Friends of the Blues - Making a difference
Sponsored by Cooper Beard Residential Sales

The Trustees of the Friends of the Blues (which runs separately from Bedford Blues Ltd.) invite you to take part in this rewarding and enjoyable scheme. The Friends of the Blues fund is now fairly familiar to most club supporters and has an income that makes a substantial difference to the club.

You can join its growing number of members by completing a standing order form on the link below, and donating from as little as £7 per month, the more you give the greater the chance you have in our prize draws. For further info click here

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM...         Your generous support is much appreciated.


Merry Christmas to all you Friends of the Blues!

And a huge thank you, from me, to all our members for your ongoing contribution to the success of the FoB's and therefore Bedford Blues. I cannot thank you or praise you enough.

As we come to the end of the calendar year, I feel it would be remiss of me not to point out, what you guys and gals have achieved in such a short time, in our goal of supporting Bedford Blues goals.

In the last five years we have raised over £100,000 and our next donation in a few weeks time will see us having passed, in excess of that sum, onto the club. £100k!

In turn, the club has spent that money on several highly valuable capital projects,

In the past year we covered the bulk of the cost of a much needed refurbishment of the Marquee, thereby assisting with the continuation, of one of the clubs single biggest revenue streams. We have doubled the size of the player's gymnasium and then in turn, this year, paid for it's total refurbishment.

A lot of the equipment within, including expensive Watt bikes, has been paid for by yourselves, as has diagnostic medical equipment, for use by the medical staff to help player recovery from the inevitable injuries.

We have also assisted with defraying some costs of pre-season training camps.

Throughout the existence of the scheme we have assisted in costs for framing photos for ongoing historical benefit and recognition.

Some time ago we decided upon recognition for any player who achieves 150 Blues appearances. That is really quite some achievement in the pro-era. So this year alone we have recognised Ollie Dodge (ongoing), Jake Sharp, Gregor Gillanders, Darryl Veenendaal, Phil Boulton, Mike Howard and Myles Dorrian.
This adds to Matt Volland, Toops, Brendan Burke, James Pritchard and also his late dog Monty Pritchard nee Dickson (he was Karl's dog before he departed to Quins - Monty refused to leave Bedford)

Monty attended 2,750 training sessions and ate
14,631 titbits from NOS. He also became only the
2nd dog to appear in a team photo. You look in scrum hall.

Each is recognised in the players dining area with a photo for posterity.
I can assure you that the players really appreciate it and aspire to it.
They also deserve it.

We couldn't have achieved all this without our sponsors.
So a big well done and thanks also to-
Russell Beard of The Beard Group.
Shish and all the splendid staff at The Bengal Brasserie.
Eagle Executive Travel and particularly Sheena "Moneypenny" Todd who has tried, valiantly to send me as far away as possible this year, on several occasions.
Pizzeria Santaniello for their splendid pizza prizes-the best in Bedford.
Henry Wisson and Majestic Wine, Bedford for their.......... Majestic Wines.

Thanks also to Steve Parrott of Guernsey for popping up with fantastic assistance with prizes and lastly to Adrian Wareing for sobering up occasionally to write his column.

That just leaves me to say, one of you is going to get a phone call over Christmas to tell you, 'you are the fifth winner of the springtime weekend in Paris for two by Eurostar'.
Not bad eh?
£1,000 of prizes in two weeks.
In the next few days I will be contacting the following FoBs to ask them to choose their player to score against Ealing and earn them selves a chance of winning £1,000.
Some will also win some meals at our sponsors restaurants or a bottle of Henry's wine.

Majestic Wine of the New Year: Juve Y Camps Reserva Familia NV Cava

 The Build Up: Jools Holland, Big Ben, forgetting the second verse of Auld Lang Syne and bubbles by the bucketload.... Ah yes, New Year wouldn’t be New Year without a drop of fizz. So raise your glasses to a job well done so far, and to- hopefully- a good year to come in 2018 for Mike Rayer and the boys.


Pause, Touch, Crouch, Engage: At the turn of the century, Cava was enjoyed as the alternative to Champagne, but since then it has lost ground to Prosecco as the go-to value sparkling wine. This exquisite Gran Reserva Cava will win you back. Enjoy stone fruit and citrus flavours that give way to pronounced notes of toast and honey. This moreish Cava has long been a family favourite of Spanish Royalty. And if it’s good enough for Felipe VI and his relatives, it should be good enough for our own FoBs family too...


Maj Stats:

£13.99 when you Mix Six bottles of wine, or £15.99 single bottle price.


If This Wine Were A Blues Player It Would Be: Rich Lane. The performances of our man in the thirteen shirt have been a joy to watch so far this season. Lane’s effervescent sleight of hand, exciting deftness of touch and his trademark sparkling finishing have added structure and fizz to the Bedford midfield. Bravo, Senor!

They are
Mike Pierse
Roy Eddy
Bill & Maggie Brown
Brian Harris
Paul Rostron

Well done. HBT

​ Do not read on. There is no need to listen to Adrian's nonsense.

The Adrian Wareing Column

As many of you will already know. HRH Her Majesty The Queen is a massive Blues fan. In the old days I spent many enjoyable evenings on the Royal Yacht Britannia with her travelling to away matches whilst she regaled her assembled courtiers with tales from The Scrum Hall and of Blues Tours to the Dominions and Northampton with the boys.

She rarely fails to perform royal duties in anything other than Blues colours and will normally slip into matches incognito.

1. HRH looking pensive before the play-off win at Nottingham 4 years ago.

2. HRH on hearing we'd won away at Munster. Lastly at a Garden Party she hosted as part of Toops Testimonial where she announced Toops would simultaneously become the Duke of Samoa, Ambassador to Northampton & President of Help the Aged. The first indication of her love for the Blues was, of course, when Budge Rogers became the first rugby player to be given an honour. She famously entered the changing room at the Cup Final at Twickenham in I975, and gave the half time team talk, explicitly telling the boys what to do with Andy Ripley and promising Budge the OBE in return for a Bedford win and becoming English Champions As we know all this came to pass.

Most recently she has of course stated her intention to make Mike Rayer the next Prince of Wales and to adopt Dean Adamson. It was therefore no surprise that she turned up to see me pre-match on Saturday at the splendid Triple Crown in Richmond for a few sharpeners. The Queen in good spirits pre-match last Saturday. She later appeared to enjoy much of the match; from the start, repeatedly exclaiming "Attack, attack, attack, attack a bloody tack" and uttering "One will win this match". She then joined in with verses of "There's only one F in Bedford" and "Feed Jake Sharp. Let him know its Christmas Time"

She was royally happy - if the wrong side of most of a bottle of gin. However her language steadily worsened, as her hip flask emptied and the score rose, before, finally, at the final whistle, leaving at speed, looking particularly grumpy, saying she was off to fire the Minister of Defence. Heaven only knows why!!!! HRH leaving the Richmond Athletic Ground in her Dark & Light Blue striped Range Rover. Lee Dickson worried about the New Years Honours list A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Adrian. Hic!

And the winner is......................

Dawn Inskip!!!!!
£500 worth of travel with Eagle Travel.

Newly wed Dawn from Huntingdon isn't even called Inskip any more. She is now a Bowra. Husband Michael is also a member of the FoBs so he'll be pleased too.

Dawn is a home and away follower of the Blues and is one of a growing band of supporters who live in Huntingdon.

So thank you to Steve Parrott over in Guernsey and Eagle Executive Travel who are jointly funding this beano for the Bowra's.

So I will be interested to know where they go, and will update members accordingly.

It is fair to say she is delighted.

As an aside. I am very pleased to hear of a growing number of FoB members using Eagle Travel and being so pleased with the service. That's really good.

So onto Saturday and Munster. The weather is set fair and we couldn't have more attractive visitors. Munster (the holders) who will be desperate to redress the balance after last weeks reverse. It should be an absolute belter. They won this competition last year and several players have already graduated to the provincial side with success. come and see more stars of tomorrow at GR tomorrow.

Now what connection does Bedford have to Munster?

In November this year Mike Rayer took the squad to Ypres and the Menin Gate, The players sought out two Bedford players, from the very many who died in Fl.anders. Edgar Mobbs and Basil MacClear.

Basil MacClear is one of the greatest players to play for Bedford & indeed Munster. He has been described as the Irelands first rugby superstar.

That can be amply demonstrated by the fact that he was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.
Basil the son of a Doctor was brought up in The Crescent with his five brothers one of whom Ronnie captained Bedford. He was educated at Bedford Grammar School (later to change its name by deed poll to Bedford School) An outstanding sportsman he was to join the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
In 1905 he played for Bedford against the All Blacks at GR in front of the whole town, and in the same month also played against them for Blackheath, Munster and Ireland!

New Zealand full-back George Gillett identified him as his favourite player, ‘whose equal I have never seen either before or since’.

In 1906, Maclear helped Ireland to the Home Nations title, popping up with tries against England and Wales.

Just like the previous year, the pending visit of another elite team led to his greatest moment, a test against South Africa in Belfast.

The try he scored that day at Balmoral stunned those in attendance. According to historian AC Parker, it ‘ranks as one of the greatest individual efforts achieved at international level.’

“The moustachioed Irish centre, picking up a loose ball inside his own ‘25’ beat man after man”, wrote Parker. “Twice he stumbled, perhaps by design, for his subsequent acceleration was such that Loubser could not overhaul him and Joubert, South Africa’s last line of defence was brushed aside.”

“There is no other player in Great Britain who could have scored such a try”, proclaimed the Daily Mail. “It was an epoch-making event, and it is safe to say that the run will live forever in the annals of the game.”

He was known as a snappy dresser and a man about town. It seemed that his sartorial elegance
followed him onto the rugby pitch.He used to play with a pair of expensive
white calfskin gloves. Against Wales he made a further fashion statement by wearing
a pair of “blancoed” military puttees and scoring two tries.
Pure Class!!!!

Decades later, in ‘Rugger: A Man’s Game’, the esteemed rugby journalist E.H.D. Sewell wrote passionately of his admiration for Maclear.

“He was the making of those grand Irish sides of 1904/5 and 1905/6. He looked the part. A handsome, fair-haired, well built player, without an atom of side in his make up. In all his 11 internationals he never played other than well. He would tackle anything and go down to any forward rush. His was the hand-off. My ideal rugger man, for a man he was. Chevalier, sans peur et sans reproche.”

Basil died, as did two other bothers in the first confict, at Ypres in 1915 .

I quote Dr Tom Burke.

"Maclear led his men into battle that day, and died shot in the throat. His body was never recovered. He was 34. Later, what remained of the battalion reconvened on the west bank of the Yser canal. 668 men had woken up that morning. By nightfall, 647 were killed, wounded or missing.

Maclear’s name, along with 54,000 others whose bodies were never found, is engraved on the Menin Gate at Ypres. One newspaper cutting described him as a ‘lion of the game’. Another suggested he was ‘one of the greatest three-quarter backs who ever played rugby for Ireland or for any other national XV’.

Yet, despite living such a full and vibrant and thrilling life, Maclear, like so many more, is defined by the circumstances of his death. He, like so many more, deserves better"

He is now revered as one of the greatest players the game has seen.

So here are last week's tries from the win in Cork for those who haven't seen them. Lets hope for more of the same on Saturday.

The Adrian Wareing Column

Adrian has returned. Adrian is in trouble.
He's not very well. Adrian is unwell.

But he did tell me this.... I'll be back!


Cooper Beard Residential Sales
Friends of The Blues

A Special Draw & Munster at home!!!!

Well done boys. Mike Rayer was dealt a very difficult hand of cards when he was handed two fixtures away from home against Cornish Pirates & Munster, with only four clear days between matches. It wasn't as if it was a couple of trips to Nottingham and Richmond, along the motorway. Instead it was literally all points west, with a brief return to Godford to wash the jock straps and have a quick rub down with the Sporting Life.
Added to that neither fixture was going to be easy.

Pirates had lost at Ealing by a point, at home to Bristol by two, and away to Leeds & Notts by a combined total of five. Added to that a comfortable win at Donny, that had eluded us, showed the degree of difficulty the Blues faced in Cornwall
It proved to be, with Pirates, who were still struggling to overcome an injury crisis that had probably cost them other wins, beating us by one score. We're still third though.

As at Donny, our disappointment at the narrow loss, showed how far we've come. The return at GR will be fantastic, our tussles with the Pirates provides a showcase for the Championship that is hard to beat.

We then travelled to Cork to face the holders of the B&I Cup, when it would have been easier to row directly to Ireland from Penzance after the Pirates match.

To win there, as we did, must rank with one of the best away performances in recent years. A big well done to all.

Booj rises above the rest in Cork.

A big well done too, for George Edgson. Many of us "watched" the game live on twitter with George as our commentator. What a hoot!

By George. No offence to Simon "Scoop" Hutchinson, but I suggest George plays only home matches from now on. Simon can pick up the twitter reins and George can then tweet to his hearts content, away from home, for ever more.

My personal favourite moments were George telling me to pull myself together, and then threatening to block another follower for barracking. Oh I laughed.

George doing his day job.

So now we go 'back to back' with the Irishmen at our own Field of Athenry on Saturday pm. I'm sorry I cant resist.

Low lie, The Fields of Athenry
Where once, we watched, the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
Its so lonely round the Fields of Athenry.

This is not a game to be missed so get down there to see Munster come out fighting. Its going to be good. None of that shopping nonsense. Man and woman up!

Right, no regular draw this week as its B&I Cup, not league. As promised though we will conduct a Special Draw for £500 of travelling money with the winner announced on Friday.

To remind you. FoB Steve Parrott of Guernsey offered £250, as a prize, if someone doubled it, and the splendid Eagle Executive Travel did! Thank you both. So I will instructing our idependent adjudicators Rawlinson Pryde to conduct the draw this week

This is a new FoB  prize and we still have the weekend trip to Paris by Eurostar coming up at Christmas to be announced at the Ealing match on 30th. So two very happy members coming up.

Prior to that we have London Scottish away and I know many of you and loads of ex-pat Bedfordians are going, for what should prove to be a great match and a splendid festive occasion. If you are not on the Followers Coach, Adrian has promised to guide a tour of famous Richmond pubs including lunch of Scotch eggs and pickled onions in the Triple Crown PH pre match.

The Triple Crown
See you at the railway station at 10am!


The Adrian Wareing Column

Unfortunately Adrian has not returned from Cork yet, and is presumed unwell. It is known he left Penzance in a rowing boat destined for Cork on Monday last.

Adrian seen passing Lands End going strong for Cork
By Tuesday it is known he had reached the Mermaid Inn, St Marys, Isles of Scilly (for some brief respite and refreshment) before on Thursday commandeering a local trawler heading for Cork.

Mrs Wareing is anxious to speak to anyone who saw Adrian in McGonagle's Bar or any of the other seven hostelries in the harbour area, late Friday night;or early Saturday morning in the 4.30 Club, in company with a Mrs Flirty O'Flaherty of Kinsale.

Mr O'Flaherty is anxious to trace Adrian.......... to thank him. 

A happy Mr O' Flaherty

Mrs Hicks of Scilly is also anxious for word of her trawlerman husband. Mr Hicks a Methodist lay preacher hasn't been seen for a week. He's never been known to stay out late or drink before.
Mrs Hicks is worried sick about the boat.

That'll do!

Hartpury Accademicals (& irresistible Friday Night Lights).
Be there or be square.

I am very early going to press this week, as I am taking a short break before returning for the Hartpury Match on Friday.
I write, having returned hotfoot from Donny & the annual East Riding Cow Pie Fest. It is a measure of our progress, that team and supporters alike, will be disappointed that we didn't secure another win. That said, as things turned out, a draw was a very good result and Will Hooley must be congratulated for that splendid touch line conversion at the death. Well done boys.

With the popularity of Friday night matches, I am puzzled why Donny chose to go head to head with an England match, and a sparse crowd of a 1,000 supported my view.
We however can look forward to the end of the week and some more excitement against a very capable Hartpury side. So gather your friends and let's make it another bumper crowd at GR. Lots of noise - lets lay it on thick on Friday.

This weeks winners are as follows. I wish you better luck than the Notts match-day winners who invested in poor Howard Packman and the sparkling, but for once try-less Dean Adamson.
Chris Czekaj took the spoils with a great treble. Well done Chris. A great addition.

So here we go.

Ron Callender - My great chum and a new joiner. Well done Ron. Ron is going to get all Bengalled up at the Bengal Brasserie with Shish.
Mick Meadows- by complete chance I sat next to him yesterday knowing he was already out of the hat for this week. I kept quiet. Majestic Wine for Michael.
Bernard Henry- Another new joiner and a fantastic long term supporter is Pizzeria Santaniello bound.

Richard Glasspool- Last years £1000 winner is lucky again

Susan Dimbleby -up there in the scorebox every match pressing the buttons, she'll have added interest this week. An example of how many match day staff reinvest in the club by membership of the FoB's. Good luck Sue.

So there'll be some sweating on Deano's fitness before selection on Friday.

Pray for Deano

Talking of good wingers. I have word from the inimitable and very popular Pat Tapley. Now Tappers decided to take a year out ,and head for the other side of the world with his young lady, and I don't blame him. Tappers tells me he is having a whale of a time and has now reached the east coast of Oz, and is making his way south in a van . He will arrive in Sydney in 3 weeks time where he will be playing for Warringah RFC, with a certain Myles Dorrian. So good luck to Pat and regards to Mylo. Best of luck with the season ahead.

Two top players and personal favorites of mine. Myles was outstanding in three spells with the Blues.
Lets go back to Mylo's last game at Penzance and see how much playing for Bedford meant to him. He was last seen by me at 7.30am Easter Sunday, on the Esplanade at Penzance going down the steps to the sea in his trunks, having not been to bed, still with a pint in his hand. I presume he then swam to Australia.

Right I'm off to Bordeaux on the train courtesy of Eagle Travels arrangements. Back Friday but first its Henry's wine of the week.

Wine of the Weekend:

Paso Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015, Paso Robles

The Build Up:

This week's wine is a great choice to hibernate in front of the Autumn Internationals with. Put another log on the fire, put Stuart Barnes on mute, put to the back of your mind the disappointment of not getting your name pulled out in the ballot for tickets and just savour this glorious, warming New World red. And then, when Eddie's boys have done the business over whichever miscellaneous Southern Hemisphere opposition the RFU have hastily cobbled together (I say you important Twickers types, please can we play the All Blacks this time next year? Thanks!), get out another bottle to celebrate. Meanwhile, bring on the Six Nations, more afternoons in front of the fire and the telly, and more wine.

Pause, Touch, Crouch, Engage:

Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with Syrah, Petite Syrah and Petit Verdot and aged in American oak barrels. On the nose find dark cherry and vanilla notes, while on the palate, supple tannins give way to a delectable black current and cocoa-led finish.

Maj Stats:
£14.99 when you Mix Six bottles of wine, or £16.99 single bottle price.

If This Wine Were A Blues Player It Would Be:

Justin Blanchet. Robust, powerful and reliable. Just like Bedford's favourite North American, this Majestic favourite is eminently likeable too. 

The Adrian Wareing Column

Three facts about Chris Czekaj
1. He will, strictly, only play for clubs that play in Blue.
2. His scrabble value is 25 or 75 for a triple word. A Hat-trick.
3. He often appears invisible under floodlights, but in reality he deliberately exploits black spots in floodlight  systems to evade being spotted.



East of Eden (& not that far from Venendaal either)

Well what a match we have in prospect. Nottingham are clearly a very good side as their results show. Strong up front with free scoring three-quarters and excellent half backs; this match should be a cracker and quite defining. There is no excuse for non-attendance and a bumper crowd can be expected. Bring someone along to add to that exciting autumnal evening atmosphere and make your presence felt. Lots of noise.

A lot has been happening.
Well done to Mike for taking the squad to Flanders and the Menin Gate. A fine act of remembrance. We've had the magnificent Fireworks display to add to the coffers and our tries have been getting a lot of airing on social media. A lovely piece on Harry Sheppard has shown what an achievement his career is.

The remarkable story of @harryshep10, the @BedfordBluesRFC fly half making the most of his 2nd chance to play rugby: 

League action sees a return to our Friends of the Blues draws, and five more winners.
We already have 15 FoBs through to the end of season draw (a reflection of the number of tries scored by our brave boys) including two from last year Mick Meadows and Bill Hulatt, whose opportunity to choose a player to score, fell after the Soiree draw night. I did say at the time.

So, the following, are this week's winners. If your name is not there, hold onto your hat. Coming up soon we have the £500 Eagle Executive Travel and Steve Parrott sponsored holiday draw, and then the weekend in Paris, by Eurostar, Draw at Christmas at the Ealing match.
I might change that Paris trip to Bordeaux. I am off to Bordeaux on the train shortly courtesy of Eagle Travels arrangements. I'll report back.

Talking of Bordeaux. Here's Henry with this week's Majestic Wine.

Wine of the Weekend: Nicolas Feuillatte 2008 Champagne
The Build Up: So far, so good for this talented, confident team of ours. The accolades, as well as the bonus points, keep coming for our boys in blue with a quarter of 2017-18 gone. Top try-scorers, both as a team and individually, Pool leaders after the first round of B&I Cup matches, lavished in the press and loved by the experts; Mike Rayer's dedication to playing sparkling rugby is winning fans all over the world of rugby. 

Pause, Touch, Crouch, Engage: Did someone say sparkling? Sound the Shameless Plug Klaxon.... It's 25% off Champagne* at Majestic this week!

The Nicolas Feuillatte (pronounced Foy-Att) 2008 is an excellent example of vintage champagne. Lees ageing adds a pleasing richness to the light citrus and toasty notes of this delicately delicious, deliciously delicate champagne.

Maj Stats:
£20.99 when you Mix Six bottles of wine, or £27.99 single bottle price.

If This Wine Were A Blues Player It Would Be: Michael Le Bourgeois; Sometimes mispronounced, sometimes misunderstood, yet always mesmerising. Our cult hero skipper and mercurial outside centre, in his game-changing pomp, is simply the epitome of champagne rugby. 


 *Terms & Conditions apply. Naturellement.

Christmas is coming so get down to Rope Walk now for your Champers.
Here you go. This weeks winners.
Jill Dainton - Will it be Champers or the Bengal Brasserie for Jill?
Paul Hudson- First time for Paul. It could be Santaniello's
Tom Perry
Andy "Woody" Campbell. 2nd in last years guess the crowd competition. First time out of the hat here.
Finally David "Higgo" Higgins
I will be in contact with all your solicitors.

