 21st birthday!

After the war Ted won a scholarship to Cambridge to study Law. He resumed his sporting career, playing for Cambridge in the Varsity Match in 1947 and 1948, captaining the side in 1948. He played various other court games at and after university.

After graduating Ted served his articles with a firm in Westminster. At the age of 30 he married, and he and his wife set up the firm of solicitors Edward Isaacs and Co., later Forsythes.

In retirement Ted worked in the local village shop in Kent where he lived, until a stroke suffered at Lord’s put an end to his community work.

In 2017 he donated the Ted Isaacs Trophy for Mixed Past versus Present, which is presented annually to the winning captain at the Dinner which follows the match. Ted was one of the instigators of the Past versus Present, now approaching its 70th year.

The Ted Isaacs Trophy February 2017: Ben Beltrami, Georgina Shepherd, Lottie Simpson and Matt Shaw