BRIAN W BAILEY 20TH AUGUST 1932 – 16TH JULY 2022

Photo copyright PJ Croft

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of one of the legends of British Trapshooting........Brian Bailey.

Brian was a Life Vice President of the CPSA and had a long and distinguished shooting career in DTL and Olympic Trench (as it was then known).

He won the English DTL Championship 4 times, the Dougall Memorial 6 times (in 8 years including 4 years on the trot), The Welsh DTL was almost a "Bailey Benefit" in the 1960s, Brian often winning all the events including the Welsh Double Rise and the two overall High Gun trophies.

In 1970 Shooting Times editor Phillip Brown had a gentle dig at the so-called experts who maintained that Brian would never do any good at Olympic Trap till he gave up shooting DTL. In his column, Philip diffidently pointed out that at the end of June, Brian had won the English DTL for the 4th time, following this up the next weekend by winning the Welsh Olympic Trench Grand prix at Sealand. Seven days later he took the English Olympic Trench title at Bisley. So much for experts! He won the British DTL and triumphed at the British Olympic Trench Grand Prix on three years out of four (1971,1972 & 1974). He shot for England at DTL for many years and GB for OT.

He competed for GB in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and shot for England in the 1974 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand where he took the Silver medal. He always shot well abroad and this culminated in his winning the Grand Prix of Namur in Fosses-le-Ville and adding yet another engraved Browning B25 to his collection.

But it wasn't just as a shooter that Brian excelled. As he wound down his top level competition shooting, he took on the role of GB Team manager for a number of years. He was a first class manager because his own experience of serious competition shooting gave him a real insight into what an individual shooter needed to deal with the pressure in a given situation. He also had a deep knowledge of shooting technique. Many of our top shooters had reason to be glad of Brian’s support and cool head when they were competing on the World stage.

Brian’s  funeral was held at St Peter’s Church in Wem on the 9th August. It was a day tinged with sadness, but with an awful lot of laughter as people recalled their stories about him. Brian is a trapshooting legend, but he was so much more than that, a true one-off, very much his own man. It wasn't just Brian Bailey clay pigeon shooter being remembered at the funeral. It was the town of Wem remembering one of its famous sons. Some of you will remember the BBC Radio programme "Down Your Way" and when that programme visited Wem, Brian was featured talking about his life and his sport.

And, most importantly, the funeral was also about Brian Bailey husband, father and grandfather being remembered by his extended family. In Clay Pigeon circles we knew Brian for his shooting prowess but his daughter Penny put it into perspective when she remarked that he may have been a famous shot but to her and her sister Lynn and brother Ian he was just "our Dad".

Our condolences to his wife Sylvia and all of Brian's family,  Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.


                   Sleep in Peace Brian, you were the best!