Adrian Wareing- Now I really must clarify a few things again, you silly FoBs.
I have been concerned about your comments to me about Adrian Wareing in recent weeks.
"Is Adrian any better?"
"Adrian isn't looking well is he?"
"He's not really that funny in real life"
"He is definitely drinking too much"
"His poor wife"
"How does he know Charlie Hungerford?"
"Don't know what all he fuss is. Always looks fine to me"
"How long has he got?"
"I might ask if I can have the rest of his season ticket"

A reminder for those asking after "poor" Adrian.
The column is named after him because I wanted to separate the necessary, from the irrelevant tosh. Adrian approached me prior thereto, to say, he only enjoyed the irrelevant tosh.
Hence, I lifted and separated- it into a different entity and named it after the genial chap himself. Adrian's column. Got it so far?
Some weeks I could manage a lot of tosh to please him,but on others I was too busy for tosh.
Therefore I simply wrote "Adrian Wareing is unwell" and not a word more.
It was/is, a simple reference to the Spectator journalist of yore Jeffrey Bernard whose "Low life" Column was oft left unwritten, due to his prodigious drinking in the Coach and Horses, Soho. 
In which case the Editor simply, instead of his article, wrote "Jeffrey Bernard is in unwell"
Right do you get it now. I'm not repeating this again. Adrian is not unwell and not drinking too much either. In fact NOS says "he's a lightweight".
So If I say Adrian is unwell, he's bloody unwell. Even if he looks well. OK?

The Adrian Wareing Column
Adrian Wareing is unwell.

However. If he was well........... and sober he would say

We're about to engage in a series of floodlit matches and very exciting I find them too. The first floodit rugby match was hosted by Broughton Rugby Club in Manchester at Broughton's Yew St ground in Salford on 22 October 1878. The food-lights used were two Grammes lights suspended from 30 foot poles. The match was comprehensively won by Broughton (also known as Broughton Rangers or Wasps). "8,000 to 10,000 persons were present when the time for kick off arrived" the Salford Weekly News reported.

Bedford's first floodlit match took place a while later in 1976 when as Champions of England we erected our first floodlights and hosted the Champions of Wales Llanelli in front of 5,000 fans at Goldington Rd. The match was one of two (the other at Stradey Park) to decide who was the best club in England and Wales. It was all very exciting and almost a forerunner for the later professional inter-national club competitions.
Anyhow we lost both - but the Scarlets were very very good.
See you for a snifter in the Scrum Bar on Friday?

No draws
Just a reminder, especially for new joiners that our draws are eleven fold, and for home league matches only. So not this week. Obviously we also have special draws. Like the £500 holiday draw courtesy of Steve Parrott and Eagle Executive Travel and the weekend in Paris by Eurostar both of which are coming up shortly.

So in short.
Ospreys on Saturday with several future internationals on view. Attendance is compulsory, bring a friend particularly if they're a girl, to take advantage of two for one entrance and because its Ladies Day.
So your instructions are
Please seek new members for the FoB's and acquire spectacular prizes that attract new members.
Eat all your curries at he Bengal Brasserie.
All Pizzas at Santaniello's.
Drink a Majestic bottle of wine daily.
Book monthly holidays at Eagle Travel.
Move house annually with Russell Beard's help.
Easy peasey, lemon squeezey

The Adrian Wareing Column

Adrian Wareing is unwell.

However as Remembrance Sunday approaches let's remember Denis Vibert,  who I discovered, honoured and remembered, by a plaque on a bench between St Helier and St Aubin. His rowing feat leaves Sir Steve Redgrave looking like a distinct lightweight. To put it in perspective, it took me 10hrs at 25 knots on a huge ship to get from Portsmouth, to a point off the Channel Islands, on my way to St Malo. It kind of looked, dark, cold and very wet out there.

Then he signed up as a bomber pilot!

At the top of the page  rugby and Bedford Modern's Edgar Mobbs.


That's the first bit done

Not a bad start to the season. Lots of good new players, lots of tries and exciting play, and lots of fun. Membership of the FoB's is up by the biggest leap ever-over £1000 a year (new members are welcome at any time of the season) and gates are marginally up by comparison to the first three home matches of last season.

Adrian Wareing is well again!

We also have a splendid additional prize of £500 donated  jointly by  FoB Steve Parrott of Guernsey and our Travel Partner Eagle Executive Travel. That will be drawn at the Munster match on 16th December to make it a pleasant seasonal surprise for one of you. All the winner has to do is book £500 worth of holiday or travel with Eagle Travel.

Shortly thereafter, on 30th December the big Christmas Match will see the draw for the Springtime Weekend in Paris for two persons by Eurostar. So plenty to look forward to.

Our draws have gone swimmingly well. Everyone seems to be enjoying their prizes. The Bengal Brasserie and Pizzeria Santaniello always goes down well whilst Majestic Wines have certainly added something with their wine of the week. I wish I'd photographed John Saunders on Saturday. Having received his Majestic Muga from me in the stand, he sat down to watch his try selection, Jordan Burns, quickly score twice. I looked across to find him in Churchillian pose; beaming smile, clutching the Muga and waving two fingers at me. Marvellous.

Lots of tries has meant very few members failing with their try scoring choices.

At this point in time the following are through to the £1000 draw

Brian Harris, Paul Rostron, Bill Brown, Bob Main, William James, Ashley Smith, Michael Bowra, Lucy Howe, Ian Roberts, John Saunders, Chris Kettler, John Gooch and Alison Kavanagh. 13/15. 

So now we move into a block of B&I Cup matches. With the PR Ltd sponsored demise of the play-offs the importance of the B&I cup rises. Success equals more matches, more matches means more income.  The further we go the more prize money we get. The competition offers variety and the chance to see some stars of the future particularly from Wales and Ireland. The away matches offer a chance for some fun too!

Our first match is away against Nottingham, who are one place above us in the league. It takes on a great importance. So good luck Blues.

Next draw is when we return to league action against Nottingham - Friday night under lights -very exciting- bring a friend- bring two or three!!!


The Adrian Wareing Column

Well 80,000 people watched the Blues v Rotherham game on the RFU livestream. Absolutely splendid. Great coverage by Heathy and Dewi and very complimentary they were too. I've now watched it 17 times.


Beware the wounded beast from Yorkshire.

Well, for many of you, Jersey was a blast. I am still.... a little weary.

If you haven't tried it, give it ago next season. Whilst our heroic Bedford Followers are everywhere, in constancy, on those dark Sundays in February, those awkward Friday evenings, and at the most distant geographic outposts; weekends such as Jersey, and Penzance at Easter seemingly produce a veritable community of Bedford Blues supporters. It is uplifting, unifying and so enjoyable to be there. It also produces fantastic match day support for the team, as many players have commented.

A few congrats.

Congratulations to those brave Blues fans whose plane's were cancelled and had to endure further nights, spent, at their poor airline's expense in St Helier's; having to seek refuge in the bars of the Lamplighter, The Yacht Club or The Boat House, or in some cases all three, just to find some meagre sustenance and company.

Congratulations to Camillo and his bride on their Sunday marriage. Every happiness to you both.

Congratulations Camillo, not least, because if the weather had arrived 24hrs earlier you might not be married now. Pheeew.

Congratulations Camillo for scrummaging five metres out, with the massed Blues fans singing. "He's getting married in the morning"  It's not easy.

Congratulations to our players, for sticking at it, when, not everything, is going well.

So thank you Jersey for your welcome and hospitality and ....for putting up with us. Excellent.

Now this week its Roth. We have history, and its never easy. They are a proud club. They are not down, and certainly, not out.

Its a big welcome back to Andy Key. Once one of our best players and our captain now the Rotherham coach. As a coach at Bedford it was Andy who started dual registration whilst he was also the coach of Leicester Tigers Academy. There he produced international after international; Lion after Lion from his ranks. He was Premiership coach of the season at Leeds when he and Neil Back kept them up. Andy is a top man and proud of his association with Bedford.  However we know he will be desperate to win this match.

You generally cant separate Bedford and Cornish Pirates. A  fortnight ago Roth scored 40 points plus at The Mennaye and nearly won. It will be a test this Saturday at GR.
Welcome back Keywi.

And so to this week's draw.
First out of the hat is Ian "Dunvant" Roberts.( a past £1,000 winner)
Second is past President John Saunders.
Third is Claude Kettler.
Fourth is John Gooch
Fifth is Alison Kavanagh

The first three get a choice from this week's prizes and I'll be ringing them shortly for their choice, and their selection of a player to score them a try. Prizes are........
A sumptuous Bengal Brasserie banquet for two with Shish. I hear Mike Rayer was amongst a party of 20 dining after the Bristol match. It is top quality fodder guys.
Pizza at the Pizzeria Santaniello. Again for two people. God Bless you for your support Geraldo & Angelo. Bedford's first pizzeria
Lastly this weeks Majestic wine. Over to Henry...

Majestic Wine of the Weekend:
Rioja Reserva 2013, Muga

The Build Up: The first third of the rugby season gone, commutes delayed by leaves on the line, the return of those life-shorteningly depressing Saturday night television shows long on glitz and short on talent... Yes, dear reader, we are very much in the midst of Autumn. But it's not all bad news. With these shorter, colder days comes the warming joy of rediscovering and savouring all of your favourite winter reds. There is a place somewhere right near the top of that list is surely reserved for Rioja.

Pause, Touch, Crouch, Engage: Muga Reserva is made from a blend of Tempranillo & Grenache grapes. Toasty, blackberry aromas give way to a multi textured, full flavoured fruit and sweet spice driven elegant red wine with a gorgeous long lasting finish. Enjoy this classic Rioja with your Sunday joint of Roast Lamb.

Maj Stats: £16.99 Mix Six (£18.99 single bottle price)
If This Wine Were A Blues Player It Would Be: Camilo Parilli Ocampo !!!!!!!
One of the biggest names in Rioja, for one of the biggest names in the Blues squad. Hearty, dependable and robust, just like Bedford's favourite Venezuelan.

It had to be Cami didn't it?

Oh Parrili Ocampo. Oh Parilli Ocampo

You don't need to read anymore- its all tosh from hereon in.


The Adrian Wareing Column

Thank you, to all of you, who have enquired, as to my health. There really is, not very much, wrong with me, as you will have seen, by my sterling performance in The Bailwick last weekend. Thank you to those Blues fans who sang Happy Birthday to my darling wife Wink, in the sun, sur la Terrace at the Boat House, St Aubin pre match. She loved it. I was a little bit the worse for wear, I know. but I've heard about it.

Here I am post match 12.30am Sunday. Nothing wrong with me as you can see.

Well done you Blues. Great win. Fantastic support. What a try by the boys on half-time!......................

Meanwhile back on the Island.

Photo of Charlie Hungerford

"Jim Bergerac? Its Charlie. Charlie Hungerford. Look. I've just got back from the match at St Peter. We were just about to score and three of them ran off with the ball and scored at the other end. Jim we were robbed. You need to look at it. You could tell they were guilty by the speed they ran off with the ball"

Photo of Jim Bergerac

"Ok Charlie calm down. It'll be Adamson, Burns and Lane. Look.... we just cant catch them. They're too fast.
Look Charlie. I'm a bit busy this evening.........No I can't get them in.  I'm out with Adrian, NOS and Big Ron tonight....... Yes. Adrian who's always unwell........ Yes Ron who's always in shorts......Yes, That bloody noisey one called NOS.......... No Charlie I cant make your drinks party next Saturday. ..... Why not?........... I'm at Goldington Rd for the Rotherham match Charlie".

Photo of Charlie Hungerford

"Alright Jim. Look.... at the very least..... as a favour. Can't you pick up those two Scottish brothers at the Airport on the way back to Glasgow. Get them for anything. They never stop Jim. The noise Jim. They never stop singing. Its relentless".

Photo of Jim Bergerac
"All right Charlie. I'll see what I can do.... but do you really want them here till Wednesday? Alright Charlie. I'll use the 'too foggy to fly' ruse again"

So all in all a great weekend boys and girls. Wonderful to see you all.
Sorry to Ruauri and Doug MacAskill who didn't fly home to Glasgow till Wednesday. Great effort.

AW   (is unwell)

Jersey's for goalposts

Well done to Ashley Smith, Lucy Howe and Michael Bowra for selecting the excellent Dean Adamson to score on Saturday. That sees them join five others in the £1,000 draw. Someone is going to win it. 
Apologies to Mrs Stidolph for putting too many ds in Stidolph- like Stiddolph. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
I got a dressing down. "How many years have you known me Howard?"

If you were wondering what was going on outside the ground, following the match on Saturday. Well..... There was far too much excitement as The Boys & Gals in Blue  swung into action and took to the gardens of Rothsay and Goldington Rd, in pursuit of two, most wanted miscreants, who didn't want to be captured. Much garden hopping resulted in one fairly prompt collar felt, and another rather more protracted... as you will see from the photo. All good fun. Well done Bedfordshire Police.

Whether he wanted to go to Jersey, or not.
He's not now.

I delivered the Majestic Wine Pinot Noir to Chateau Smith in Biddenham on Monday. I was a delight to meet Ashley and Ann, and to hear of 89 year old Ashley's enduring support for Bedford from various locations around the country. Also to hear of his son Trevor, and grandson Chris, who travel from Bourne in Lincolnshire and, in fact they did so, to Ealing the other week.
I also learnt at the weekend of fans from Norfolk, and then there is dear Phil Beard from deepest Sussex, travelling weekly for decades. Highly commendable. There's more, far more.

Which brings me on to Jersey. I'm off tomorrow to St Peter via a circuitous route and a foreign country. I know there are hundreds of other supporters  travelling too, some of them on their way now, no doubt. As well as the normal exit points I am aware of fans flying in from Glasgow, Liverpool, Cardiff and Newquay!
FOB Gonzo Jennings is taking in Guernsey and don't be surprised by local support other than Booj's family -the Beaujolais's.
A noise warning because the silly FECCERs are travelling on masse and it is the infamous Rapmaca who is coming from Glasgow. Join in with the songs all.

So good luck to the team and bon voyage to all fans and FoBs. Have a great time.
May see you there.

The Adrian Wareing Column


Adrian Wareing is not unwell and is going to Jersey.
No column though. They'll be plenty to talk about next week!!

It's Bristol again!

Did we really play them 6 times the season before last? Well just twice this time. It should be good.

Bristol. Letters on their backs. Fond memories of Bristol legend Mike Rafter coaching us. Lovely bloke. Mark Howe turning Bristol down to stay at Bedford whilst he studied (sort of) at Cirencester. Losing the B&I Cup Final at The Memorial Ground in the rain. How can you play away in a final? They've had some great players. Ralph Knibbs sticks in the memory. Corky Harding at scrum half I could go on; loads of horrible props and second rows. I could never understand how they found them. Why couldnt we find people as horrible. Proper club Bristol.

Anyhow we have another member.

Good story.

John Mitchell, big, loud, lovable, "kill 'em", our most famous fan for 30years. He fell ill about three years ago. Hospitalised. It was serious. They said he was turning blue. I was there within hours, I was beaten to it. Mike & Debra Rayer had already been in. Everyone was very worried "He is clearly delirious" - they said. "He keeps shouting for two pies"

Anyhow  John recovered well, but slowly and was moved for that recuperation to leafy Oakley. John will tell you he liked Oakley. He liked Natalie the Nurse but was missing the rugby. It was serious, performances were dipping and John was pineing.

The staff were fantastic though and appreciated the seriousness of the situation for John, the club and the town. A mini bus (light & dark blue) was obtained with a lift for his temporarily needed wheel chair and he was ferried to the matches. His full recovery was assured. All was well.  Results looked up.

On his first visit I met the lady who had gone to so much trouble & had brought John and took him back happy afterwards. Her name was Alison. A lovely lady.

Now Alision was doing it for all the right professional reasons. However she liked the rugby and GR so much, once John was better....she kept coming. Obviously she found somewhere quieter but she kept coming. This season she took a season ticket & now she has generously joined the Friends of the Blues.

Welcome Alison Flahey. What a top top girl.

Marvellous stuff.

Right this weeks winners but first..........da da da da.

Here's Henry's Majestic Wines of Bedford Wine of the Weekend.

Parcel Series Central Otago Pinot Noir

The Build Up: New Zealand is a wonderful country. Not only is the land of the long white cloud famous for scenic backdrops to blockbuster films involving scruffy, vertically challenged heroes, and for scores of unpunished incidents of dreadful skullduggery by butter-wouldn't-melt back row forwards in the ruck, it also boasts the greatest steak & cheese pies in the world. Plus their winemakers can also do a very decent drop of the old vitis vinifera too. In the last decade, Kiwi Sauvs have become our nation's favourite choice of white wine, but, their reds are every bit as good.

Pause, Touch, Crouch, Engage:
This sumptuous Pinot Noir is the latest in Majestic's Parcel Series range. Hailing from an award winning producer on NZ's South Island, find flavours of fresh cherry and jammy summer fruit and enjoy the subtle savoury notes and superb finish. 

Maj Stats:
£14.99 when you Mix Six bottles of wine or more. (£19.99 single bottle price.)

If This Wine Were A Blues Player It Would Be:

Jordan Burns. Wholehearted, yet elegant and with a lightness of touch. Do not drink it at the pace he goes though.

So another quality wine. Do you lot fancy a Majestic wine tasting evening? We'll have to see.

If you are getting thirsty nip down to Rope Walk and get stuck in.

And we have a winner. Ashley Smith of Biddenham is the winner. 89 years young he has been a Blues fan for donkeys years and kept coming even after moving to Aldeburgh for 11 years!! Anyhow it became too far to travel so he moved back. Quite right too.

Ashley still comes to matches when his son visits. This is Ashleys first time out of the hat after years of donations, so well done you and your splendid wife Ann, who tells me incidentally that she will be engaging with the Pinot Noir herself as soon as I get it over there.

Additionally Ashley & Ann are going for Dean Adamson tomorrow.

Next out of the hat. The happy couple themselves Michael and Dawn Bowra. Quite extraordinary. Apparently they had a cracking day and Dawn said "Yes"...  so that's what counts.... and they've won the Bengal Brasserie Curry. I'll rev Shish up for another wedding reception.

Next up Ross Stiddolph and his regal wife Mrs Stiddolph. "Oh will you stop calling me Mrs Stiddolph Howard".

OK Mrs Stiddolph. They win a lunch at NOS's Nosh. In fact, they are having it tomorrow. They like Jarrad Williams. Thank you NOS. 

Lucy Howe is gutted because her firm Trolleys Dollies sponsor Howard Packman and he's hamstrung. She therefore switches to Deano on the other wing.

Then we have Charles Dudeney whose choice I haven't written down so I'd better ring him again.

So there we go.

I have secured another prize lunch for two v. Notts in January. I am weighing up when to draw the £500 of holiday with Eagle Travel jointly funded with FoBs Steve & Debbie Parrott of Guernsey.

Next week I'll tell you about RC Stafford (no I'll get Adrian to do it, he's not been well you know) and I'll show you how we spent a small bit of our funds in the spring on commemorating some notable players.

I do hope you read Sam Roberts column on Paul Tupai last week. Quite fantastic.



The Adrian Wareing Column

Adrian Wareing is unwell.



Ealing Broadway

Throw back Tuesday.
I thought I'd give you all a dose of Rudi Straueli. No particular reason other than I can. (Sorry no photos on this medium for Members only on their mail shot email-Join if you want to see them)
He follows the results you know.
Note also, England front row coach Neal Hatley following him out. He really looked like a prop didn't he; in fact, as do our present four front line, loose & tight head athletes.
Anyhow. Well done Blues. We're only as good as our next result, so lets move on by coach, car bus, tube & overground to Ealing on Saturday. I know many people are away on holiday at the moment, but lets make a big effort to be there and make plenty of noise.
Back to last Saturday.
All five winners were correct in their selection of a try scorer.
Four went for Howard Packman whilst Bill & Maggie Brown went for Lee Dickson. So that is five through to the £1,000 draw at the Soiree already.
Additionally Paul Rostron is off to the Bengal Brasserie
Brian Harris will be checking those tasting notes on the Magnum of Porta 6, and Bill & Maggie are off to Pizzeria Santaniello.
So that's all good.
As will your attendance at Ealing. Lets do it, and lets be noisey whilst we are doing it.

Stop press the Blues B&I Cup match v Munster has been fixed for 7.45pm Friday 8th December at Musgrave Park Cork. Thoroughly splendid I'd say.
Sheena Todd at Eagle Executive Travel- our FoB Travel Partner will help you find a travel package to suit if you fancy a few Guinness with your rugby, prior to Christmas. Give here a ring.

Lastly, congratulations to Michael Bowra and Dawn Inskip who on Saturday, at about kick off time will tie the knot and become our first FoB marriage!!!
Well done both. All the very best for a long and happy marriage from all members of the FoB and indeed the whole club.
( I have discussed the issues around getting married in the rugby season but Dawn assures me she will be wearing Oxford & Cambridge blue hoops- so its fine)


I am aware of one or two  members not getting my emails. Ask your mates in the FoBs if they are, and if they aren't please let me know. Thanks

London Scottish & Jake Sharp. No.... Jake Sharp & London Scottish.

Oh. I'm still, just a little bit lost, in that sun kissed moment at the Mennaye; as Mylo sped under the posts, for our second injury time try to end his career, and our season, in front of hundreds of exhilarated Bedford fans. Perhaps it will be that last gasp win on Boxing Day against Jersey that will be recalled more often from last term. George Perkins and his providers celebrating in front of, almost all of Bedford. 

As the new season commences, it is moments like that I long for, albeit I am prepared to sacrifice the tardy, against the odds and never say die results, for more straight forward performances. At Richmond last week that is exactly what we were treated to. Well done lads. The playing side of our club appears refreshed, galvanised by positive change and ready for the challenges of  increasingly tough league and cup campaigns.

Off the field, the club's financial position is the envy of many in this league and others. At the AGM David Gunner paid tribute to the loyalty of our fans as a major contributory factor. The gates held up despite some disappointing performances with an average of 2,500 attending each league match. He also pointed to another growth in commercial income as equally important. Well done to those responsible.

Which brings me round to you guys & gals. The FoBs.

The board recognise and acknowledge your contribution repeatedly to me. They doth their caps to you. The players come to the end of season Soiree as a thank you to you, but this summer the refurbishment of the gym (which we doubled in size three years ago) has increased their gratitude. Sean Vine our impressive new S&C coach, identified on appointment, the need for a major upgrade and your £20k has paid for it. Feel free to have a look through the door on Saturday at what you have provided.

Hopefully you'll be able to see this video link-if you are wired up for this sort of thing.  Dean Adamson (Ist class Honours degree I'll have you know) thanks you.

More good news.

All our partners have reaffirmed their support. Additionally we have one new Partner, as per my release of yesterday. Welcome Majestic Wines of Rope Walk

So a big thank you to Russell Beard and Cooper Beard Residential Sales who continue for the fourth year as our Principal Partner. Your support is considerable and acknowledged. 

