Bedford Blues are delighted to announce that after ten years of loyal service as a player and Director of Rugby, the 2013/14 Greene King IPA Championship will be a Testimonial Season for Mike Rayer.

Speaking on behalf of the Club, Bedford Blues Chairman Geoff Irvine said: “Few will deny that this a terrific achievement in the professional era and if anyone deserves a testimonial for all of their hard work and dedication then it is Mike Rayer.  Ever since he walked through the gates, firstly as a player and then as Director of Rugby, the fans have taken him to their hearts and I’m sure that everyone will come together to celebrate Mike’s fantastic 40 years in the sport."

"Mike’s efforts aren’t just confined to on the pitch though. He is an integral cog in this club and it is through his sheer dedication that so much happens off the field. I think we all remember the huge effort that went into clearing snow off the pitch a few years ago so a Boxing Day match against Bristol could go ahead – Mike put out the call and was one of the first on the field with a shovel in his hand."

“He is a tremendous Director of Rugby and the true definition of a club stalwart.”      

With Wales and Lions legend Phil Bennett lined up to speak at the opening dinner in the Blues Marquee on Friday 11th October, it’s sure to be a memorable and entertaining year with many other events in the pipeline to help celebrate Mike’s 40 years in the game.

David Owen part of Mike’s organising Committee said: “This is a great opportunity to celebrate with Mike an outstanding career in rugby.  We are fortunate here at the Blues that he has shown such loyalty and dedication.  After spending two outstanding seasons as a player here in the late 90s we were all delighted to welcome him and his family back to the town.  We’ve all seen some incredible rugby played over the last eight years of his tenure and long may that continue.”    

Cardiff born and bred, Mike’s career started at the age of nine in his home village club Llandaff North. At 18 he then joined Cardiff RFC and went on to play 367 times for the Blue & Blacks, placing him fourth in the all-time list of appearances.  During his time at the Arms Park he also went on to gain 21 caps for Wales, most memorably coming on as a replacement and scoring two tries against Scotland in 1994.

Mike said: “I feel incredibly honoured and humbled by this offer of a testimonial season. 40 years have flown by and I’m still in the game! I’m looking forward to sharing some fond memories with family and friends over the next few months and I’m hoping to hold a couple of events back in Wales where it all started for me.  “To have Phil Bennett come and speak in the opening dinner is just fantastic.  Phil was my boyhood hero and I’m honoured he has agreed to come and kick start the whole thing off.”

All forthcoming events to celebrate Mike’s illustrious rugby career will appear on the Blues website www.bedfordrugby.co.uk

Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road