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.
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
......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.
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.
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 there....so 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.
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, Richard 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.
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, Richard 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, Richard 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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- firstname.lastname@example.org.It'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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
Steve Wilby- another new joiner this year, who quite appropriately wins eight pints in The Gordon Arms
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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. http://cobobayhotel.com/. 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? pic.twitter.com/yXkOfCDtzS
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 www.markstrust.org/bedfordrugby. 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.
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. cobobayhotel.com.
"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.
This weeks winners in the FoB match day draw are
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
EALING FOLLOW UP
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.
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
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.
The Asia Lounge
The Embankment Hotel
Alamin Tandoori Restaurant
The Gordon Arms
The Cricketers Arms (8pints per match)
Eagle Executive Travel
Wallace Brown Sudio
Nigel & Elaine Rudgard frontrow.photium
Bedford Rugby Followers Association
The Silver Tennis Collection
Simon Jones Physix Sports
Wells & Youngs
SCRUM HALL MEMORABILIA
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
A NEW SEASON BECKONS!
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
LAST SEASON SUMMARY
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.