More of the same. Shish Miah and the Bengal Brasserie continues as Curry Partner. He has been providing weekly prizes and I'm pleased to say attracting increasing numbers of curry loving Blues fans on Match Days and during the week particularly for his Wednesday taster menu. @brasseriebengal

Eagle Executive Travel continue as our Travel Partner. Thank you to Sue Alexander and Sheena "Moneypenny" Todd. Sue in conjunction with generous FoB member Steve Parrott, is going to provide an additional holiday prize to add to our existing Paris trip. Thank both.

Gerald & Angelo Santaniello continue as Pizza Partners. Bedford's first Pizzeria continues to provide prizes of Bedford's best pizza for each home match.

NOS's Nosh . Neil & Louise Thomas' contribution is basically above and beyond, in provision of prizes but particularly the Soiree catering. He is our Eccentric Partner.

More good news- Membership is up!

So welcome Messrs Barwell, Wilby, Dale, Muskett, Callender, Turner, Saunders, Norman, Robinson, Bartlett & Henry. I hope you will enjoy your membership and take great pride, in the contribution you are making. The generosity of you, the new members, is such, that our income has grown by 5% this summer. Now that is very good. It's not too late for new joiners so please cajole or bully who ever you can.

So finally our first draw of the season. On offer are Bengal Brasserie, Santaniellos and Majestic Wine Prizes. In order the following lucky members will get a choice of prize and a choice of player to score for them on Saturday in the £1,000 cash try scoring comp.

They are

Paul Rostron

Brian Harris

Bob Main

Bill & Maggie Brown

William James

................and one will win the following Majestic Wine described with aplomb by Henry Wisson.

The Wine: Porta 6, Magnum       

The Build Up: Going big for the first match of the season at Goldington Road, here’s a Majestic classic for you, the super-sized Porta 6! This wine hails from the hills to the north of Lisbon and is made from a selection of Portuguese grapes, two of which, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, are used in this country’s most famous wine and your post-Christmas-Day-feast favourite, Port.

Pause, Crouch, Touch, Engage: Dark fruit and violet notes on the nose, this medium bodied, jammy red is bursting full of bramble and spice notes. Easy drinking and great served with Indian Summer barbeques or perfect just on its own, enjoyed with your chums celebrating another stirring Bedford Blues victory.

Retailing at £16.99 for a single bottle.

If This Wine Were A Blues Player It Would Be: Dean Adamson; Smooth,easy going and a real crowd pleaser to boot.  A Magnum performer . A  magnum of wine. 

So there you have it.

We are off and into a new season

Oh. I'm just a little bit lost .......Jake is playing for the oppostion. 


The Adrian Wareing Column

Adrian Wareing is particularly unwell so we have a guest columnist. Sam Roberts.


Friends of the Blues announce new partner - Majestic Wines of Bedford

The FoBs are very pleased to announce that Majestic Wines, who are situated at Rope Walk, Bedford have kindly agreed to become an Official Partner.

Manager Henry Wisson said. "Majestic Wines are proud to be able to offer our support to Bedford Blues, through our new partnership with the Friends of the Blues". The efforts of these supporters in raising much needed funds for their club is to be applauded. It is quite remarkable and Majestic Wines recognise that and wish to support it. The Rugby Club is so important to the town. It is flying the flag for Bedford on a national level with great distinction every season. Distinction is something we recognise at Majestic Wines. Here's to a Majestic season"

Not only are Majestic Wines becoming a partner, but they will also be donating one of their top quality wines, as a prize for each home league match FoB draw. This will be accompanied by Henry's own unique & inimitable tasting notes on that wine.

Thank you Majestic Wines for your support.

You can get details of all Majestic Wine's existing or new products, special offers or wine tastings at or follow them on twitter @majesticbedford


Mike Howard, Mike Howard,Mike Howard.......oh and sadly, Jake, Mylo and several others.

This Saturday, 3pm., is our chance to say a big Goldington Rd goodbye to Mike Howard and to thank him for 238 matches of effort, determination & no lack of skill in our boiler room.  It's sad to say farewell, but far better that we show Mike we appreciate his efforts as we do so. There will be a host of Blues legends on show and a festival of running rugby is promised.

We now know that Jake & Mylo are also leaving (amongst several others). That's over 300 starts at stand-off between them and they will be there too to celebrate Mike's marvellous Bedford career. Its a chance to wish them all the best for their futures #onceablue. Oh, its all so sad, but all good things come to an end, so lets have a beano and make it a day to remember. See you at 3pm

Now some late season housekeeping. The Leeds match saw 5 members have an early go at next years £1,000 try competition. Mick Meadows & Bill Hulatt were successful with their choice of the prolific Dean Adamson. Consolation prizes go to Mark Gibbons who will dine at the Bengal Brasserie and Dave Evans who will take grandson Rhys to Pizzeria Santaniello. Enjoy guys. Your vouchers are in the post.

It seems a long time since the Pirates match brought the season to a conclusion in brilliant sunshine. Never has Penzance seen such an army of Blues fans; with a Saturday kick off and Easter weekend making it so appealing. Wow, we were there in great numbers. Great numbers on the pitch too. What an exhilarating match and ending. Twas tremendous to watch.

Well done to Karen Brooks, Dave Gunner, Paul Berry and the other cyclists who spent just the six days peddling to PZ. Great effort and it was tremendous to see the Blues Team leave their hotel en masse to greet the peloton and shake them, one by one, by the hand and then pose for photos with them. It gave one a warm glow. All in all it was a real Bedford-on- Sea weekend, with the team & the Pirates putting on a show of how they both play all season. Rugby was the winner.

I now turn to next season. Please please seek out and encourage new members. Look for opportunities for prizes for us and in your spare time have a lovely summer.

Around July we will know our fixtures for next year (there won't be enough again). We will naturally be keenly looking for those away days at Richmond, the cyclists will be hoping for a close one on the last away weekend, but particularly we will be looking for Penzance & Jersey.

Now many of us have been to Jersey several times, myself included. You might fancy a change to your normal, in and out by plane method. I did two years ago so I set off on Wednesday p.m  by train to Portsmouth and took a berth on the evening Brittany ferry to St Malo. It was a lovely evening; the ferry, out of season, was quiet and had a range of bars, restaurants and entertainment.  The 12 hour crossing allowed plenty of time for enjoying these and a good kip before arriving at breakfast time in beautiful St Malo. A one night booking at the Hotel L'Universe allowed me two full days relaxing and savouring this beautiful historic walled sea port before leaving for Jersey at tea time on Friday by Condor Ferry. This fast ferry got me there in time to meet up with all the Blues fans in St Helier for the pre-match festivities on Friday evening.

Now I flew back after the match on Sunday morning, but next year with a following breeze, I am going to reverse the process going back on the ferry to Pompey. It returns during the day time. It even appears possible to get back on Saturday night to St Malo after the match! So if you feel your not getting enough European travel with the Blues fixtures give this a go. I might see you in St Malo! 

If you do fancy a go at this, or wish to go by any other route via Alderney Guernsey of any other part of France, book, as I did, through Sheena Todd at our sponsors Eagle Executive Travel. They'll customise your Jersey trip to your specification at no cost to you - other than your trip. Sheena "Moneypenny" Todd is the girl.

Lastly. Thank you to FoB Maurice Webb who presented Geoff Irvine with our £20K at half time of the Leeds match. That is £20k that is your money, being spent to assist our players, by providing a totally new gymnasium at GR.

That is what this is all about. Thank you all.

See you in St Malo?

First match?



The Soiree, YC and the average gate.

A big thank you to all of you who came to The Soiree. I lose myself with the number of people I need to thank, because it is simply, so many, and feel guilty that I forget some. I apologise.
No.1 thanks must go to you guys for your season long support and for making it another fun night. Secondly to thank to Josh Bassett for so readily agreeing to attend, for entering into the spirit of the event, and for providing such a great insight into his move to Wasps and his career there so far.
I have had so many positive comments about you Josh, and about how proud Blues fans are of you.
As Josh left he offered his ongoing support of the FoBs and to help in any way he could in the future. He made it quite clear how proud he is, of his, and our club. Top man Josh

Moving on to business. The evening involved a few financial transactions- at the end of the day, more than the camaraderie that clearly exists within the FoBs, we have a goal of generating funds for the club.
To help generate interest we have the £1k season long Try competition.There were 17 live chances on the night and 16 left disappointed. I'm sorry. Our winner was Richard Glasspool. Well done Dick. If you lost out to Dick, take comfort that Dick whispered to me on presentation, that he was very keen to reinvest that sum in the club. Dick is a great friend of the club. If you didn't win I hope that brings some solace.

The raffle went really well and the ever generous Richard Castle beat off Ron Callender and others to buy the framed shirt. Thanks to all who bid or donated prizes. It makes a real difference.

Russell Beard renewed his sponsorship with a four figure cheque. Our thanks. It was Russell's first Soiree but not his last he tells me. We value Cooper Beard Residential Sales support.

David Gunner's beef and NOS & Louise Thomas's zero cost, hard work, kept expenses low and quality high on the buffet. It took about 6 hours with four people working to get that ready. The former Try Bonus scheme gave you back about £40 each for a dinner that you had donated -so there is greater benefit for the club. They were ably supported by Adrian Wareing and Diane MacAskill.
NOS Thomas is now preparing for the season's final hurrah in Penzance.

That brings me to the guess the crowd competition.
We had one match remaining.
The average (with last years London Welsh gate helping to get reality) stood at 2508 prior to Saturday.
The contenders were
Andy Cobley                2450
NOS Thomas               2469
Average                       2508
Ben Wisson                  2517
Andrew Summerfield    2520
Steve Jennings             2527
Andy Campbell             2528
Charles Dudeney         2544
John Sunderland          2550
Keith Deverell               2552
Dawn Inskip                  2552

....and the last gate was 2685 which moved the average up to 2524, and left Steve "Gonzo" Jennings one human being per match, better off than Andy Campbell and Andrew Summerfield.
Well done Gonzo. That is £252 towards your next rugby tour.

A quick mention of Sam Roberts. Our club is so fortunate to have available a man with such skills and personality as a compere. He really does make any event he is involved in. I think he deserves his colours, a picture on the wall or a golden microphone.

It wasn't an easy night for him either, with a voice that was disappearing over Cleat Hill at speed. I could have offered him one of my antibiotics but I don't like him that much. Both of us would have failed a head injury assessmemt.

Sam, I can tell you, has already got, an "in principle"  agreement from Duncan Taylor to be our guest next year. He bumped into Duncan whilst commentating on the Newcastle v Sarries match a few weeks ago. Now much could happen fixture wise before that, which could preclude his attendance, but we have high hopes we can have another prodigal son return for the next Soiree.

The sum total of our season efforts was when Maurice Webb presented a cheque from us, the FoBs, to Geoff Irvine at half time on Saturday for £20,000. That is what its all about. The club benefiting. This will be used for a total refurbishment of the gymnasium. New kit and equipment and all. If you recall, we paid for the doubling in size of the gym itself and the Watt-bikes within, only a couple of years ago.
So your money is being used to directly improve player welfare, performance and results.

Going forward can I ask you for further assistance.
My goals are to maintain membership numbers & income. I need you to try and find new members. We had two on the night. Welcome Adrian Barwell and Howard Dale. We need more.
That will help us very soon, to a total of £100,000 donated so far. That is incredible.
I need your help finding restaurants to help us by donating prizes and hope you can repay the support of existing sponsors like the Bengal Brasserie and Pizzeria Santaniello by dining with them. Tell them you are a Blues fan. It really helps me and at The Bengal Brasserie you'll get 10% off.
So thank you guys it was a lovely night.

The Adrian Wareing Column.

On Saturday someone commented about the difference between Bedford and Leeds players. He reckoned it was about 2 stone and £20,000 a year per man. He might be right.
There is another difference though. On Saturday our gate was 2685 (you know our average). I did some research. That is about 600 more than our closest peer and about a thousand more than a lot (London Irish are something different).
On the day of the Mobbs Match I told Ed Taylor that our gate would be 1500. I was about right. It was Geoff Cooke who said "1500 people would turn up at Goldington Rd to watch two dogs shagging" .He said it and he was right.
There has been a lot of talk about the demise of the playoffs. They will be missed and there are justified concerns about the effects on gates.
A thought though. Bedford had nought to play for but pride on Saturday and still the crowds came. Quite commendable.

About now Paul Berry, Karen Brooks and others are setting off for Penzance on their bikes. That's a long time in the saddle. It won't hurt. Much!!. Good luck guys.
I look forward to seeing you en route on Friday... somewhere towards Truro.

I know loads of you will be at Penzance. It should be a great weekend, with the team staying down too. Pirates and Blues matches are always very watchable because both sides have the right attitude. "If in doubt-run it". It'll be a great match but sadly a farewell to a number of players. So farewell Mylo and Mike, in particular, for your amazing service.

Good Luck and COYB


Yorkshire Carnegie and The Soiree

Only a few days till Thursday's Soiree with the players. Thank you for your RSVPs. It looks like we will have a record attendance!

As the Soiree precedes the Yorkshire Carnegie game I am presented with a couple of problems. Firstly, on the evening of the Soiree we will have had, only ten home games; so we are a draw, of five winners, short. In previous years, in such circumstances, I have had ten members choosing a player to score, at the last but one match. This year I forgot.

Therefore the 16 people in the draw (17 if you count Barbara Dainton with two chances) will not be joined by anyone else. That will please them! Instead I have drawn five members, as follows, and they will participate against YC and go into next years £1k draw if they are successful. Sorted.

Those winners are John Geary, Mark Gibbons, Dave Evans, Bill Hulatt and Mick Meadows.I will be in contact or see you on Thursday evening.Well done.

One member and partner will dine at the splendid Bengal Brasserie, @BrasserieBengal and two will be off to see Gerald at Pizzetria Santaniello.Enjoy.

The other issue is the "guess the average crowd"competition. Again the YC match on Saturday next, is after the bash, so on the evening as in past years, we will let you know who is in with a chance of winning the £250 cash prize. The second issue is that London Welsh folded. Instead, because of Northampton Saints help, we were able to get 3,800 fans into GR. That was obviouslys more than you would have estimated in your pre-season guess- more than we would have attracted against London Welsh. Therefore I have asked Matthew Rawlinson to use last years LW attendance in his calculations instead of the Saints gate. My decision is final. 

So it's 7.00pm KO on Thursday. Sit where you like, but leave space on your table if you want some players with you. We will look to eat soon after arrival so that we can pack in all the fun and games. Josh Bassett is primed, I have the £1,000 cash burning a hole in my pocket, we have the seasons best tries on tape, some presentations to be made, lots of interviews and a fantastic raffle with some unique prizes.

So I look forward to seeing you on the night.


The Adrian Wareing column- more utter rubbish.

Not many people know this, but in a further example of the eccentricity of Bedfordians, there is a cabal of Blues fans who are madder than most others.

About 20 years ago, when they were far younger, they decided to cycle from St Malo to Paris for the French Cup Final. A couple of years later, whilst very drunk at an old players dinner they agreed they would cycle to the last game of the season- that year a very achievable Henley. They've done it every year since. Birmingham, Moseley, Launceston(!), Penzance (!!), Harlequins, London Welsh &, Scottish, Doncaster and Henley-most of them twice and this year for the 3rd time Penzance (!!!) Their hearts must sink when the fixtures are announced.

Now I've cycled Lands End to John o'Groats and I think they are mad. So next week they are off again to Penxance. Devon and Cornwall are corrugated I can assure you. There is nothing flat other than the beaches and some cider near the Summerzet border; additionally they will be against the prevailing wind. I know there are hundreds of you going to Penzance, so wish them well and look out for them from the train window, the car, the bus or however you will be travelling next week.

The intrepid cyclists are as follows Paul Berry, Karen Brooks, Gavin Gill, Terry Hayward and David Gunner. Six days and 303 miles Good luck.

For Kare there is a far easier London to Paris for charity ride to follow-albeit in 24hrs. She is a top girl and massive Blues fan so if you appreciate her cycling to PZ,  sponsor her for Paris if you can.

​In my end of season wash up next week I will give you my travel advice for Jersey next season just in case we get a September date. To give you a clue I generally approach from the south.

​Jusqu'a  Jeudi soir.

A bientot.


Northampton Welsh last years

Fair play Northampton. In our moment of need they have come to the rescue. The loss of the London Welsh match was nothing short of a financial disaster for those clubs who had not yet played them.

It's not for me to say thank you but ...thank you to our near neighbours. You have bailed us out. 

It is an interesting concept- a friendly fixture. It used to be common- like every week! As I have said before we have plenty of free weekends. May be the occasional friendly is the way forward. Roll on Friday.

In our last match against Ealing three of our winners went for Piers O'Connor and therefore find themselves in the £1,000 draw. They were Nigel Bennett, Maurice Webb and lastly Barbara Dainton who finds herself with two chances in the £1k draw. So there are 15 successfully in the hat (with Barbara twice).

I also had the opportunity to distribute our meal prizes. First drawn David Murfitt was awarded Russell Beard's benevolence of two seats at his table for supper pre-Saints match.Thank you Russell for this prize and for your ongoing Sponsorship through Cooper Beard Residential Sales. Nigel Bennett is off to The Bengal Brasserie.

That leads me nicely on to this weeks winners and they are

My Best Man & mate Bruce Mackay ( No I don't do the draw). Bengal Brasserie supper if he can prise himself away from the Cayman Isles. He wont take me.

Andrew Keech- first timer. Meal for two at Pizzeria Santaniello

Ray James- first timer

Charles Dudeney

......and Colin Dainton. No they are not married. Barbara had a maiden name once.She is Colins sister in law. In total there are three Daintons as FoBs.

So good luck all and thank you Northampton Saints


PS Get your RSVPs in for the Soiree and no lame excuses please.

The Adrian Wareing Column

Remember you don't have to read this rubbish. I'm just trying to please Adrian

After I send this missive I get reports from Mail Chimp telling me where in the world it is being read.

I quite like it because I love geography and the thought that I might have worldwide network of FoBs.

I am used to Barry Tucker in Spain and Andy Reynolds in Lapland (he really is Father Christmas), people on holiday here and there, but I was surprised by a member flagging in The Argentine.

Then I got this from last week's winner Nigel Bennett

"Hi Howard, I'm afraid I'll not be watching the game from H45 tomorrow as I'm currently enjoying a glass of Malbec sitting on a balcony overlooking Lagos Nahuel Huapi in Bariloche Argentina. Obviously I'm on a scouting mission for some beefy Argentinian props and it has nothing to do with the fact that it's 7.30pm here and 27C. Good win last week and here's hoping for tomorrow. My try scorer pick is young Piers and if I'm in line for a prize I'm happy with anything other than a 3rd signed ball to add to my collection.So it's Buenos Noches from me and COYB

And he was right!!

​My tale of Tim and Haydn's Bucharest trip went down well with Adrian and others.This weeks FoB traveller is Steve "Gonzo" Jennings who I bumped into lugging his suitcase, on to the rattler to St Pancras, a fortnight ago. Now Gonzo is a Bedford Blues home & away man. He has also toured with the British Lions on several occasions, despite never getting close to selection. He and Sir Ian McGeechan are very close. On this occasion he was off to the Las Vegas sevens. " I go every year. I love it". Then he explained he was going on to Vancouver for the following tournament. "Dont worry Howard I'll be back for the Saints match- its on the season ticket isn't it"  Top man is Gonzo.

Coming up in future weeks.

The Blues fans who cycle to the last away match of every season (and yes they are going to Penzance and yes they've done it before)

The Howard Travis (patent pending) route to Jersey away matches. No it doesn't involve rowing or cycling.


Josh Bassett @ theFriends of Blues Soiree

You should hopefully have received your FoB Soiree invitation by now.
to be held from 7.00pm on Thursday 6th April in The Marquee.

I do hope you can come. Each member can bring a guest (especially if that guest would like to become a member so make that clear in your reply)

I am very pleased to be able to announce that our very own Josh Bassett has kindly agreed to join us, as your special guest. Josh has been having great success at Wasps playing amongst and against some of the greatest players in the world. He recently commented on twitter how much he enjoys playing with his childhood heroes- a reference to Kurtley Beale. We are all very proud of Josh and on the 6th April we'll be able to show him so. Thanks Josh

So Sam Roberts will, in his own inimitable style, have a Parkinson interview with Josh which should be fascinating and illuminating in equal measure. Should be great.

We also have the Try of the Season competition for you to vote on, the £1,000 draw and some presentations to senior players. There'll be other interviews and basically a lot of fun for you with players on each table for you to mingle and chat to.

Once again I can't wait to see you on the night.


Ealing Broadway

Well here we are again at home. So few home matches! Eleven league and three B&I. That's fourteen but there's 365 days in a year the last time I looked. What are those free Saturdays all about? How on earth can businesses survive on that? Where is the ebb and flow of home and away, a match every other week that keeps one interested and not distracted?  There you go. I've got that off my chest.

I notice despite a disappointing season, so far, we are still 4th in the tries scored table and thankfully we have a hat full of bonus points. So we are still clearly potent the ball in hand, and that means good chances for this weeks winners, in the try scoring competition.

I am still waiting for our winners to decide which prize they want, so I can't yet say, who'll be enjoying the splendid Bengal Brasserie or Pizzeria Santaniello, but here are those drawn.

David Murfitt  is out of the hat for the first time in a long time.

Nigel Bennett is next out. So old notabene might be able to repeat his £1,000 win of several years ago.

The heroic legend Maurice Webb is next out for his first ever win

Now Barabara Dainton had seen various family members drawn over the years but never her, until her luck changed this year and she successfully chose Tom Griffiths against London Scottish. That sees her already in the £1,000 draw and now she has another chance. There is a precedent. Jackie Markham was in the final draw twice last year and still didn't win - so your name is either on it or not. Good luck then Barbara.

Bill and Maggie Brown are our last drawn and are keen to select Dean Adamson in the hope they do better than a few weeks ago. Another twice drawn. That's the luck of the draw.

There are 12 through to the draw so far, so lets hope for plenty of tries this week. irrespective of the draw because we all want to see a win. Come on you Blues!

Now you don't need to read on but to please Adrian Waring here is the nonsense he likes.

The Adrian Waring column

Now first I need to tell you about Tim Clark and Haydn Bass. Former Blues and Queens, legendary No.8 Tim, and Henley winning cox Haydn lament the lack of European travel with the Blues. I remember Haydn at Castres for our Eurpoean tie there, in the previous century. They also dislike fallow Saturdays and yearn for adventure. Therefore it was only natural that they should, with other unknown warriors, travel to Bucharest Romania for the Timisoara versus Stade Francais European tie. As you do if you are adventurous (bonkers). It was hardly surprising then, that this further example of Bedfordian eccentricity should result in the match being postponed due to a frozen pitch. Now that is a long way for no rugby! However, undaunted our heroes were feted by the locals and had an absolutely smashing trip. Hopefully the amount spent on beer will help Timisoara pay the extraordinarily harsh £30,000 fine foisted on the Romanians. Well done Blues for flying the Blues flag.

Now to Adrian himself. Adrian won a meal at the Bengal Brasserie before Christmas and was highly excited to do so. Recently he cashed in on his good fortune. I was very pleased to hear from Adrian about his experience.It says a lot about Adrian and our generous sponsor Shish Miah at the Bengal Brasserie and I think you need to know. Adrian had kindly offered to allow me to tag along and pay for my own meal whilst he ate for free. However.

Dear HBT,

Firstly, please accept my sincere apologies, as I had previously cordially invited you to a gourmet gathering when I could find a suitable date to use my winning Friends of the Blues Bengal Brasserie complimentary meal voucher.

However, it was my Birthday yesterday (too old to mention) and with suitable nourishment required towards the end of my very alcoholic day, I decided to treat the family & myself to a meal out!!

Obviously any Birthday celebration is not complete without a Curry, so remembering that I had won a FOB Bengal Brasserie voucher, I thought it would be a good idea to take the wife, mother in law and siblings to experience the delights of the Bengal Brasserie for our first time. (Note he took the Mother-in-law but not me).

Well I must tell you we had such a special evening, the welcome we were given on our arrival was as if we were Royalty arriving for a state banquet!! The Brasserie ambience and enthusiasm of the staff made for such an unforgettable dining experience. We all had starters and main courses and the food was absolutely sensational; I chose the Bengal Brasserie Signature dish, the Lamb Chamak and the blend and fusion of spices by the Chef made for an unrivaled dish which was for me (a Curry connoisseur) undoubtedly one of the best Indian culinary fares I have ever tasted!! We all agreed that our meals were absolutely delicious and prepared and cooked to the highest and finest standard of Bangladeshi & Indian Cuisine!!

Then to top off our special occasion, as soon as the staff were made aware that we knew 'Mr Howard', we were all invited to become part of the Bengal Family!! (both Minny and Robbie send their regards to you and Mikey and they said they will look forward to helping you out with your Indian culinary skills next time you visit!!). The evening just kept giving as even on our way out, I was given a further 10% off our next visit and Minny then thrust a bottle of Cobra beer into my hand as a take home Birthday present!!

So its a big thanks to you and FOB for affording me the privilege of a complimentary visit to the Bengal Brasserie and now that I am a member of the 'Family', it is only appropriate that I use their George Bernard Shaw quote as highlighted in the Bengal Brasserie menu, "there is no sincerer love....than the love of food"!!

Thanks again and best regards


(PS we will definitely return to the Brasserie again & next time you're invited!!).

So as you can see the Bengal Brasserie is first class eaterie, asa well as generous supporters of the FoBs and is deserving of FoB support. Adrian is barking mad.



Donny or bust

Well. Its been a while since that fantastic Boxing Day.

Our season has been up and down.up and down; but at least its not been out.... like London Welsh.

That extraordinary conclusion against Jersey felt like all our Christmas's had come at once. Many have been dry since that day and are hoping to conclude their purge tomorrow. If we beat Doncaster a few beers seems appropriate.

The Jersey match saw Frank Holloway win the Paris trip this spring and Keith Appleyard and Alan Perkins successful in choosing try scorers.

This weekend five more members will be attempting to join them and eight others in that £1,000 draw.

They are as follows and include persons out of the hat for the first time and members who haven't been out of the hat for some time.

Steve Nixon wins supper for two at Santaniello's

Paul Ibbott who chose the Bengal Brasserie three course meal. The Brasserie is, unsurprisingly, attracting good numbers of Blues fans now.

Keith Spurling loves Nos Nosh and is lunching before the Ealing match.

Other winners choosing a likely scorer on Saturday are Bill Brown and Mike Pierse. So good luck all. Thanks for your support.

Coming up soon, a presentation from us to the club of substantial funds, the date of the Soiree and an additional draw, so hold on to your hats, and hope for a Blues win.

The Adrian Waring Column.

Adian Waring is unwell.

.Boxing Day- Knock Out.

Well, well, well .What an occasion, what a match, what a finale. A victory for the rapier over the bludgeon. Jersey have been bludgeoning us for some time now, so it was very fitting, that it was the handling game that won through, in front of a crowd that deserved the outcome, Well done Blues, and well done Bedford for the magnificent attendance.

Unfortunately I was unable to properly get out the result of the Christmas Draw at half-time. I am very pleased to report now, having returned to Wales, that our winner of the Paris by Eurostar weekend is longstanding member Frank Holloway of Northill. He has been donating since 1999 to the old Try Bonus Fund and then the FoBs without a squeak of a prize in all that time. Well done Frank very well deserved. I trust you have a fantastic trip.

Our match day winners chose Jordan Burns, Paul Tupai, Dean Adamson and and George Perkins to score for them leaving Alan Perkins and Keith Appleyard through to the £1,000 draw to join eight others. So with 4 matches remaining, we have ten going for the grand at the end of season soiree.

Next draw is Leeds in a couple of weeks. We ran them very close at Headingley a month ago so its one to relish.

Happy New Year everyone.





Boxing Day- The Rematch

Last February I gave a cheque for £20,000 to the club, from you the members of the FoB's. Shortly, I am going to give another cheque for another £20,000.

This Christmas I want to thank you the members,and our sponsor Russell Beard of Cooper Beard Residential Homes for your support throughout the year. I also want to greatly appreciate those businesses and individuals who donate prizes.

Your contribution to achieving a sustainable business model for Bedford Blues cannot be understated, and the club is very grateful, as David Gunner told me at length the other day.

Our league position at the moment is disappointing I know, but in these difficult times for so many clubs in The Championship, our financial stability and sustainability is not. You are playing a very important part in that. The Followers and The Former Players also make equally valued contributions, whilst our gates remain the envy of the other clubs. It is very easy to get down in the mouth about things, but I can assure you there are also so many reasons to be quietly pleased by clubs state of health and your contribution to it. So a big "well done"  to you from myself.

Now come in, I want to say something.

Look into my eyes.

If every one of you, found someone else and got them to join we could double that sum. Yes. It could be £40,000. I would be happy with £25k. Aim high though I say. We can do it.

This New Year could you please try. Much of our membership has been gained by existing members seeking new Friends. Well done to those members, but WE can achieve more. Just one each!

Anyhow, you want to know if you've been drawn out of the hat. Here we go.

Appropriately Bedford Followers trojan fund raiser Keith Appleyard is off to Santaniello's. He lives next to Angelo Santaniello!

Ian Taylor is off to the marvelous Bengal Brasserie in the Broadway for a sumptuous three course banquet.

Robert Colling will be taking his good wife (she tells me) to Nos's Nosh for three courses pre match.

All the above plus David Owen and Alan Perkins get a choice of a player to score in our £1,000 try scoring competition on Monday. Only Barbara Dainton succeeded against Scottish with her choice of Tom Griffiths. So there are now eight members in the hat at the half way stage for all that loot

So good luck all.

Don't forget. We will announce "the spring-time weekend in Paris" winner, at half time, against Jersey.

Merry Christmas all, and in respect of you Blues- Come on! Let's do this.


The Adrian Waring column. 

Due to Alan Harper-Smith of RAS Data's good offices, I am now able to email all members, missives such as this, giving you news of the FoB's activity and prize draws.

This is done through a splendid medium called Mail Chimp. As a result I know that the message I sent yesterday has already been opened and read by 28% of you. 89.2% of the reading has been done, unsurprisingly, in the UK,, 6.8% in the USA, 1.4% in Finland, I.4% in New Zealand and 1.4% in the UAE. Yup. Pretty impressive isn't it? I haven't got a clue what you're doing in these far flung outposts, but I must caution you that time is running out to get back for Boxing Day.


God rest you Merry Gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay

There's a message Merry Christmas to all FoBs, wherever you are around the world and Wales. I hope you have a cracking Christmas and that it brings you a Bedford win. Boxing Day is always a highlight of the town's sporting and social calendar with the attendance admired throughout the league. Clearly it is also a massive event for our players, who will be determined to bring home the bacon (wrapped around sausages) in front of you all.. Clearly things have not gone well, so they need our support more than ever. So get down to GR on Monday, and bring half a dozen with you at least please.

At half time we will announce the winners of our Christmas draw. Rawlinson Pryde our independent auditors and purveyors of draws have drawn our winners for the Festive draw and our regular Home league matchday draw. The winners of the latter I'll announce tomorrow.

The name of the member who is destined for a St Pancras to Paris train ride on Eurostar and a two night stay in springtime Paris is currently in an envelope unseen to me. It will be revealed at half-time on Boxing Day so listen in - it might make your day! Good luck everyone. This will be our fourth such winner.

Second place (yes you could win first and second prize) goes to Steve Parrott over in Guernsey who will be running his Blues flag up his flag pole, as normal, on Boxing Day. Steve has won Dave Gunner's annual gift of a Dovecote Park Aberdeen Angus Sirloin, of some considerable weight and quality. That does raise a difficult issue of delivery but I have wrestled with harder problems. Steve will be desperately awaiting news of a victory over his bete noir Jersey on the 26th.

Third place (yes you could win first, second and third prize) goes to Dave Gunner. This comes as a great relief to me, as the thought of ringing him to tell him he'd won his own beef didn't appeal. So I happily told him he'd won a bottle of Famous Grouse Scotch (donated by Alf & Edwina Tanner). Dave insisted the Scotch was passed to another member and therefore it goes to, very appropriately our next drawn Brian Simpson. Very appropriate as Brian hails from the The Trossachs the Outer Hebrides or somewhere else rather cold north of the Border.

I am going to get David something he deserves it.

So that is a partial reveal of our winners for Boxing Day. That just leaves me to wish my old mucker and former Blue Martin Bayfield a very Happy 50th Birthday today. Good on you.

So... Glad tidings of comfort and joy.... until tomorrow.


PS Just heard a great rumour about the future of the Cricketers. Hope its true.

PPS No I cant tell you.


Barrie Williams

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Barrie last week. I got to know Barrie through his membership of the Friends of the Blues and his friendship with the late Bob Eaton another FoB. Bob was increasingly invalided but Barrie (along with others) really cared for Bob and often shared lunch in NOS's Nosh. Barrie was a great supporter of the fund and I am pleased to say had a few wins, and a lot of fun from his membership. He was always cheerful and smiling; a really lovely and warm man who was very supportive of me and what we are trying to achieve.

BK Williams was not only a lovely bloke, he was a Bedford legend. I challenge our present excellent young wingers to aspire to his record.

Barrie made an amazing 249 appearances for the town between 1958-67. He played most of his rugby on the wing, amassing a stunning 126 tries, making him the joint second (with D.P. Rogers) highest ever try scorer in the club's history. He took over the club captaincy for the 1960-61 season, leading another great year.

A very talented sportsman having been a county tennis and squash player, Barrie was equally at home on a court as well as a rugby pitch.

As with many former players, Barrie remained a loyal supporter of the Blues after he finished playing and regularly attended the club's social functions and matches when he could.

As Friends of the Blues we join the club as a whole in extending our deepest sympathy to Barrie's wife Sheena and all his family at this sad time. He will be greatly missed at Goldington Road.

A private funeral will take place on Friday 6th January 2017 for family only, but all are welcome to pay their respects at Aldwickbury Golf Club, Harpenden from 3.30pm, eulogies will be read at 4pm.


London Scottish under lights

Do you feel better now? 

The angst of Nottingham has passed with a thrilling victory at London Welsh,and this Friday night, I'm sure, the team will be looking to finally put the record straight with another winning performance at Goldington Rd. A win on Friday boys and Nottingham is gone; consigned; to the bin forever. 

So this week's winners (winners are grinners) are....

Frank McMahon who is off to see Shish at his splendid Bengal Brasserie in the Broadway. Don't forget 10% off in there for all the Blues family. (Ticket, season ticket or mention my name for that)

Martin Gilbert of Hargrave N'ptonshire.( I love Blues fans from N'hants). It's a first time out of the hat for Martin and he is off to Pizzeria Santaniello.

Lucy Howe (cousin in law of dear Mark) has won a 3 course pre-match Lunch with Nos. She is away in London celebrating her 26th wedding anniversary so can't be at the match (What!!!) Congratulations Lucy.

That leaves Jonathan Rook and Barbara Dainton who are our other winners. All will be choosing a player to score and all will expect him to do so!!

Only John Gooch came good in the previous nameless match, with his choice of Dean Adamson. So that is seven people now vying for the £1,000, after five matches, with seven games remaining.

Good luck to the Appleton's at Twickers on Saturday; it was lovely to meet our other International winners, Brian Harris and son, on the train last Saturday on his way to ODP, before using his prize tickets for the Fiji match.

Right that's the business done. You don't have to read on. The rest is just a load of old twaddle for people like Adrian Waring who like it.

The Adrian Waring Column.

The traveling support was again fantastic on Saturday, despite the previous week, and despite having our Richmond pub lunches denied us. I spent £20 on a stand seat and £20 on dry cleaning my coat after sitting in it. Sorry LW but it wasn't good. The team played well, but the abiding memory, for all I'm sure was the reappearance of the remarkable "Toops" (aged 57 and three-quarters).picking that ball up at that ruck. His celebration was quite something too. Legend. Absolute.legend.

The team had a good blow out in Richmond post match, which will do them no harm (and which they deserved).Some of you will be aware of this from Twitter. It was an imaginative social by all accounts with tasks set to small groups of players,who had to visit set pubs and achieve and evidence their success (no not loads of drinks consumed). One task was to sing a song, another was to get the whole pub static in "mannequin " pose  and another to find famous people..Once they had done so they came together in the last pub to determine the winners. This led to Joe Root's Mum being serenaded in raucous fashion, and explains why David Gower is now a Blues fan. Good stuff boys.Good to know some things in rugby have not changed

So whilst the team played badly, last time out at GR, lets take the attitude that we were rubbish too, we were far too quiet. Share the responsibility, wew are in it together. So on Friday night lets make some serious noise, lots and lots of it, because this is a must win game. Let's do it.



 Special Draw result

Well, as I sit here scribing, by the window, it couldn't be much bleaker. 

However our draw has brought some much needed sunshine and glee to our two winners.

Worthy ones they are too.

First out of the hat was the splendid Margaret Appleton. No one could do more for the club than Margaret and I trust she and Geoff (he's a member too) have a lovely day in west London in week's time. This weekend though its the turn of our second winner Brian Harris who follows the Blues from Flitwick.

So well done both of you, and a big thank you to the member who donated so generously.

If you didn't win on this occasion, keep the faith. We have a home league match draw, next week, for the London Scottish match, and soon after, Rawlinson Pryde, our auditors, will be conducting the Christmas Draw.

So on Boxing Day you could be smiling, in expectation of a spring time weekend by Eurostar to Montmartre Paris. Runners up prizes are a Dovecote Park sirloin of some considerable girth and quality and a bottle of Scotch donated by Alf & Edwina Tanner.

If any of you spot an opportunity to gain us a prize please contact me and make the fun and fund even greater.

So good luck to the Blues at Old Deer Park on Saturday, I'm sure I'll see a lot of you on the train or at the ground.




In the Bleak Midwinter ... another Special Draw!

Good news. Due to an act of great benevolence, towards us, the Friends of the Blues, I am able to conduct two extra draws.

I am in receipt of two pairs of tickets for two top class international sporting events in London.

So with no further delay I will start that process, and come back to you with the winner's names. That is of course unless you hear from me in the mean tim!!!

So good luck every one.


Nottingham (& that Special draw)

I've probably told you before, but the first match I ever watched at GR was in 1966 against Nottingham. I am sure they were just referred to as "Notts". back then. That's what it said on the scoreboard. Bedford v Notts.

It's all changed now, its all gone wrong - we certainly weren't called the Blues then. It was come on "Town". If a player got picked for the Bedford he was "In the Town on Saturday"  he was a "Town player". "Come on Town" rang out from the stand (along with shouts of "run faster Bedford" and "kick further Town". Yes it's all changed; no more 3-3 draws, 6-5 wins, no more "Notts" and no more "Town" but Bedford Blues are playing Nottingham this Saturday We're still in blue and their still in green. So get yourselves down there. Its an order.

So we're back to home league action after a B&I Cup hiatus, and a disappointing Championship defeat at Ealing. We have drawn our five successful members for this Saturday's £1,000 Try Scoring competition and they are as follows.

Jon Wilson of Langford wins three course lunch for two at NOS's Nosh

Richard Norman of Biggles will be dining at Pizzeria Santaniello for the first time.

Whilst Blues, legendary break away flanker Andy Whitehouse, who made 280 appearance over 13 seasons, is off for The Bengal Brasserie experience with wife Carole.

That leaves John Gooch and Barry Tucker to join the three above, in selecting a player who will score a try on Saturday. If successful they will join Barrie Williams who was the only success, last time out against Rotherham, with his pick of Dean Adamson. Deano, you need about another 120 to catch Barrie's total tries for "The Town". Fair play though you looked after the old boy.

Barrie joins Jonathan Rhodes,John Hornsby, R​ichard Glasspool,Jackie Markham and Alison Perry in the £1,000  draw.

So we move onto this week's Special Draw for two places for dinner at the Andy Goode Dinner on 17th November. Drum roll.

I am pleased to say the winner is Jonathon Rook. Well done Jonathon enjoy the evening, it should be great. 

So guys thanks for you continuing support - £20,000 a year to the club is pretty good going I'd say. Well done all.




Special Draw

It has been three weeks since our last FoB draw, having had two away league games & a home B&I Cup game. 

So to celebrate our return to Prize Draw action this Saturday, we are going to have a Special Draw for a very nice prize. That is..... two tickets to the Andy Goode Dinner in the Bedford Blues Marquee at 7.00pm on Thursday 17th November. So that promises to be a belter of a night with Goode, ex Leicester (& most other clubs) and England proving to be a very capable pundit on TV at the moment and I'm sure he will have some great tales to tell.

So a nice prize, of some value, coming up and I will announce the winner along with our five members who will be taking part in the try scoring competition on Saturday.

I am very grateful to all my sponsors particularly Santaniello Pizzeria, The Bengal Brasserie and Nos's Nosh. This week three of you, will win meals for two, at those eateries. If any of you know Pubs, Restaurants or Hotels who can help me with one or more meals please let me know. Feel free to badger hostelries you use. It is appreciated.

Please note The Bengal Brasserie in The Broadway (first class food) is offering 10% on all food to Blues fans who show a ticket or season ticket. Please also note on a Tuesday night, he is offering you 25% off (!!!!) without showing any ticket. Well done Shish and his crew, you are very generous.

Please await this weeks draws.



Well that's five names in the hat for £1,000 prize after Jonathan Rhodes,John Hornsby, R​ichard Glasspool,Jackie Markham and Alison Perry all chose wingers to score last weekend. Pat Tapley obliged thrice, whilst Dean Adamson also crossed the white wash against a Richmond side who gave us a good match.

So we move on at speed to our Friday night match under lights against Rotherham. Night matches always seem to be particularly exciting and this will be no different I am sure. It provides a great opportunity for you to bring friends and colleagues, and introduce them to the Blues experience. 

Those likely to be most excited, will be our five successful members in this weeks draw. They are as follows.

Jill Dainton who wins the meal for two at the Bengal Brasserie in The Broadway. Lucky girl. Don't forget there is a 10% discount there for all you members on production of a season ticket, or match day ticket within your party. Jill is still debating her choice of winger!

Barrie Williams is one of the all time great Blues wingers with about 140 tries to his name and he has gone for Dean Adamson. Barrie also wins a lunch for two, pre match in NOS's Nosh.

David & Pauline Reuter are out of the hat for the second time this season. It's a draw guys! They are going to eat at Pizzeria Santaniello in Newnham St and hope they have chosen a try scorer correctly this time. So its Pat Tapley to the rescue hopefully.

That leaves Dr Bob Main, who in his day ran on to that the Goldington Rd pitch hundreds of times mainly to treat Budge Rogers. He nominates Tappers too.

 I am waiting to hear from the last drawn member Neil Dewar.

Well done guys and the very best of luck to you all.

Finally I am really chuffed to say that we have had a lot of new joiners this season.Welcome to you all I hope you enjoy your membership and take great pride in your contribution to the success of Bedford Blues. 



PS Any more potential members out there?



I can't wait for the away match. The hub hub from the blue scarfed throng at Midland Rd station at 10 o'clock on a Saturday morning. Hordes of Blues fans discussing their various routes via West Hampstead or Waterloo, eagerly anticipating the joys of The Sun, The Orange Tree or Triple Crown. There's even a small and quiet group in the cafe who go on to watch the match itself.

This weeks five lucky members in the £1,000 try scoring competition, are striving to become the first ones this season to predict a Blues try scorer, after a distinct lack of success in the first two. So who will be the first to name a Blues player who scores. 

Out of the hat come the following Friends of the Blues.

Jonathan Rhodes,John Hornsby, R​ichard Glasspool,Jackie Markham and Alison Perry. Well done guys.

I am waiting to hear their choice of players, but can update you on the prizes they have won.

John Hornsby will be eating for the first time at NOS's Nosh, prior to the match of his choice, with a three course lunch for two.

John Rhodes will be off to Newnham Street, to Bedford's original pizza house, Pizzeria Santaniello, courtesy of rugby loving Gerald Santaniello. Now did you know that the pizzas at Santaniello's are made and spun by Antonio Cientanni who has been on duty there now for a continuous 37 years!!! Quite extraordinary. His arm must be bloody tired.

Richard Glasspool rarely misses a match, home or away, but does tomorrow as he is on a sailing course in Tenerife. He has been admonished for this, and because of this sin, should count himself very fortunate to have won four courses of finest Bengal cuisine at the Bengal Brasserie in the Broadway Bedford courtesy of Shish Miah. More of Shish and the Brasserie in a moment. He joins Adrian Waring & Chris Ashworth who have already won meals there.

That leaves Jackie Markham and Alison Perry who content themselves with a stab at choosing a try scorer. So well done and good luck with your choices. 

Right guys. A reminder of what is up in the near future .I am hopeful that I will be in possession of some pairs of tickets for some international sporting events pre and post Xmas. In early December we will have a draw for a Dovecote Park Aberdeen Angus sirloin of great quality and girth, which will be with the winner for Christmas. 

Kindly Ted Carroll has donated two tickets to the Andy Goode dinner in the Marquee next year which is a splendid prize of some worth. Thanks Ted.

So there will be special draws in addition to the home match draws for all those prizes. That will be the case too, for our Springtime weekend for two in Paris by Eurostar sponsored by Eagle Executive Travel. This will be our fourth trip and the winner will be annouced at half time on Boxing day against Jersey.

Now if you know of any potential donor of a prize however humble or grand please get in contact. It really helps fuel the fun of membership..

So lastly back to the Bengal Brasserie up there in The Broadway. Not only has Shish donated a meal for two for all eleven matches this season, he has decided to extend his goodwill to all Blues fans with the following offer. He is offering 7 days a week, a 10% discount to Blues fans who present a season ticket or recent match day ticket to a Blues match as proof of their allegiance. So for example a Northampton one doesn't work.So that is 10% off food purchased (not booze or takeaways) and is seven days a week and just the bill payer needs the authenticity for a group of people eating there. Very generous Shish. Thank you. Fill your boots all Blues fans.

That's enough for this week and just leaves me to say.

Come on you Blues!



London Irish

Our second home league match and second FoB draw. The disappointment of the Pirates match was mirrored in the FoB £1,000 competition, where none of our member's choices (Perkins 2, Booj & Griffiths scored. So no one is in the hat for the £1,000 as yet.

Today's draw has got a very Goldington Rd feel to it. First out of the hat was groundsman Chris Ashworth, who wins a  meal for two at the splendid Bengal Brasserie. Adrian Waring last week's winner is positively chomping at the bit to get down to the Broadway for his Indian supper.

Pete Kimber's chance has been a long time coming but now he will be exchanging banter with Mr Thomas at NOS's Nosh pre match soon over his three course lunch for two. Well done Peter.

Stewards Martin & Hayley Clark are next up with Hayley receiving a voucher for £30 of hairdressing at Nicholas Anthony.

Gateman and steward Dave Bareford & Follower, fundraiser and general good guy Keith Appleyard get the choice of a player to score them a try, as do all the other winners..

So good luck all. Early choices are Tom Farrell and Jason Hill with others still to be nominated.

I'm pleased to say that we are getting close to weekly email comms with you all, through a vast group email.

I'm also very pleased to say that total membership and therefore income is markedly up with a number of new members swelling the coffers.So well done and thanks everyone for your  continuing support.




Cornish Pirates & the new season!

£1,000 cash, £270 cash, a springtime weekend in Paris by Eurostar, a weekend away watching the Blues, tickets to major international sports events, 33 restaurant meals for two at top Bedford eateries and many more prizes to be won by you, the donors and members of the Friends of the Blues. The end product being £20,000 being handed over to the club each season. You are stars everyone of you.

So welcome to the new season!!!!

Thank you to everyone of you for your continuing support. We are now homing in on £100,000 raised in total since we started the fund (and many of you were in the pre-existing scheme).

Before I announce our first prize winners of the autumn I will bang out my usual message. How can we do more?

Firstly as an existing member seek out new members for the FoBs, a friend a relative, the bloke who stands next to you at the game.

Secondly encourage,annoy or harass friends & associates to come to matches. Make them regulars. Our gates have steadily increased since 1999 to an admirable 2,700 but 3,000 is now in our sights. You can help.

Thirdly have you got a prize to donate? The more prizes, the more appealing it is to join. In this scheme the chances of winning are very good.

It's all about building the club into a self sufficient financial entity which will in turn allow the rugby to be even better.

With that in mind I am please to say that Russell Beard of Cooper Beard Residential Sales & the overarching Beard Group is tomorrow presenting me with a large cheque to renew his sponsorship of the Friends of the Blues. Thanks Russell you are a great supporter.

I am also very pleased to announce that Shish Miah the owner of the Bengal Brasserie of the Broadway, Bedford has agreed to celebrate its 5th Birthday as one of Bedford's Premier Indian Restaurants by giving 22 meals as prizes to the Friends of the Blues.That is two meals for a winner in each of our eleven home league match draws. The Bengal Brasserie is already popular with Bedford fans and we are very grateful to Shish for his fantastic backing. Here's hoping you win one.

So who has won this week?

All five names drawn will, as is customary, be given the opportunity to select a player to score a try tomorrow against the Pirates and if that player is successful on their behalf, our FoB goes into the draw for £1,000 at the end of season, free to members, Soiree with the players in the Marquee. Here we go.

First up is-

Adrian Waring who is our first Bengal Brasserie winner. Have a hot one Adrian!

Nick Martin wins a meal for two at Santaniellos Pizzeria, Newnham St. The Santaniellos are long term supporters.

David & Helen Owen will be lunching at NOS's Nosh pre-match and are very pleased too. Thanks NOS. Next week I'll tell you why he's called NOS.

That leaves David & Pauline Reuter and Jason Reddy who will be content with purely a stab at choosing a try scorer.

Well done, good luck and bon appetit.

That just leaves me to wish our team the best of luck for tomorrow against the admirable Cornish Pirates whose running style mirrors our own. It should be a great game so bring your next door neighbour or the old lady at the bus stop!!




The Soiree and our winners.

Belatedly, a very big thank you, to everyone who attended the soiree for what I think was a highly enjoyable and successful evening.The most important part was to appreciate and thank you for the financial support  the Friends of the Blues give to the club. The success of our club is only too apparent in so many ways, most visibly this season with a return to winning ways on the field with the thrilling brand of rugby that attracts so many to Goldington Rd. I hear tell, that some, accuse Bedford of a lack of ambition. I think not. A lack of money may be, but certainly there is and always has been an  ambition to be as successful as possible, within the financial constraints that so clearly exist. The FoBs are, and will continue to support the club in their ambition and raising £20k this season is further evidence of that. It wont be long until we break the £100k mark.I invite any one who feels they can, to join us, by filling in the application form above.

Thank you from myself to everyone who helped make the night so successful. Club staff for their help with the facilties, members who sold raffle tickets and who gave such fantastic prizes.NOS and Louise for the the splendid buffet which was done at cost, despite all the great work. Russell Beard of Cooper Beard Residential Sales our principal sponsor for providing the framed Blues shirt that was bought by Richard Castle for £250 and David Gunner of Dovecote Park for all that wonderful Aberdeen Angus sirloin.I could go on and apparently often do. Thanks guys.

Who were the winners then? Well the raffle took a record sum of £1200 which helps the fund.

Everyone enjoyed the Try of the Season DVD. What a choice the members had!! Jordan Burns finished off one of many team tries that started near Gt Barford, by turning on his after burners, to win the champagne with a stunning try. Well done Jordan.

The £1,000 Try scoring draw saw 20 people in the hat after ten members were successful against Cornish Pirates, joining the ten winners accrued during the rest of the season. And the winner was Jon Evans! Well done Jon and commiserations to the unlucky19.

The Average crowd competition could not be decided because one match remained against Bristol but following that match I can announce the final figure was 2618 whilst Barrie Williams advisedly hazarded 2619. Second was Martin Stonecliffe with 2613. Unlucky Martin. So Barrie who scored about 140 tries for the Blues in the 1960s won £261.80p. Top effort.

Highlight of the evening for me was the way the players led by Nick Fenton-Wells integrated so well with the members. I had many positive comments about the boys. The Sam Roberts Parkinson style interview with Boults and Jake was great fun and provided a great insight. So thanks to all the playing staff and particularly Mike Rayer for recognising the importance of the FoBs and committing to the event each year.

Last word from me.Good luck Blues in the play-offs. 

So please please consider joining us.You will enjoy it.



Cornish Pirates 

Its Super Saturday in more than one way.

In FoB terms, the last ten members of the season have been drawn to have a go at choosing a player to score against the Cornishmen. If successful they go into the hat for $1,000 (lost my pound key) at the FoB Soiree. The last home match is post the Soiree, hence the ten members this week.

Those members are;

Pete Commons, Dave Niblett, Phillp Bettles, Margaret Appleton, DC Brown, Jim Beaumont, Alan Chambers, Keith Appleyard, Liz Sullivan and David Passfield. So good luck all and good luck you Blues. See you all at the Soiree.


The Soiree with the players. Thursday 14th April.

By now you should all have had your invites to the annual FoB soiree- 7 for 7.30 on Thursday 14th April. It promises to be another night of fun and frolics with several draws and prizes concluding our FoB season, in the company of our players and coaches. Sam Roberts will be our master of ceremonies and will ensure a fantastic night. NOS will be supplying your supper which will major on Dovecote Park Aberdeen Angus sirloin beef and Mr Rahi's fantastic Samosas all presented in buffet form free of charge for your delectation.

During the evening we will be updating you on the current leaders in the guess the average crowd competition, with only one match left thereafter. You will also have the opportunity to select the try of the season from a DVD compiled by Paul Larkin and the winner will receive a prize from the FoBs in recognition. Sam is going to conduct Michael Parkinson style interviews with two players which should be much fun and hopefully insightful. There will be interviews with the coaching team and Martin Hynes has promised a few songs on his ukele- George Formby style.

The highlight for several members will be the $1,000 draw (my pound key doesnt work). This Saturday ten members will have a go at joining those already through to this draw. Ten because the Bristol match follows the Soiree. They will be striving to join the following. Firstly Jacquie Markham who has been drawn twice and has twice selected a try scorer successfully. Its not all luck Jacquie doubled her contribution to the fund this season (what a gal) and in the process gave herself twice the chances into the bargain.  So Jac will have two tickets in the hat where she joins John Woolner, David Fuller, Brian Simpson, Margaret Gilet,Tony Marshall, Steve Cooper, Jon Evans and Alan Brodie.

That is effectively ten people although Jac is two of them. Not bad chances.

If anyone wants to join the FOBs, they are welcome to come to the Soiree free of charge with a guest on condition that they fill in a Standing Oder on the night. Just get in contact with me and we'll book you in.

So I look forward to seeing you on the night. Dont forget to get your RSVP in please.




Another home match and another FoB draw. So far David Fuller, Brian Simpson, Jacquie Markham, Margaret Gilet, Tony Marshall, Steve Cooper, Jon Evans and Alan Brodie are through to the £1,000 draw. This week's draw sees Steve Cooper, Ian Woolner, Neil Dewar, Jacquie Markham and Martin Stonecliffe come out of the hat. This draw shows the vagaries of fortune with both Jacquie Markham and Steve Cooper through to the £1k draw already and Neil Dewar having also been drawn this season,but his chosen player failed to score. Matthew Rawlinson at Rawlinson Pryde who conducts the draws does stir the pot before every draw, and you also have to remember the greater the donation the greater the chances of winning. Its £3.50 a ticket with £7 the minimum (2 tickets) donation and so on upwards.

Anyhow Neil Dewar is going with Henry Taylor and hopes he's right this time.Jacquie Markham and Steve Cooper are deliberating. Henry Taylor is also the choice of Martin Stonecliffe. Ian Woolner wins a three course pre-match feast at NOS's Nosh and is yet to choose his player. Martin Stonecliffe also wins a £25 M&S voucher donated by Alf & Edwina Tanner. Well done all and good luck with the choices.

Now come on you Blues.



Special Draw

Thanks to the fantastic generosity of one of our members I have been able to draw two members who will enjoy an England v. Wales experience as his guests in three weeks time. I am very pleased to say that first time winners, but long term members Hugh and Josie Vass are the winners.  Very well done to you both, enjoy your day and most importantly thank you for your support over the years.




Well after the pulsating pace of the London Welsh performance and a victory ground out, finally in such dramatic circumstance at Nottingham, we are back to GR for the visit of our friends from Jersey. 

I can't let this piece pass without mention of the visit of Steve Parrott the President of the Guernsey Blues, especially for this match. Steve and his father, who stands dutifully on the terraces at GR each week are enjoying their prize, from earlier an early season draw, of lunch in NOS's Bistro. Bon appetit and thanks again for the wonderful holiday in Guernsey you donated last year to the FoB's. 

Against Welsh only Alan Brodie selected a try scorer correctly despite the nine we scored. So he will have a chance of the £1,000  draw at the end of the season. Today's winners have chosen thus.

Alf & Edwina Tanner are very keen on Pat Tapley as are groundsman Chris Ashworth & Former Players barmaid Liz Sullivan. Alan Layton goes with Piers O'Connor, whilst legendary Blues breakaway forward Andy Whitehouse goes with Le Booj. Alf & Edwina have also won a Bistro three course meal for two and Liz Sullivan is salivating at the prospect of her afternoon tea for two at The Swan Hotel. Thanks to both our sponsors for the prizes.Good luck guys. I hope your man comes in this afternoon.

The ever generous David Gunner has, I am pleased to tell you, donated two tickets to an upcoming major sporting event. Every FoB will be in this special draw and should be hoping they win. The draw will take place next week.

Finally Geoff Irvine was delighted with the £20,000 I was pleased to hand over a fortnight ago,on your behalf. Well done guys. I can tell you we are well on the way to the next similar cheque. We are making a big difference.




Cymry Llundain

​They are all big games now! With the run in to the end of the season upon us it does feel as if every match is now a cup final. Its all very exciting,

The FoB's is all about giving some much needed financial support to the club and having some fun whilst we do it. Tomorrow through your efforts I will be presenting  £20,000 raised by yourselves to GSI & the club. We are in discussions about how it is going to be used and I hope to announce that soon. This donation mirrors past years success. We are motoring on to towards £100k raised by the Friends. .So well done everyone.

There are other ways you can help too. Today, I have brought two friends who are new to the club. Indeed my son has done the same.Whilst our attendance's are the envy of many clubs, the secret to financial success is to increase them still further. If we all brought a friend we'd double the gate! If only half of us did we'd be flying above 3,000. Those friends might get the habit!! Please give it a go.

Today we have five winners in the draw, as always at home league matches, looking to win £1,000,

They are as follows and include four very deserving first time winners.

Dawn Inskip wins Traditional Afternoon tea for two at the Swan Hotel. 

Ian Taylor wins Three course lunch for two at NoS's Nosh pre match of his choice.

Alan Brodie wins eight pints in the Devonshire Arms. (Thank you Dr Clive Travis for that addition to your tab)

Whilst Neil Dewar and Roy Eddy make up those drawn. All five get a bash at selecting a try scorer who might earn them £1,000 if he scores.

So good luck to all. Thanks to all of you for your support. If you are not a member consider joining. Together we are strong as £20k raised will show tomorrow.







New Years Day

Another great performance by the team and all the better for being on Live TV. Well done you Blues. The approaching matches get exponentially more exciting.

Our New Years Day our £1,000 try scorers didn't get on too well. They all went for fast three quarters not big lumps suited to the conditions (I would have as well) As a result none were successful. That leaves only 7 in the £1,000 draw with only five home league matches left. Good odds for David Fuller, Brian Simpson, Jacquie Markham, Margaret Gilet, Tony Marshall, Steve Cooper & Jon Evans who are through to the draw. I did think it was just 6 but it is in fact 7.

Now for the Spring time weekend in Paris by Eurostar. Well the winner as announced on Friday was Tom Thompson. So well done Tom. He is very pleased, as is his partner. Tom is now busy booking up with our sponsor Eagle Executive Travel.

Next FoB draw will be for the London Welsh game.

Cheers all and Happy New Year.




London Scottish

New Years Day at the Blues is never to be missed. Even Sky TV are turning up for what should be another thrilling match in an exhilarating season so far.

For the Friends of the Blues it is a chance to reflect on what you are contributing to the club's success.I should also say thank you to our main sponsors -Cooper Beard Residential Sales for their overall sponsorship that makes them by far the greatest financial donor to the scheme. Thank you Russell. If you are selling your house you know who to go to! Thanks also to NOS & Louise at NOS's Nosh for their incredible support in prizes and for their free time in helping with the Soiree. Eagle Executive Travel for the Paris Trip and The Swan Hotel, The Embankment,and The Castle PH for their prizes. Also to the members far and wide who have donated prizes.

On to the big match. Well the annual New Years draw for that springtime weekend in Paris by Eurostar is about to take place and we will announce the winner at half time against the auld enemy. Good luck to you all. Match day £1,000 draw winners are as follows. David Owen- who also wins a three course, pre match meal for two in NOS's Bistro. Frank McMahon, Colin Kidby and lastly Roy Allen. So they now have their thinking caps on to decide which player to choose to score. The pressure!

So good luck Bedford and good luck to all in the Paris draw. Thanks for your support in 2015. You are making a massive financial difference to our club.

Happy New Year 




May I wish all members of the Friends of the Blues a very Merry Christmas. Your financial support throughout the year is much appreciated and makes a substantial difference to our club.

From the FoB's, in turn, I would like to extend season greetings to Mike Rayer his staff and players. We have enjoyed some terrific running &winning rugby this term, and we've been a very close second in our losses. We are back to punching above our weight.Well done guys.

It's B&I action tomorrow at GR, so no home match draw for FoBs until we face London Scottish on 1st January. However I can announce the winner of our annual Christmas Sirloin. Peter St Leger, his family and most of his friends will be able to enjoy this sumptuous Aberdeen Angus beef donated by Dovecote Park. Thank you David Gunner.

Against Doncaster Brian Simpson came up trumps with his choice of Joel Conlon, whilst everyone else I am afraid burned. So Brian will get his chance of that £1,000 prize along with Jacquie Markham, Margaret Gilet, Tony Marshall, Steve Cooper & Jon Evans. So that's six so far whilst another five will get an opportunity against London Scottish to choose a player who they think will score.

On that day we will announce the winner of our New Years draw for that Springtime Weekend in Paris by Eurostar for two persons. This is the fourth year we have had this prize donated and all winners have loved the weekend. So who is it going to be this year. Find out at half time against the Scots.

So thank you once more for your collectively huge contribution to the clubs finances. If you're not a member please consider joining for 2016 , you might end up winning a very good prize.

Happy New Year & COYB



With Christmas approaching it is an exciting time for Friends of the Blues. Not only do we have our normal home league match draw for tomorrow's exciting Doncaster fixture, but members will shortly be in two other big draws.

Firstly, it is that fine Dovecote Park Sirloin of Aberdeen Angus donated every Christmas by David Gunner that could be adorning your Yuletide table (on several occasions!) over the festive period.

Secondly we will be drawing the winner of the annual Springtime weekend in Paris by Eurosta,r with the winner being announced at the London Scottish match. 

So you are all in the hat, as you are for every draw including the Doncaster match tomorrow. That draw has seen the following being successfully drawn, giving them the chance of winning that £1,000 prize.

Field Marshall Brian Simpson who is presently deliberating his player choice having selected a Canada signed international shirt as his prize. Thanks to James Pritchard for that.

Tom Perry therefore wins the three course meal for two in NOS's Nosh. If you haven't tried it, his lunch is excellent and very reasonable. A wonderful pre match activity.

The other winners are first time winner Mike Pierce, Brian Rodwell and our oldest season ticket holder Charles Dudeney.

So far we only have five in that £1k draw. Jacquie Markham, Margaret Gilet, Tony Marshall, Steve Cooper & Jon Evans. Jon was the only succesful  punter versus Leeds with his choice of  George Perkins.

Its not easy.Four  down and seven home matches to play.

Good luck to all with their player choices. Oh and COYB.




Yorkshire Carnegie post Ealing.

For that incredible match against Rotherham, our five winners chose the wingers (quite logical really) to score them the tries. Four went for George Perkins and one for Dean Adamsion. As we now know, virtually everyone else scored but not our wingers and our members were disappointed. In reality no one went home disappointed that night (apart from Roth). It was a fantastic display of running rugby and another fine example of the excitement and quality of rugby at Goldington Rd, and indeed the GK IPA Championship.

Last weekend we won at Ealing setting up a mouth watering clash against second place Yorkshire Carengie at Goldington Rd. For that match our five winners are as follows.

David Fuller who wins lunch for two in The Marquee that day. Well done Nobby.

Steve Parrott over in Guernsey wins the pre-match three course lunch at NOS's Nosh. I'm sure Steve's Dad will help him out with that.

Jon Evans ,Paul Rostron and Alan Chambers are the other winners. 

So who will they pick to score. Not easy and still only Jacquie Markham, Margaret Gilet, Tony Marshall and Steve Cooper are in the £1,000 draw after 3 of the 11 home league matches.

I urge everyone to get to that Leeds match. It should be a belter. Bring your friends.





Our third home league match of the season brings our third FoB draw. 

This weeks winners are as follows.

Jane Roberts- Jane has won a Rugby World Cup ball signed donated by No Limitz Sports of Shuttleworth Rd and signed by James Pritchard marking his 4 World Cup appearances.

Richard Quennel - First time out of the hat for Richard. Richard wins three course pre-match lunch courtesy of NOS Thomas at NOS's Nosh

Eric Walke of loyal sponsors Michael R. Peters, Director David Gunner and David Higgins of Abu Dhabi complete the list. All five get a choice of a Bedford player to score them a try under lights this Friday.

So if they choose correctly they will join the four members who chose Pat Tapley to score against Notts. They were Jacquie Markham, Margaret Gilett,former Blues Captain Tony Marshall and Steve Cooper.

So there are four people with a chance of £1,000 in the hat already. Can anyone join them this week.

It is not too late to join or indeed to donate a prize, large or small if you so wish. I am very grateful to Alf & Edwina Tanner who have given me a £25 M&S gift card this week. If you choose to join you will put yourself in with a chance of the Springtime weekend in Paris for two that we will draw at Christmas, or indeed the sumptuous Dovecote Park Sirloin of Aberdeen Angus beef that will make any family's Christmas. Draw for that in November- well in time for the festivities.

So good luck all and good luck you Blues.



Well, here we are back at Goldington Rd, after a fortnight in Richmond. If every away match had to be played in one place, it would just have to be Richmond. I'd happily go there every other week.

The last match saw Andy Reynolds win a meal for two at The Embankment Hotel whilst he, and the other four drawn, all chose George Perkins to score out wide (or anywhere for that matter). Despite a six try win against Moseley, George didn't cross the white wash so unfortunately none of them went through to that £1,000 draw.

One of them was Steve Cooper who remarkably has come out of the hat again this week.Better luck this time Steve. Others drawn for the Nottingham match this week are Jacquie Markham, Margaret Gilet,former Blues Captain Tony Marshall, and Keith Appleyard.

Jacquie, who increased her donation this year (and therefore her chances) was first out of the hat and wins dinner for two at the splendid Swan Hotel. Fair play Jac. Enjoy your dinner. Margaret Gilet wins the three courser pre match at Nos's Nosh. If you are friendly with either of these two ladies its a good time to butter up and look hungry.

A reminder- Last season FoB's were granted drinking rights in the Former Players bar on match days so please feel free to get in there before or after. It has a unique feel and is packed with fascinating memorabilia and pictures and huge quantities of arthritis. Go on give it a go.

Additionally Flick Cooley wife of Former Players Supremo John Cooley does pre-match lunch for 8-10 persons in the bar. It's a lovely place to enjoy lunch and a unique atmosphere and there are available Saturdays before and after Christmas. If you fancy such a lunch you can contact John by email-'s a great place to get together with your rugby chums.

And so to Notts. Bring a friend to the match if you can. Every little helps.

Good luck everyone with your player choices. I hope they all score!!



Firstly if you are not a member it is not too late to join. The form can be downloaded above. If you are a member please seek out more members. One r new member each could double our income and the benefits the club appreciates . Lastly good luck to all of you in your quest to win £1,000 as Ian Roberts did last year. I assure you, I will be striving away to get as many quality prizes this year, as we had in previous years.

This weeks winners are as follows

Richard Briscoe- Richard wins pre- match three course lunch for two at Nos's Nosh Bistro

Andrew Reynolds - Andrew & his good lady are off to The Embankment Hotel for dinner for two including wine.
John Hornsby, Nick Carter and Stephen Cooper join the above two in choosing the player they think will score a try tomorrow. If he succeeds they are in the £1k draw. So good luck to all.

Coming up soon will be special draws for weekends away with the Blues, the Springtime Trip to Paris some splendid Aberdeen Angus Sirloins (yes a whole sirloin) and many other top Restaurant meals. Good luck you all and Good Luck to the Blues.

Join the Friends of the Blues for the new season!

Existing members; I would like to publicly thank you for your continuing support and for contributing, to what is now, around £25,000 of income for the club.

To those of you who are not members I invite to to join us. In doing so, you will be making your own very positive contribution to our club.  

We can't make that tackle or score that try; much as we'd like to, but we do support loudly from the touchline. Indeed we can find it in us, to shout even louder when the team needs that extra push, whether in pursuit of victory or in times of adversity. Well in monetary terms all clubs, bar a very fortunate few, its adversity all the time and narrowing the gap between profit and loss is key to on the field success. So please consider joining the Friends of the Blues this season. Beyond being a good cause its a lot of fun and there are some very good prizes to be won.

Last year went really well. Many enjoyed taking part in the Try Scoring competition (five are drawn each home match) and Ian "Dunvant Roberts was the eventual winner of the £1,000 prize. This year could be your turn, so wait and see if I ring you on a Friday night for your choice of a try scorer for the next day. If he scores you're in the draw for a grand.

Then we had our special draws which saw Barry Tucker win the spring-time weekend in Paris by Eurostar. We will replicate that prize this year.

David & Bridget Higgins won the trip to Guernsey for a top weekend at the Cobo Bay Hotel-flights included. Thanks to FoB Steve Parrott in Guernsey for donating the prize.

£250 was won in the guess the average home attendance competition by Tony Marshall and Lorene Camy.

In addition over 50 other prizes were won, from tickets at major games to lovely free meals at top local restaurants.

The FoB end of season soiree with the players was memorable again and was free to members and their guests, as it always will be.

So well worth joining in more than one way. Please please join us. The Standing order can be downloaded above.

To existing members I ask.

Please try and find a new member each. Spread the load. Just one person each would be so appreciated.

If you can't find one, or in addition if you can. Try and bring someone new to the games with you. We have the third best gates in the league (by a long way). Its an upward curve over twelve or so years. Lets build on that and push on towards 3,000. Its another way of narrowing the gap. Encourage others to come. Alternatively please bully them.

Lastly. I do quite well on garnering prizes. However, I really need some help with getting more so it can be bigger and better. The more I get the more appealing it is to prospective members and the more members we have, the more the club benefits. Can you help me?

Will your local pub or restaurant donate a prize?

Vouchers to be spent at shops?

Do you know a car dealer with access to a smart car for a weekend?

As I have found. A little bit of work can achieve so much benefit for the club.

Please give it some thought or even better-give me a prize. It could be something quite off the wall and none of the above. You can get me on

Thanks everyone and good luck in the draws.

Have a great season.





Last Thursday & our winners.

​It was great to see so many FoB's at the Soiree last Thursday. I have received so many positive comments about the format and content of the evening. It's clear many of you enjoyed yourselves. If you are a member and missed it this year get there next. 

There are many people I must thank. Big thanks to Charlie Clare for singing for us. Top chap as Mark Howe would have said. Thanks NOS & Louise for days spent preparing food at no profit. Thanks to Dave Gunner & Dovecote Park for providing the sumptuous beef.Thanks to all who donated raffle prizes. Bex Howe, Ben Howe, The Castle PH, Margaret Gillet, Solveig Haywood that I can recall. Apologies for omissions but you are valued. Thanks to Mike Rayer & the players for attending and Sam Roberts for his excellence as compere & comic.

So who won what?

I will start with the guess the average crowd competition which all members entered last summer. I have been quoting the average from the Statbunker rugbystats site.Gareth Aldred tells me they are slightly out. That has caused me some difficulty. Statbuker has our average at 2503 whilst Gareth says the correct figure is 2496. I want to go with the correct figure but cannot ignore the fact that I had been previously quoting the Statbunker figure. It actually only effects two people;those closest to the two figures. Lorene Camy predicted 2500, whilst Tony Marshall our oldest surviving captain went with 2495. Therefore I have decided with their agreement that we will split £250 and they will have half each. They are both content and next year I will go solely with the club's own figures.Jane Roberts was the next closest to both figures. I will award the first meal for two next season to her. Well done all.

Then we move on to the raffle. Ann Beal won the meal for two at Moreteyne Manor. Very nice too. Steve Wilby won the autographed Rick Mayall picture and very pleased he was too.Lots of other good stuff was won too and the raffle showed an increased return on last year.

All members were in the draw for the Paris trip by Eurostar. Two nights in Montmartre. This was won by long term supporter Barry Tucker. Well done Barry. Thanks too, to Eagle Executive Travel.

Surprise, surprise. Pat Tapley won the Try of the Season competition for a great try against Bristol. He won a bottle of Champagne. Well done Tappers.

Then finally the £1,000 cash for the try scoring competition that has run all season.23 people were in the draw. The winner was Ian "Dunvant" Roberts. Ian immediately bought a season ticket for next season (recycling) and is off to Kefalonia with the ample residue.

​That just leaves me to say. Guys. We have raised a lot of money for the club.Well over £20k and pushing on to £25k. That is brilliant. Thanks.

However the club needs more and it is very much achievable. We had five new members on the night. Please, please seek new members.It is a great thing to be in, because of its aims but also because of the prizes and fun we offer.I would love to get to £30k next year

Please help our club and get a new member each.

On the field it wasn't a great season but the fact that the crowd went up and was steady at 2,500 is tremendous. What fantastic supporters.



​Friends of the Blues Soiree with the Coaches & Players. Thursday night

Only a few days to go now now until the Soiree and those big draws. The try scoring competition comes to its seasonal end with one member leaving the bash £1,000 better off. Those successful in selecting a try scorer were as follows. 

Roy Eddy,Nigel Bennett, Pat McKeown ,Paul Ibbott, Pete Commons, Lucy Howe, Dave Niblett, Andy Cobley,Jim Beaumont, Dave Burton, Andrew Summerfield, Lorene Camy, Gordon Mitchell,, Mike Orchard, Marie Davies, Mark Gilbert, Pete Kemble, Colin Kidby, Brian Rodwell, Chris Ashworth, Ian Roberts,  Charles Dudeney & Hayley Clark. That's 23 in the hat, ten more than last year. Much of that is due to the popularity of Pat Tapley and his ability to deliver. Well done Pat. 

We also have the draw for the spring time weekend in Paris by Eurostar sponsored by Eagle Executive Travel. Every member, present of no,t is in the hat for that.

We cant award the guess the crowd competition until after the last home game against Nottingham but I can tell you who is in the running.

At the moment The Blues have the 3rd highest average attendance in the Championship with 2502 (over 400 better than Jersey who are 4th). The attendance is up on last year.
The guesses closest at the moment are as follows 

Peter Hill-Jones   2483
T R Marshall        2495

Jane Roberts       2498
Lorene Camy       2500
Mike Pierse         2512
Mick Meadows     2514
Colin Dainton       2517

So its close and can change. The winner gets a cash prize of one tenth of the attendance about  £250 it appears.

The players will enjoy the annual try of the season award that will be voted for by the members and for some reason the players themselves. 

There will be a raffle with some great prizes, Sam Roberts as Compere, Dovecote Park Beef, Mr Rahi's Samosas, some cabaret and around 200 attending,Also attending is Denis Ormesher talking about the Academy and Sunday's Tens Competition. Promises to be a good night. Bar open at 7.00pm and food served from 7.30 onwards.

I look forward to seeing you all.




Moseley- the last draw of the season.

Ahead of the Friends of the Blues Soiree on April 23rd, where one lucky member will win the £1,000 cash prize, this weekend we have ten members trying to get make themselves in the draw. Ten? That is because the last home match versus Nottingham is after the Soiree.So one of the following could join the 18 members already there. The first in the hat was Roy Eddy back in the early Autumn against Rotherham.

So the lucky punters this week are Dave Burton, Colin Kidby, Kate Watts, Brian Rodwell, Mick Meadows, John Evans, Chris Ashworth, Ian Roberts, Charles Dudeney and lastly Hayley Clark. Sprinkled amongst them are some winners of other prizes including Charles Wells IPA beer, in great quantity, at the splendid Gordon Arms and 3 course meals at NOS's Nosh pre match. Choose your player wisely.

Thanks for the acceptances from you all for the Soiree. We will be drawing the spring-time in Paris weekend for two, by Eurostar, so there is still a chance for all of you to win some thing great.

Lets hope for a bumper crowd tomorrow at GR and a good Bedford win. COYB.

Good Luck all. 



Cornish Pirates

I'm a bit slow of the mark this week but finally here our the five FoB members who were successful in our home match draw.

Marie Davies- the President's wife.

Mark Gilbert

Pete Kemble- former Blues open side.

Baz Townsend- custodian of the white lining of the Goldington Rd pitch.

Ronnie Beard now of Weymouth, and husband of Pete Beard. Both former employees and still great fans.

All get the chance to select a player to score tonight and if he does...they will be in the £1,000 draw at the Soiree.

Good luck all. I will be divi'ing the prizes up in consultation with the winners.

I have had lots of replies to the invites for the Soiree. keep them coming it will be fun.


Friends of the Blues Soiree. 7.30 Thursday 23rd April 2015

Letters of invitation have now gone out to all members for this annual event.I hope as many of you as possible will be able to make it, to allow us to thank you all for what you have given this year. All you have to do is send in the reply slip that  you should have received, and indicate if you are bringing a guest. Remember there is no charge, it is our thank you to you.

As in past years we aim to make it a fast moving & fun evening where you can enjoy the company of the players, coaches and your fellow members. NOS Thomas will again be supplying your supper and I'd like to thank him and Louise in advance, for their hard work & generosity in doing so..

Sam Roberts will be compere once more and will be conducting interviews with coaches & players throughout the evening. He will also act as master of ceremonies for the Try of the Season competition where you will vote for the winner, and see the chosen player receive his prize. 

Other than that all the prizes are coming in the direction of you the members. We still have a few home matches remaining for the try scoring competition but one lucky member will learn if he or she has won the £1,000 cash prize that night. There are 14 members who have chosen correctly so far with three matches remaining. So it could still be you! Ten members will take part in the Moseley match, as Nottingham is after the Soiree .Last year Solveig Haywood went home £1,000 richer. Who will it be this year?

If you aren't in the hat for that competition, you definitely will be for the spring time weekend in Paris by Eurostar that is sponsored by Eagle Executive Travel.Last year's winner was of course, Glyn Buck who hadn't told his wife he was in the FoB's!

Pauline Orchard won the guess the average crowd in 2014. She was closest to the 2331 average and took home £233 as a result.Our average at this time is up at 2561, the third highest in the division. Was your guess close to that? That wont be awarded till after the Notts match for obvious reasons

Finally there will be raffle with some terrific prizes on offer. If you want to add to them please contact me or bring something on the night.

So a great night is in prospect. I look forward to seeing you there. Get those reply slips in.






This weeks winners, searching for a try scorer who will see them through to that £1,000 draw are, as follows.

Lorene Camy- who only joined this year. Lorene also wins a three course lunch for two at Nos's Nosh.

Ken Collins

Gordon Mitchell

Steve Wilby- another new joiner this year, who quite appropriately wins eight pints in The Gordon Arms

Michael Orchard

For four out of the five, it is their first time out of the hat. Good luck to all of them.

For the Plymouth match, none of our five winners selected a player who scored, so it remains as just eleven FoB's, who have been successful, in getting through to that big draw. There are four home matches remaining, with therefore, 20 members still to have a shot at joining them.
Those through to the draw so far are. Dave Burton, Andrew Summerfield, Jim Beaumont, Roy Eddy, Nigel Bennett, Paul Ibbottt, Pat McKeown, Pete Commons, Lucy Howe, David Nibblett & Andy Cobley.



Here we go again. Five more winners. Two of which have already come out of the hat this season.Does that matter if you haven't won yet and you come out of the hat for the weekend in Paris? Not a blooming jot. David Higgins hadn't won in three years until Boxing Day & he is off to the Cobo Bay in Guernsey this summer. The rules are - if you are not in the fund you won't win any prizes- ever.The rest of you have real chances of winning. 

The winners are Lucy Howe -boooo. She is off to NOS's Nosh for three courses of his best fodder.

Colin Dainton.

​Michael Bowra- Three courses & a bottle of wine at the re-furbed Embankment Hotel. That's good because his partner is in the FoB's too.

Paul Ibbott- booooo

​Peter Smith

All get a choice of a player to score and therefore a chance of £1,000

I am pleased to say the fund handed over £16,000 to the club last week, and that is an ongoing process. That is a credit to you and of great benefit to the club.That is what it is all about. Thanks all.

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties 

​This weeks winners for the London Scottish match are as follows.
Dave Burton who wins pre-match three course lunch for two at NOS's Nosh.
Neil Oliver Smart Thomas. Yes NOS himself. He has already plumped for The Embankment Hotel.
Albert Summerfield who is yet to choose.
Geoff Snelson who wins 8 pints of ale at the Gordon Arms
Frank McMahon.
All get a stab at winning £1,000 today by selecting a player who they think will score a try on Saturday. Those members who are already through to the big draw are Jim Beaumont, Roy Eddy, Nigel Bennett, Paul Ibbottt, Pat McKeown, Pete Commons, Lucy Howe, David Nibblett & Andy Cobley.

A big thank you once more to our major sponsors and particularly this week to the splendid Embankment Hotel that is undergoing a major refurbishment.They are as follows

The Embankment Hotel
The Swan Hotel
The Alamin Tandoori, Tavistock St.
The Castle PH, Newnham St
The Gordon Arms, Castle Rd
Santaniellos Pizzeria, Newnham St.
Dovecote Park
Charles Wells
If you know a pub or restaurant that could donate meals for two, or indeed if you are willing to donate any sort of prize that involves the good things in life; travel, holidays or dining please contact Howard Travis through the club offices or in person.
If you are not a member, its not too late to join. Download a standing order from the Blues website and you could be going to Paris for a spring time weekend break on Eurostar, winning that £1,000 or one of the other splendid prizes on offer.

Welcome to our newest member Liz Sullivan who is now in the hat for that, and all our draws.



The Boxing Day winners of the Guernsey holiday were David & Bridget Higgins. Enjoy yourselves at the Cobo Bay Hotel! Thank you to Steve & Debbie Parrott for your generous prize.
The winner of the Aberdeen Angus Sirloin was Mike Simpson. Thanks in this case to Dave Gunner of Dovecote Park.
Additionally, so far this season, twelve members have won restaurant meals, for two, or other top prizes. There are 33 to be won.
On Boxing day four members guessed correctly with their chosen try scorers, Tapley & Adamson, joining four members who were successful earlier in the season in getting through to the £1,000 draw. Those members are Roy Eddy, Nigel Bennett, Paul Ibbottt, Pat McKeown, Pete Commons, Lucy Howe, David Nibblett & Andy Cobley. This week's members choosing a try scorer are Eric Walke, Tom Perry, Jim Beaumont,Tom Thompson & Ben Wisson. They also have a variety of prizes. Good luck guys.
The guess the average gate competition is running with 4 home league games played & 7 remaining. The average gate now stands at 2,884. Check your guess, to see if you are in line to win the cash.
A big thank you once more to our major sponsors
The Embankment Hotel
The Swan Hotel
The Asia Lounge, High Street.
The Alamin Tandoori, Tavistock St.
The Castle PH, Newnham St
The Gordon Arms, Castle Rd
Santaniellos Pizzeria, Newnham St.
Dovecote Park
Charles Wells
If you know a pub or restaurant that could donate meals for two, or indeed if you are willing to donate any sort of prize that involves the good things in life; travel, holidays or dining please contact Howard Travis through the club offices or in person.
If you are not a member, its not too late to join. Download a standing order from the Blues website and you could be going to Paris for a spring time weekend break on Eurostar, winning that £1,000 or one of the other splendid prizes on offer.
Happy New Year all.
Howard Travis

Prizes galore!!!!!!!!!!

Who is going to win that weekend in Guernsey at The Cobo Bay Hotel?!!! 

Half time on Boxing Day- tune in FoB's. All will be revealed. It is a great prize and thanks to Steve Parrott in Guernsey for donating it.

Boxing Days winners in the £1,000 cash draw are as follows, and each and everyone of them, gets a choice of a player to score them a try and some other prizes.

Pete Commons wins a three course, pre-match lunch in NOS's bistro.

Lucy Howe & Team Doctor Dave Niblett win a choice from my restaurant meals at some of Bedford's finest eateries.

Andy Cobley will be drunk as a skunk on eight pints at the Gordon Arms.

Paul Jameson merely gets a crack at the £1,000.

Good luck guys with that, and of course with the draw, with all our members,for that weekend (including flights) to Cobo Bay, Guernsey. The winner will be greeted by Steve Parrott himself which is a lovely touch. 

If you want to be in the hat next year for prizes like this,or indeed, for the soon to be drawn, springtime weekend in Paris, down load a form and please join.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Merry Christmas one and all!

It's been some time since our last League Match so we have been without a regular flow of FoB draws and that's why we slipped in our first festive draw yesterday for a B&I Cup game. The draw was for a splendid Dovecote Park Aberdeen Angus Sirloin kindly supplied by David Gunner. An excellent prize and our winner was........ Mike Simpson. Well done Mike who is a new member this year. Enjoy.

Our next draw is on Boxing Day against Bristol, when we will have five members drawn for the £1,000 try scoring competition, four of whom will also win prizes, and of course the much awaited Special Christmas Draw,to find the the winner of the Guernsey trip. That is a weekend for two at the award winning Cobo Bay Hotel on Guernsey with flights from a choice of airports. To wet the appetite you can view The Cobo Bay Hotel here. Once again our great thanks here go to FoB's Steve & Debbie Parrott who will welcome our winners on arrival. 

Now that is worth winning, as of course is any game at Goldington Rd. Yesterday's extraordinary match, which was a ringer for the away tie, certainly wets the mouth for Boxing Day and a bumper crowd to see an even more important win. You will obviously be going, so why not bring a few friends who don't normally come. Its an easy sell. Great rugby and some fresh air to clear the head. GR is the place to be on Boxing Day.

Good Luck to you all in the draw, Thank you all for your support in 2014. May I wish you all a very Happy New Year.


Congratulations to this week's winners

First out of the hat were The Reuters, David & Pauline who along with our second drawn Richard Norman, win a choice, from my range of available prizes.

Third pick is Alan Perkins who with his guest will be enjoying three courses in Nos's Nosh shortly.

Fourth is Paul Ibbott who wins eight pints of Charles Wells Eagle IPA in the admirable Gordon Arms, Castle Rd

Fifth is Pauline Orchard who gets a choice of a player to score a try on Saturday, as of course, do all the others. If their player scores they will go into the £1,000 end of season draw joining Roy Eddy & Nigel Bennett. Good Luck to all.


This is the plan Stan.

Well it has been a while since our last home match & therefore FoB draw.

In my next post, I will announce this week's winners for the Leeds match, but firstly some changes to Prizes and what we have on offer in December.

Nos Thomas has kindly offered pre-match -3 course lunch for two persons in Nos's Nosh for each home league match for the remainder of the season. This will replace the signed match ball prize. If you haven't dined with Nos you are missing out, but your opportunity may be just round the corner. He has regulars who don't miss a game in his rugby themed bistro.I thank Nos for his support and generosity.

Secondly. At the Cornish Pirates match on 13th December we will have a draw for a Dovecote Park Aberdeen Angus Sirloin of Beef courtesy of David Gunner. Now that is a considerable prize in weight and value and could make a splendid addition to the Christmas Fayre chez vous. Thank you David.



Jersey and Albert.

I would like to begin this week by paying my own brief tribute to dear Albert "Albie" Saunders who has passed away after a long illness, borne with bravery and his usual cheerfulness. A Blues fan for as long as I can recall, Albert was one of those people who genuinely made the world a better place. Always smiling and up to mischief, he was a main component part of GOSH, The Gentlemen of Sharnbrook who have supported the club through thick and thin all these years. They will badly miss him, as we all will. The Flag at Goldington Rd quite rightly flies at half mast this week to honour him. Albie you were a star.


From the last draw against Roth only Roy Eddy guessed righ,t with Skippy, scoring to get Roy into the £1,000 draw in addition to two tickets for the South Africa match at Twickers. Good work Roy.

Peter Hill Jones won a meal for two at The Embankment Hotel & Jill Dainton 8 pints at the splendid Gordon Arms.

This weeks winners are Nigel Bennett, old notobene himself. He gets to be Match ball sponsor and wins a signed ball. Fergus Crombie gets a choice of the prizes as does Paul Rostron. Prof Pat Mckeown who won Virgin flights last year just gets a try guess this time whilst Blues legend and my best man Bruce Mackay wins eight pints in The Gordon Arms. He lives in Guildford!!! No I wont drink them so may be I will have a redraw after speaking to him.

Lastly. If you fancy a night at James Pritchard's Testimonial dinner on Friday 10 October speak to moi, or to Maragaret Appleton. We have seven spare places for a practically sold out evening of tribute to our record point scorer.

Now come on you Blues.


PS Eight new joiners this week! Come on sort yourself out and join. You could win the Guernsey trip. It is three nights at the Cobo Bay Hotel with flights worth around £750. Our donor Steve Parrott is flying over for the Jersey match on Saturday-naturally to support the Blues!  Come on guys join and give yourself a chance of that trip.


Rotherham match FoB winners

On a disappointing day for the club, at least one man went happy!

Our five chosen FoBs went in three instances for Patrick Tapley to score... without success I'm afraid. Marie Davies chose Paul Tupai, whilst that happy donor who went home vaguely smiling, was Roy Eddy.

Roy topped off a good draw for him by selecting James Pritchard and that was good enough to see him become the first FoB through to that £1,000 draw at the end of season soiree. He has already bagged a pair of autumn International tickets that he hopes will be for the NZ match, in late November. Good work Roy! Is that a pained smile though?

​Peter Hill Jones won a meal for two at the Swan Hotel. 

​Remember you can join when you wish and what  better way to show your support. You could win a £1,000, a trip to Guernsey or be as happy as Roy! Simply download that form.

Oh. I am happy today because its the first Cambridge University game tonight at Grange Rd. Lots of Bedford connections. Andy Key is coach and Harry Peck is Captain. Good Luck both and have a great season.GDBO!


Two important things to say.

First of all, and it goes without saying, when our team is not going well, it is a time to show support. It is easy to back slap when we are winning but just as important to encourage and not damn, when we are not going well. Bedford is, what it is, because we stuck together when it was very tough and our great successes are founded upon that spirit. So come on you Blues, your fans are right behind you.

Secondly. The club is at a point where it has to embrace a future without Geoff Irvine whose support of the club has been more tangible than any one else's. That is, in time he has committed, matches attended and financial support. Geoff with the club's best interests at heart as always, has allowed the club time to prepare for the future without him. He began a process of consultation with local business men and women to find what that future looked like. That prompted Jo Marks, a very proud Bedfordian business woman, with no previous connection to the club, to grasp the nettle like no one could have ever imagined. She has undertaken a consultation that has gone far broader than just the Town's Senior Club and its future funding and has quite rightly included the whole pyramid of junior clubs and youth rugby that can lead to a young boy up representing his Town at Goldington Rd. She includes the future of Goldington Rd itself, better facilities for junior rugby and the need for a Bedford women's team. All these subjects were raised by her initial consultation and are clearly relevant.

Her work was just the start. In all my time I am not sure that any town in the land has undertaken such a process of consideration of a particular sports future within that borough. I suppose, it should be no surprise, that it should be Bedford. In my time we are the only Town that has won all three RFU Senior playing competitions through the Blues, The Ath and The Queens. We reallyare a rugby town.

We should be indebted that Jo has committed like she has to start this process. Those who heard her speak in The Marquee before the Rotherham match will not only have been impressed but also realise what an opportunity Geoff, and now particularly Jo have provided us to shape our future. That is the immediate future of the club, and also of rugby as a whole in Bedford. The two cannot be separated, but never before have they been brought together for consideration as a whole for the common good.

It is of the utmost importance that everyone in Bedford with rugby in their hearts should participate in her continued consultation. The weight of involvement by the people of Bedford will be measured by those whose help might be needed in securing the future. The Rugby Authorities, businesses & sponsors and Bedford Borough Council and others.

The all important  document is available on Please take part. Thank you Jo.

There you are, two important things to say, both about our future and how to get there.

Come on Bedford Rugby.



Pre Rotherham- prize winners! (oh and its not too late to join-please!!)

Well here we go. The first prize draw of the season with prizes a plenty, and lots of fun ahead of us, to make your membership enjoyable and to show how much your support is appreciated.

To remind you. Every member is in the draw and gets a ratio of chances that are commensurate with the size of their donation. Every member is in every draw and in theory could be drawn twice in one week. There are five winners each week who get a chance to select a try scorer for Saturday's match. If you do it correctly you enter the £1,000 end of season draw. Four of the drawn persons win prizes. No.4 only gets to select a player.

I beg, steal and blackmail my way to obtain prizes. If you can add to my haul I will really appreciate it, and in fact I wont blackmail you. Prizes please!!

Here we go. This week's winners are.

Roy Eddy who wins two tickets for an Autumn international (according to what I manage to blag). He has nominated New Zealand, so that's what I am aiming for. Roy is guaranteed two tickets for one of the matches. Now that is a very good prize! Last year I managed seven tickets in total.

Peter Hill-Jones (in his first draw as a member!) wins a lovely meal for two with a bottle of wine at The Embankment Hotel. I love that place. Well done Peter and thanks for joining.

Good old John McInnerney of All Sorts Media and Eagle Stand apron fame. John wins a signed match ball.

Next up was the President's wife. Abercynon's favourite girl, Marie Davies who gets to select a try scorer.

Last but my no means least. Jill Dainton.The Daintons are a large family and I am pleased to say most are members. Therefore winning eight pints of Eagle in the splendid Gordon Arms should please them all. For this prize winners are given eight beer vouchers so you don't have to drink all at once and if you prefer, lager that is what you should have. Good prize I'd say.

So all that is left is for the winners to select their try scorers and for the Blues to score some tries.

Come on you Blues!!!!!

Thank you all and some good news!

Prior to our first draw on Saturday I would just like to say a big thank you, to all those who have joined in the close season. Your generosity and support is greatly valued. I am very pleased with increased membership and increased income. Importantly, if you have not already joined, it is not too late. You can join whenever you wish and avail yourself of a chance of some splendid prizes including the wonderful Guernsey trip to be drawn at Christmas. Go on do it!

I am pleased to tell members of the FoB that from Saturday against Rotherham, your membership now includes permission to have a drink before or after the match in the Former Players bar. Former players pay a subscription to maintain the bar and to gain entry but they have generously offered to extend their hospitality to Friends of the Blues. Thank you to them, for that.

Additionally Flick Cooley, the wife of former player John Cooley, now offers pre-match luncheons for up to eight people in the bar and FoBs are eligible for that too.

There are opportunities at all the home games except when FPA have a luncheon. ie Autumn Lunch 13th September, Spring Lunch 11th April.

The cost is £10 per head and would normally be the same food being supplied on the day to the visiting committee.

Flick emphasizes she needs notice and will need a phone call at least by the Wednesday of your chosen week. So earlier the better I would suggest.

So if you are interested please ring Flick (01234 823532) to reserve your date.

Whilst I know many FoBs are also Former Players, if you are not, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a beer or a meal in a bar you wont have yet experienced at GR.

Tomorrow I will tell you of this weeks winners!! Hang on to your hats. You could, by the end of the season be £1,000 richer like Soleig Haywood is now, after last years win.

Good Luck.





What a great prize!!!!

FoB members will be delighted to hear they have a chance, in a special Christmas draw, of winning another brilliant weekend away.

Blues fan & FoB, Steve Parrott who is Guernsey resident has very generously donated the following. A cracking two or three night stay, for two persons, at the Cobo Bay Hotel on Guernsey. The prize includes travel to Guernsey with flights from either Gatwick or Southampton. Steve said, "I am thrilled to be able to offer support to the Friends of the Blues.It is a fantastic way to make our club even better. I'm also really happy that a couple of Blues supporters will get to see our beautiful island. I look forward to meeting and greeting when the winners arrive"

Well thank you Steve, and of course his wife Debbie, for your generosity.

The award winning hotel can be viewed here.

"Recognised by The Times as 'Britain's Best Value Beach Hotel' in 2012, the Cobo Bay Hotel offers an unrivalled beachfront location along the scenic west coast of Guernsey. Overlooking one of the Channel Islands' most beautiful bays, with clean, soft white sand and stunning sunsets, yet only 3 miles from the main town of St. Peter Port, the Cobo Bay Hotel provides the perfect location for short breaks, family holidays, romantic getaways and business trips alike.

A complete renovation in recent years has resulted in the highest ever AA rating for a 3-star Guernsey hotel of 87%, as well as Gold & Breakfast Awards from Visit Guernsey, with an overall score of 86% - worthy of 5 stars"

Looks fantastic & sounds great. 

So you've got to be in it to win it. Join this weekend to give yourself a very good chance. With the FoBs draws, we are not talking Lottery odds. You have a real chance of winning. Go on. Help The Blues.

Thanks Steve & Debbie.


What are you doing this weekend?

How about showing your support for the club, by spending five minutes downloading the form above and joining the Friends of the Blues from as little as £7 a month. By doing so you will provide the club with additional, much needed income, and it will give you lots of fun, the chance to win some great prizes and hopefully a warm glow.

Holidays, International tickets, free meals at top local restaurants, competitions with cash prizes and many more prizes. Additionally an evening with the players at the end of season soiree is our thank you to our members at the end of a season.

News of a great new prize for FoBs is coming up later today. It could be you who wins it.

Last season Jim Oliver flew to Barcelona with his wife thanks to Monarch Airlines

Glyn Buck had a celebration springtime weekend in Paris via Eurostar.

Ten tickets were won by members for Six Nations & Autumn International matches.

Sixty free meals were eaten at local eateries.

Two hundred attended the Soiree.

Solveigh Haywood won £1,000 in the Try scoring competition

Pauline Orchard won £230 in the crowd competition.

..and there were many more prizes besides.

Please join us if you can and help us make that difference. 

More later today.



A new season approaches with eight new pints!!

Doesn't time fly.My first post of the season.

May I say thank you to all of you that have joined FoB during the summer.I hope you enjoy your membership, win some prizes and take pleasure from contributing to the clubs well being. If you have joined please have a chat when you see me. If you haven't joined, now is certainly the time to do so,

Second, and biggest, thank you is to Paul & Stephanie ex- of The Cricketers for their support over the years and for looking after so many Blues, and indeed away fans, with your fantastic ales. Only last year they won the prize for introducing the largest number of new FoBs. They sold match day tickets to save their clientele queuing over the road. They have also sponsored FoB, along with Brains Brewery, for an eight pint prize at every home league match since FoB started. Down the years they hosted some fantastic celebrations after Blues victories with players and fans, at one together, long into the night, and nursed and cared for a few that were now in need of it . Rudi Straueli will be particularly sad to hear of the closure, as indeed will many Welshmen. The Welsh Embassy is closed! Such a shame. Good Luck to both of you. Nos da a diolch yn fawr.

I am glad to say that the club is still surrounded by the best pubs in town, and to announce that one of them has already approached me and volunteered to replicate the weekly prize. Phil & Ruth, the new landlords at the Gordon Arms, have offered eight pints of Eagle IPA to replace the Brains that Taffy donated.Thanks Phil & Ruth. Phil is sports mad and attended the end of season FoB soiree as a guest of Dave "Nobby" Fuller, and has joined our number as a member. Phil and Ruth already play host to many Blues fans on match days, and offer food before and after matches. several players enjoy the pub.

Thank you also, to all our prize donors, that have renewed their pledges of a variety of prizes, including I should mention The Castle & Santaniello's Pizzeria in that area. We would not raise the funds we do without you. Thank you.

If you or your business has something, by way of a prize, to offer, I would love to hear from you. I need prizes guys and I love new members too!

Good Luck to the Blues in Ulster this weekend and a big welcome to all the new players.




Average attendance Prize.

Well done Pauline Orchard and commiserations to Phil Day who was pipped at the post like NOS was last year. The final figure was a disappointing 2331 (not for Pauline tho')

The other riunners and riders were 

R Colling – 2259

Phillip Day – 2313

Pauline Orchard – 2342

Richard Gerlach – 2350

Robert Main – 2350

Brendan Burke – 2375

Andrew Reynolds – 2415

About twenty of us did the Treasure Hunt yesterday for Mike's Testimonial. It was a right old hoot. Thanks to NOS for the food, Phil Day for the bar and God for the weather. We raised nearly £1,000 for Keech Cottage. It could go through the barrier yet. It was an afternoon to really appreciate what great fans and staff we have. All positive stuff with lots of fun.

Now please consider the FoBs are a must to join and get your forms in. Lets do it. Thanks.



Friends of the Blues Soiree and Jersey.

Well I hope you all thoroughly enjoyed your evening on Thursday. For my part it was great to see so many of the FoBs together, socialising with each other, and the players. There was lots of fun with Tom Armes securing the Try of the Season competition, and a bottle of bubbly (which he should share really with Patrick Tapley!). The Raffle went well, with £1,000 being made, that helps cover our costs immensely.

My word we had some prizes won this year. A Trip to Paris (and a lovely interview with winner Glyn Buck & his wife on the night). International tickets meals galore and more besides.

Thank you to all prize donors, most of which are familiar for their ongoing support and particularly Geoff Irvine for the Sonos first prize. The winner, a guest on the night, has already joined the fund as have numerous others who were there. I guess another £1,000 of new joiners were secured that night alone. So please get out there and get some more, we need them.

The culmination of our season long draws was the £1,000 draw. Well done Solveig Haywood on winning. Solveig like many others who are employed on match days by the club reinvests in the FoB fund. That is really great.She is obviously overjoyed.

We couldn't divi up the prize for average crowd before the Jersey match. someone is going to win in the region of £229.8 today with the average being 2298 at the moment. Closest is Phil Day the bar manager. Another employee.

Others close are as follows

R Colling – 2259

Phillip Day – 2313

Pauline Orchard – 2342

Richard Gerlach – 2350

Robert Main – 2350

Brendan Burke – 2375

Andrew Reynolds – 2415

Exciting. There in the list is Brendan Burke. He was in the £1,000 draw but didn't win, but Thursday gave us the chance to celebrate his career and that of Sacha Harding. I think everyone enjoyed watching their career highlights and the interviews with them. It certainlly brought home their longevity the great players they have been for us, and the great players they have played with. You've made all those others look good, guys. They are both Hall of Famers now. Lets hope they finish with a win today and have a great party afterwards.Great guys, great servants and thank you Pikey for your support of this fund. You will remain a Friend of the Blues for the duration now.

I have many people to thank. Not least NOS and Louise for the excellent food provided after huge amounts of toil (and at cost). NOS remains part of the heart beat of the club.

I must aslo pay tribute to Andy Irvine who is leaving for a new career opportunity. He has been so supportive of me. Advising, counselling, getting prizes, dealing with difficulties and at times my ineptitude and confusion. He and Debra have to put up with me!  Thanks Andy for everything and good luck to you in the future

The Try of the Season reels were well received too. Mark "Rowan" Atkinson was hilarious in his review of them and had everyone in stitches.

What more can I say.

Thanks to all you are great supporters of a great club.

Lovely night and I am looking forward to next years already.

Now for Jersey COYB



Paul "Three Tries" Tupai & The Magnificent Seven

Well that was quite an afternoon of frolicking in the sun. We do like scoring tries when the sun is on our backs. I wonder if the wettest winter in history had anything to do with the lack of tries scored by us in other matches. Here's hoping for a hot day against Jersey. They, poor souls, will certainly be sweating whatever, I suspect.

Well Toops did well didn't he, but in terms of our £1,000 draw seven people did equally well. With only six people prior to the match, through to the draw this Thursday, much to their chagrin, another seven joined them on Saturday. To get the competition completed prior to the soiree, we unleashed ten members who had been successful in the draw. Two went unsuccessfully for Mark Atkinson, one for Booj. Of the others Keith Holme went for Joe VDM, and six others for the flying Tapley. With their brace of tries that meant that the total number in the draw rose from 6 to 13.

Those in Thursdays draw are Solveig Heywood, Geoff Snelson, Chris Kettler, Colin Dainton, Dai Owen, Brendan Burke, Alan Layton, Dave Burton, Keith Fossey, Sue Brice, Josie Vass, Charles Dudeney, & Keith Holme. So its a 1 in 13 chance as opposed to last years 1 in 23. Someones going to win it. Some of the above also win prizes and I will be in contact with them soon. Busy week.

We wont be able to complete on the guess the crowd competition because of the remaining match, but the average at the mo is 2298. Can you recall your guess? It will be decided on Saturday.

So I look forward to seeing you at 8.00pm Thursday. No DJs, its not a dinner, and no seating plan. Its an informal Soiree with buffet. We have the try of the season competition too, for you to vote in. We have 200 attendees! See you then.


Cornish Pasties

This weeks winners in the FoB match day draw are 

Terry Peel who is the match ball sponsor and wins a signed match ball.  

Alan Layton who gets a choice of my dwindling prizes, as does  John Gooch. 

David Burton and  Keith Fossey get to fight it out for the 8 pints in the splendid Cricketers PH.

We are only a short time away from the FoB Soiree on Thursday 24th April. We have around 150 acceptances, which is very pleasing, as it is our chance to say thank you to those who donate so much "over and above" to help the club along. 

Don't forget that the Mike Rayer "All Dayer" Treasure Hunt is on Sunday 27th April KO 1pm at the Club, with a walking route of about 2 and half miles to and from the club, passing several hosteries. The idea is to have fun and raise money for Keech Cottage. You must enrol at either of the remaining home matches,so that NOS has numbers for catering for your food on return. Entry is £10. Half to Keech and the rest for your food.

Thanks to all FoBs for your continuing financial support.


Rotherham Live on Sky

You should have had your invitations now to the FoB soiree with the players. It is casual dress and informal and you must reply to assure your place.Thanks for the excellent response so far.

I also invite you to consider joining the Mike Rayer All Dayer Treasure Hunt on the Sunday following the Soiree- details are below. It should be a hoot.

Back to the Soiree. Only six members are in the hat so far for that £1,000 draw. This weeks winners are as follows and if they get it right they could be joining the select group of winners so far.

Those FoBs successful in our draw for Rotherham are as follows.

NOS Thomas- Match ball Sponsor- A well deserved win for our noisiest and most benevolent member. Well done NOS!

Andy Whitehouse -Ex Blues flanker of over 200 appearances-Choice of the prizes

Andy Cobley- Followers Chairman- Choice of Prizes 

Philip Moore- 8 pints in The Cricketers 

Maurice Webb- Dear Maurice; one of our senior members who in 1944 saved his life by parachute over France. Those beastly Germans; fancy shooting our Maurice down!!!!

Good Luck all (particularly Maurice).

Good Luck to the team on Saturday too.


Post Plymouth, The FoB Soiree & Keech Cottage Mike Rayer Testimonial Treasure Hunt

Well Plymouth was a great disappointment. Oh well onwards and upwards.

Of our Members selections, only one was successful. Brendan Burke chose Pritch to score, and he duly obliged, putting Brendan into the £1,000 draw. I saw Brendan afterwards and despite his good fortune he was still thoroughly miserable. Of the other choices Booj was selected twice, NFW and Mark Atkinson but they didn't cross the whitewash.

That is now 6 FoBs in the £1,000 draw at the Soiree on Thursday 24th April. Invites have gone out and you are asked to respond promptly so Nos can prepare the food appropriately. It promises to be a great night, as indeed it was last year. Hors d'ouvres will be served by the players and you will have two players on each table. Brendan will be served by his own team mates like royalty ! 

We will have the cash prize for the average gate of the season, The £1,000 draw and The Try of the Season competition that you will judge.There will also be a Grand Raffle. It promises to another really enjoyable evening.

On the Sunday following the Soiree & the Jersey Match we have the Mikey Rayer All Dayer Treasure Hunt to raise funds for Keech Cottage-his chosen Charity and one that needs no introduction hereabouts.

The Treasure Hunt is foot based-starts at the Rugby Club at 1pm and is about 2 mile long. With your clues you will follow a route that doesn't stray far from the club but which does stray past several,cafes pubs and restaurants. The emphasis may be on the pubs! The route suits all ages and nothing is too demanding. It is some fun. The idea is that you stop where you wish, but get back to the club for 4pm. Here Nos will serve you some grub and the bar will be open.

Entry is £10 per adult. £5 goes to the charity and £5 for your food. You must be entered before the day so we can cater. You can do so by paying £10 at the Followers Hut at he next two home matches. You will be given a sponsorship form and if you could raise £20 it would be fantastic. It will be fun and is not competitive in any way, so no treasure hunt anoraks please! Go on have a craic.Support Mike and raise a few bob for those poor children.





Here we go again. Finally a home match to savour once more.

The last home league match against Bristol saw a performance that warranted at least a bonus point. Despite the Blues scoring three tries, none of our FoB winners were able to find a try scorer. Eoin Sherrif and Aaron Morris (twice) crossed the whitewash but were not selected. The main hopes rested with Patrick Tapley. So no one joined the small throng waiting hopefully, for that £1,000 draw, and only four home matches remain!

Those already in the hat are David Owen, Colin Dainton, Chis Kettler, Solveigh Heywood and Geoff Snelson. 

The luck of the draw sees Colin drawn again for this match. Can he boost his chances? Who will he select? Listen to Sam to find out.

This weeks winners are therefore

Barry Tucker-match ball sponsor

Fergus Crombie- who wins a prize

Brendan Burke- who will also be eating out.

Nick Carter- 8 pints in the Cricketers

and finally Colin Dainton. 

A date for your diaries. The FoB end of season soiree with the players, will be on Thursday 24th April at 8pm. You will receive your invite soon. Each member can bring a guest for this bash, that acts as our thank you, to you the members. It will feature the Try of the season competition, the £1,000 draw, the guess the crowd competition result and a blooming good raffle. You just need to buy your drink and the rest is on us.


Howard Travis                             



Bristol post Notts

Unfortunately, due in the main to the meteorological maelstrom Goldington Rd endured against Nottingham, none of our winners were successful in choosing a player who could score. The one man who did was the admirable Joe Vandermolen, but the four members that chose a player, all went, quite naturally, for Patrick Tapley. Patrick spent an unhappy and fruitless afternoon, swimming against the tide chasing high kicks. Albeit we won.

The one person who didn't choose was Steve Jennings who spent a dryer afternoon in Las Vegas watching the 7s. I was going to choose Tapley for him, but on consulting Steve's great chum Twirls, I change my mind. "no he wouldn't go for Tapley. He'd choose a prop!" Steve being a prop himself, and a sometimes, a quite contrary soul, I decided to let him have a go on his own, when he returns for Bristol. The judges ruling is final. 

So this weeks winners are as follows

Match ball sponsor is Dave Burton.

Brian Harris is a second time winner and gets a meal of his choice.

Former Blues player John Egan also wins a meal.

Ian Roberts & John Daniels can fight it out for a choice of eight pints in The Cricketers.

All get a choice of a player to score.

Good Luck everyone and good luck Bedford.


Notts at home. First match I ever watched in about 1966.

Back to league action and back to FoB draws!

Glyn Buck is still celebrating his Springtime weekend in Paris win, and planning when to step aboard the Eurostar at St Pancras. Our two prize winners from the London Scottish match, Frank McMahon and Solveigh Heywood are still wrestling with which restaurant to dine at. From that match Solveigh & Geoff Snelson went through to the £1,000 end of season draw with their choice of Nick Fenton-Wells. That is five members who have successfully chosen so far.

It was good to see Jon Wilson who joined in the summer taking up his prize with his choice of a meal for five at the celebrated  "Nos's Nosh bistro" pre match. Thank you Nos for your generosity in donating the prize to the fund and being such a supportive member

This weeks winners are as follows. Well done guys and gals

Roy Allen 

Paul Rostron of sponsors Anglian Fastners 

Margaret Saunders the wife of the previous President of Bedford Blues, John Saunders

Mark Tibbetts who was a new joiner in the summer.

Steve Jennings aka "Gonzo", an inveterate follower of the Blues away from home and, former Biggleswade prop forward.

I will be in contact with all about their player picks.

Roy is match ball sponsor, Paul & Margaret win a choice of the prizes available and Gonzo wins eight pints in The Cricketers. Margaret is plumping for Sunday lunch at The Swan Hotel. I think John is hoping she'll take him too. Well done all and good luck with your choices of potential try scorers this weekend.

Those of you that can remember your guess, in the "guess the average crowd competition" might be interested that Statbunker is listing our average home league crowd as 2,475. That is the second highest in The Greene King Championship, albeit a couple of hundred down on last year. Are you close? The winner takes home 10% of the final figure in readies at the end of season soiree with players. So many reasons to join.

If you want to help the club and perhaps win something a long the way-please down load a form and tuck in.




 Post London Scottish victory

Its well done all round. Firstly the team for an excellent start to the year with a tactical victory on a wet day, and in moments of adversity paricularly to Aaron Morris for a match defining try saving tackle.

Secondly to two of our FoB winners, who both went for the admirable Nick Fenton-Wells to score for them against the Scots. They were Solveigh Heywood & Geoff Snelson. That is five members to the £1,000 draw.

The biggest smile of the day belonged to that great supporter Glyn Buck. He of the pork pie hat that weighs a ton, on account of the collection of club badges adorning it. Glyn goes to just about every away game... well he did. Glyn's wife consulted him pre season about his responsibilities towards the funding of his daughter's wedding this year. This led to Glyn having to forgo his fortnightly forays to foreign parts with The Followers for one whole season! However on the blindside he submitted a standing order for the FoBs. "She'll never know".

Well she bloody will now, because the biggest smile of he day was when Glyn found he'd won the weekend in Paris, by Eurostar, courtesy of Eagle Executive Travel. He had the prize presented at half time and he will be off to Paris in the Spring. Hard luck to the rest of you, your time will come, but I am really chuffed for Glyn. Few could deserve it more. Enjoy Glyn.

We have handed out some good prizes this year and last. If you want to help the club and perhaps win something a lon the way-please join.


FoB's. Can you help?

The club are looking for a bedroom for a month- January into February for a young NZ conditioning coach. He is a recently retired player from Otago who is being sent over by Colin Jackson & Otago for some experience working with Paddy. Preferably it would be close to the club. If you can help please contact myself or Paddy at the club. Your help would be much appreciated and assists the ongoing exchanges. TJ Harris has just returned from Otago and we have sent other young players out there.

Thanks Howard

New Years Day post Hogmanay.

Well that is Christmas and Rotherham out of the way. Hope the former went better than the latter. Here's hoping for a great start to 2014!

All members have a chance of an especially good start by winning that Eurostar trip to Paris in spring with hotel accomodation for two nights thanks to our Travel agent of Choice Eagle Eexcutive Travel. We will be drawing/announcing the winner at half-time- it could be you. If it is you will be presented the voucher on the pitch. Listen in.

It is certainly a good start to the New Year for the following who came out of the hat in our London Scottish draw and thereby get a choice of our players to score a try against the Scots.

The winners are as follows

Jon Evans Match who is match ball sponsor and wins a signed ball

Solveigh Heywood  completes a hat trick for the East stand stewards. Mick Meadows, Elaine Rudgard and  Solveigh stand together vetting tickets and all have been successful this year (but not in choosing a scoring player). Can Solveigh do better? Solveigh wins a choice of the prizes available.

Frank McMahon a summer joiner (as was Jon I believe) also gets a choice of the prizes

Geoff Snelson & The Hoods, John and Penny also get a choice and can fight it out for the eight pints in the splendid Cricketers Arms.

So good luck to all and good luck to The Blues.



Post Cymry Llundain (post hangover too)

Well, firstly congratulations to the team, from the FoB's, on a tremendous victory against the Welsh. It was a tumultuous day, both on and off the field, and I thought the crowd were fantastic. It was one to remember and righted several wrongs. John Mitchell said we'd win when he arrived back at GR.

There is no draw this week, as it is a B&I Cup fixture on Saturday. Our next draw will be the New Year's Day match versus London Scottish. On that day we will have a normal draw with five winners, but also a special draw. One member will win a Spring Time Trip to Paris for two persons by Eurostar, including hotel for two nights. So St Pancras, La Gare du Nord & Montmartre beckons for one lucky winner and their partner. The trip will be arranged by the Friends of the Blues, Travel Agent of choice Eagle Executive Travel of 11 Goldington Rd. Terms & Conditions apply- ie., you wont be in The George V, but it will be a good hotel.

The last game against London Welsh saw only Chris Kettler successful in choosing a try scorer. Patrick Tapley obliged (so well he did it twice). So that is three persons into the £1,000 draw at the end of season soiree. Chris also selected a meal at The Asia Lounge. That is twice Chris has chosen that very popular eaterie. Charles Dudeney, who has been a season ticket holder for 60 years won a pre-match lunch in The Marquee, and Geoff Appleton won 8 pints in The Cricketers. Well done to both.

That most generous of sponsors, Mr Gul at The Asia Lounge in the High St, Bedford is now offering a discount of 15% off meals (not drinks) Sunday to Thursdays on production of a season ticket. Tuck in! I'm the sure that the number of times you show him a season ticket will be reflected in the prizes he gives me.

Clearly we have not got any flights from Monarch Airlines this year. Our thanks to them for their help in the past. If you have access to any spectacular prizes (or even less so) please getin contact. As always i need all the help I can get!

So good luck to The Blues this Saturday against Connacht. Let's continue making the same noise as in our last home win.

  Cymry Llundain (Dreaming Spires)

Rawlinson Pryde conducted another early draw this week and those successful are as follows.

 J. (Joe?) Mumford- match ball winner & sponsor

Chris Kettler - choice of the prizes

Charles Dudeney  -choice of the prizes

Geoff Appleton -  8 pints in The Cricketers

Elaine Rudgard- choice of a player only (or Geoff's 8 pints if he doesn't want them!)

 Player choices will be made when the team is picked after this goes to print. We have no contact details for J. Mumford, who was in the old Friends of Bedford Blues, a forerunner to this format. Can any one help? I think it might be former Rams captain (circa) 1978 Joe Mumford who went to live in the west Country. He still pays every month but we only have his bank details. I last met him by total chance whilst on holiday on Penzance Station about 15 yeaars ago.

Once again no one was successful against Moseley, mainly because we didn't score many tries! That just leaves Colin Dainton & David Owen in the £1,000 draw after three home matches. Good Luck everyone. I will be in contact

Finally. One of our most generous sponsors Mr Gul at The Asia Lounge in the High St, Bedford gives us various meals as prizes. Now they have gone a step further. A discount of 15% off meals (not drinks) Sunday to Thursdays on production of a season ticket. Tuck in I say.It is apparently very good. Remember Sunday through to Thursday and you must have a current season ticket ground or stand to produce.

  Moseley draw

Oh dear all round!! None of our members were successful with no one nominating Neville Edwards.  They went for Ollie Dodge, Nick FENTON!!!-Wells, Aaron Morris,Scott-Spurling & Booj.

As I said Mick Meadows is off to the popular Asia Lounge, Jonathon Wilson is going for Nos's Nosh lunch for four and David Murfitt was last seen crying into his eight free pints in The Cricketers. Dont forget The Cricks for all terrestial shown Internationals on tv. I watched the Ireland match in there last Saturday evening & they have the Wales v. Tonga match on next Friday in The Welsh Embassy.

I will have some good news for curry fans later in the week!

Next draw London Welsh.


Moseley on Friday  (not forgetting Vic Lyttle).

Matthew Rawlinson has conducted the draw for Friday and those successful are as follows,

First out was former Olney & Blues flanker Pete Kemble who wins a signed match ball, becomes the match ball sponsor and gets a choice of a player to score him a try. Pete has immediately nominated whoever wears "7" on Friday night. Flankers stick together! Obviously the team has not yet been selected.

Second was Grandstand steward and ex-Blues player Mick Meadows. Mick was a fine full back & an equally good cricketer. However his sporting highpoint was witnessed by myself from about ten feet. On an OBM Easter tour to Devon we played a match in the middle of Dartmoor, in a howling gale that was accompanied by spiteful horizonantally flying hail throughout. It was seemingly impossible to score. Playing down hill with the wind behind us Mick elected to kick a penalty from half way. As he approached the ball, it fell off its mud tee, and sped, end over end downhill. Mick stayed calm, head down and inserted another pace or two, into his run up and struck the moving ball through the uprights. We won 3-0.

Mick has aleady elected to take a meal for two at The Asia Lounge. Popular place!

Third was Jon Wilson who is a summer joiner. He gets a choice of the prizes too. Well done Jon.

Fourth was David & Lorraine Murfitt of Fire Safety Services, one of our major sponsors. David and Lorraine are celebrating Lorraine's birthday this weekend. Happy Birthday Lorraine. David will be in receipt of 8 pints in the Cricketer Arms.

 Fifth was Sue Dimbleby who won a match ball last year. She just gets a choice of player.To score a try Sue.

Once I have the player choices I will update you.

Vic Lyttle the flying Irish pre war, International winger lived a stones throw from Moseley's ground The Reddings. Despite this he travelled to play for Bedford. His bosses at Kodak, were the Blake Brothers who ran Bedford & Kodak for decades. I believe his family still support the junior section of the club each year. Remember Vic.





No Man's land.

Unfortunately with an absence of home league matches my updates have been few and far between. Our last draw was was for the match against Ealing. Of our five drawn winners that day, only the astute David Owen and Colin Dainton were correct with their choice of James Pritchard to score a try, and he obliged with a brace. Therefore they are our first pair through to the £1,000 end of season draw. Well done both.  As they were 2nd & 3rd out of the hat that day, they also had a choice of the prizes I have garnered. David & Helen have chosen Dave Gunner's sirloin of Aberdeen Angus. When I say Sirloin, I mean, SIRLOIN. It is a wonderful prize thank you to Dave & Dovecote Park his firm. Colin Dainton meanwhile has chosen a 3 course meal for two at the popular Asia Lounge, High St. Bedford. He is very happy.

Former skipper of Bedford Tony Marshall, whose father Arthur was president of the RFU & Bedford was first out of the hat. He turned down a signed match ball on account of his 83 years. I think, he thought, it was for playing in the back garden! Anyhow we have given him lunch for two in the Marquee as a special case, and thanks to Phil Novis we have found some old team photos with Tony in them which he was pleased to receive as well as the RFU Presidential portrait of his Dad.

Richard Glasspool needs reminding he has eight pints waiting for him in The Cricketers.

On the prize front I have received a welter of lunches, dinners, and teas for two at the splendid Swan Hotel & Embankment Hotels. Thank you to both these establishments for their support. I now have a lot of meals and I believe I will be able to stage a special meal draw as a bonus to cheer everyone up shortly.

My thanks once more to artist Alasdair Bright who has donated a copy of his Goldington Rd portrait, and it is now hanging in the Scrum Hall. Copies are still available and he will do personalised commisions of whatever you want. They make great Christmas presents and he has commisions on going.

Alasdair did one for Mike Rayer's testimonial dinner. Once again he donated it. It was very good and featured a match scene with MR, MH & PL on the balcony, Skippy converting a penatly with Monty his boxer dog sat beside him whilst Norman careers up and down the field on his mower during the game! Many other player/coaches are identifiable. Talented man Alasdair. Richard Glasspool is now the owner.

Lastly the FoBs and the Followers have jointly funded an amount of framing for the refurbished Scrum Hall walls. It is still a work in progress but I hope you will all agree it looks a lot better. Budge's shirts (some of them!) are now displayed together as a tribute.

Thanks also to Mike "Stumpy" Pile for purchasing the signed Championship XV shirt from the match versus The Maori last year. That is now displayed with a picture of the four Bedford players who featured that day, again in The Scrum Hall. Top man Stumpy.

There you have it. Next draw Moseley at home.



As I was away at the weekend, I had to organise the draw and prizes from a distance- Scotland. So a bit of a delay. I can tell you though that the following choices were made in the try scoring competition.

Tony Marshall - Mark Atkinson
David Owen- James Pritchard
Colin Dainton-  James Pritchard
Dick Glasspool- Brendan Burke
Bex Howe- Mark Atkinson

So Davis and Colin are through to the £1,000 draw at the Players Soiree at the end of the season. Well done. Ten out of 55 chances gone. I will speak to them about the prizes chosen during the week.

Kate Watts has not one, but three tickets as her prize from the Leeds match, and is off to see the Australia Test on Saturday. Have a great day Kate. Remember its not too late to join. Lots of prizes this year and next available.



Rawlinson Pryde have conducted an early draw this week as I'm away for the rest of the week and miss the Ealing game. The winners are as follows.

Tony Marshall. Match ball sponsor and wins a signed match ball. David Owen who gets a choice of a prize. Colin Dainton who is the same Richard Glasspool. Eight pints in The Cricketers. Bex Howe. She gets a choice of a player to score a try as do all the above. Bex is now the most successful in the draws, having come out two weeks running and twice last season. Good Luck to all with the try scoring. No one was successful against Leeds despite us scoring four. £1,000 is awaiting one of the 55 persons drawn this year!"


Welcome to this week's new joiners Alan Brodie and John Whareham, both of whom I have written to thank. Thanks and good luck to both of you.

There is no draw this week as the Llanelli match is B&I Cup game, not Championship. Unfortunately no one was successful in selecting a player who scored against Leeds. That was despite us scoring four tries! It does show how hard it can be. However the following members did bag prizes. Phillip Moore of Henlow, and Action Sales & Customer Service received a signed match ball. Bex Howe chose 2 tickets for England v Wales. Kate Watts chose two for England v Australia & Ann Beal will be having eight pints in The Cricketers! Next draw is versus Ealing. It could be you, or Alan or John.

Here is a quick update for members on our available prizes and our prize donors. Restaurants and pubs named are normally donating meals for two.

International tickets
A trip with the followers including lunch allowance
Return rail fare to, and lunch with myself in The Sun at Richmond, prior to the London Scottish fixture
Nigel & Elaine Rudgard frontrow.photium are donating two framed A3 pictures of your chosen player
A sirloin of Aberdeeen Angus Beef courtesy of Dave Gunner. Lunch in The Marquee pre match

Special draws
Two trips for two, for two nights at an away fixture
Monarch Flights to anywhere in Europe. We are hoping for two lots of two.

Prize Donors

Swan Hotel
The Asia Lounge
The Embankment Hotel
Alamin Tandoori Restaurant
Santaniello's Pizzeria
The Gordon Arms
The Cricketers Arms (8pints per match)
Eagle Executive Travel
Wallace Brown Sudio
Dovecote Park
Nigel & Elaine Rudgard frontrow.photium
Bedford Rugby Followers Association
The Silver Tennis Collection              
Simon Jones Physix Sports
JDR Sports
Wells & Youngs
Nos's Nosh
Monarch Airlines


This week I have been busy with Phil Novis of the Followers replacing the memorabilia in the Scrum Hall. It has taken a long time!

We have to get it all done by the Ealing match, as Sky will be filming in there. They are actually going to film in the corner where you will now find the signed Championship XV shirt that was bought at auction last Friday at Mike's dinner by FoB Mike "Stumpy" Pile. He immediately donated it to the club.

The FoB's and Followers have helped with this project. A quick plug for Cambridge University. They had a very competitive game last Monday against N'pton and next up is Saracens next Monday. Chairman, and ex-Bedford player Nick Bennett has managed to improve attendances by some innovative means. Andy Key is clearly having an effect on performance and leading the way are captain Will Briggs, scrum half Harry Peck (son of) and back-rower Sam Farmer. All are Bedford School boys and the latter two ex N'pton academy. Give it a try. I will be making the draw for Ealing very early, as I will be away in Scotland next week and wish to notify winners asap. I'll update this site as soon as Rawlinson Pryde have done the draw. Regards Howard


The nominations for this week's prize winners are decided.   Phillip Moore of Henlow and Action Consulting, Sales & Customers Service is the match ball sponsor and receives a signed match ball. He has chosen Don Barrell.   Bex Howe has chosen 2 tickets for England v Wales and Mark Atkinson.   Kate Watts has yet to choose her prize but nominates Ollie Dodge   Gordon Mitchell has his money on Neville Edward   Ann Beal is with Mark Atkinson too, and will be the wrong side of eight pints in The Cricketers.

Well done and good luck to all. Those choices could lead to a £1,000 prize at the end of the season draw if your player score   Don't forget its not too late to join- get your form from the front page of the website   COYB


Thank you first, to all of you who have joined the fund over the summer period. I hope you thoroughly enjoy your membership and take great pride in the extra contribution you are making to the club’s progress. Invitations to join are going out with the season tickets this week and I am hoping many more will join us.

So what have we got planned for this year.

Hopefully you will now have returned your estimate of the home league gate (not including play- offs). Last year’s winner, Alan Chambers, was within a spit of 2750, which was the final average, and took home £275 from the FoB player’s soiree.

Our bread and butter draws, will again take place at each home league game. Prior to match day we will draw five winners. So 55 a season.  All of those drawn will get a choice from the chosen team of a player most likely, in their view, to score a try. If that player then scores they will go into the draw at the FoB soiree to win £1,000. Last year there 23 were in the hat. A 1/23 chance, and the happy winner was Nigel Bennett. So when he chose Ben Ransom to score against Scottish it was a good day’s work!

Two of the five drawn will also get a choice of the prizes I have garnered. They are mainly restaurant meals for two at some of Bedford’s best eateries but some other good prizes too. One further member will be awarded eight free pints at the Cricketers Arms. I will post a full list soon.

At Christmas, and at the soiree, I am hopeful we might have more Monarch flights to anywhere in Europe to be won! Jim Oliver and Eric Walke (and spouses) were the beneficiaries last year.

The first major draw of the season was to have been about now. The prize was two nights, including flights, for two for the Jersey trip, as won last year by Ann Beal. However the early season placement of the fixture precluded that, as it was so close to the draw date. We therefore decided upon the same trip to Galway for the Connacht match. However, as the prize was to travel with the team, that fell through too, when it was realised it was necessary for the team to fly in, and out, the same day for the game. We are, therefore, now considering the next option. There will be a similar prize on offer though.

Last year we also offered a weekend in a Newcastle hotel and will do something along those lines again this. We were also very fortunate to have several FoBs donate prizes. One was three night break at a Scottish Hotel. Anything you can offer will be gratefully received again this year, from a shopping voucher to a holiday. Thank you again to all who helped, you are very generous.

So with the prize list yet to be finalised, I can tell you that the season will end, once more, with the FoB soiree with the players. This is a thank you, to you all, for your support. It is free and exclusive to members and offers lots of fun, draws and unique access to the players for a whole evening.

Each year all the funds raised go the club. Half of the money is put at the disposal of the players to choose capital projects that will assist them professionally. Last year you helped double the size of the gym and pay for its refurbishment.

This year we will be paying for a Compry Cool. “Player fit”, Cryotherapy system. It can dispense intermittent or constant compression. Intermittent reduces swelling and constant stops it. It can treat two players at once and can be used on a coach returning from a match. The second item is a Watt bike, a state of the art gym cycle that can be used as part of a fitness programme, for measurement, and again for rehabilitation.

There will be funds for other projects too.

So to sum up.

If you are a member-Thank you and enjoy. If you aren’t, we’d love to have you on board. Please join us, you will, I’m sure take great pride in being an FoB. If you can, please find other members, and if you can source a prize please let me know. Regards Howard


Well, what a season that was! Well done to Mike Rayer, his coaching staff and players for giving us such fantastic rugby and so much pride in our club.   At the end of the first full year of the Fund in its present form, we can look back at lots of fun, through our draws and their prizes; and a projected income of around £25,000 pa going forward.

The main project nominated by James Pritchard last season was a gym extension. Half of the money raised went to fund that work and it is complete. You’ll agree, it was reflected in the team’s fitness last term!

I was very pleased to see so many members at the soiree with the players in May. Many commented on what a good night it was and on how much they like the format now, with the fun involved in the competitions.   That night we raised £1,000 in the raffle. That more than covered costs. Nigel Bennett won £1,000 the season long try competition, Alan Chambers £270 for the average crowd competition and Jim Oliver won the Monarch flights. Phil Boulton won the Try of the season.

They join thirty or forty more of you who won prizes last season. Two nights in Jersey, a holiday in Scotland, more flights with Monarch, a weekend in Newcastle, and loads of restaurant meals. Next year you are in the hat for more of the same.

If you  haven’t joined so far –please give it some thought and help Bedford Blues to  continue to flourish.   If you  wish to join us and take part please fill in the standing order form.  Membership starts at £7 but you can donate as much as you like. The more you  give the greater the chance you have in our prize draws


Dear Supporter,   By joining this scheme you will be known in future, as a “Friend of the Blues”. You will donate to a fund that helps your Rugby Club. We give because we want the club to benefit, but we could all do with a bit more fun and that is what I have tried to create. I want the members to get far more enjoyment out of their donations, with little spent on running costs and the chance to get a bit more back with quite a few quality sponsored prizes.

Prior to each home league match I will draw the names of five members of the fund and I hope you will be one. I will then contact the winners. Two will win a prize, from the selection available in the prize pool at that time. (An example list is attached).   All five will also be able to choose a player for the match who you think is likely to score a try. Probably not a prop! If your player scores, you will be entered into the draw for £1,000 at the end of the season.   One person will also become the match ball sponsor. Announced by Sam at kick-off. There is no cost to the winner, and he or she will also receive a ball signed by the team.

It has been decided that 50% of the funds will go to a project of the Captain & Players choosing. This year we will be paying for a Compry Cool. “Player fit”, Cryotherapy system. It can dispense intermittent or constant compression. Intermittent reduces swelling and constant stops it. It can treat two players at once and can be used on a coach returning from a match. The second item is a Watt bike, a state of the art gym cycle that can be used as part of a fitness programme, for measurement, and again for rehabilitation.

How much is it going to cost? Well first of all to save money and administration costs we’d like every member to pay monthly by standing order.   To be open to as many people as possible there will be a minimum entry level of £7 a month. However we would very much appreciate higher donations per month if you feel that you can do this. For the minimum you will get an entry to all draws. We will give greater entries, pro rata, for figures above the minimum.

For members of Friends of the Blues there will be an end of season soiree, where you’ll meet and socialise with all the players. Various players and coaches will speak and the major £1,000 draw will take place. We also have plans for more entertainment on that night so watch this space!   That night we will also announce the winner of “the guess the average attendance at GR for league matches”. You will be asked to enter your educated guess before the season starts. There will be a cash prize for that and other prizes to be won on the night.

Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road