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History

Club

A History of Bedford Blues

From its formation in 1886 through to the present day, Bedford Rugby Club has always retained its place as a focal point of the town and that of a traditional family club.

The Beginning

Founded in 1886 following the merger of Bedford Rovers (1876) and Bedford Swifts (1882). The first match was played on 9th October 1886 against Olney at Goldington Road and won by Bedford 10-3

The Invincibles (1893-1894)

Played 29. Won 27, drawn 1 lost 1 including wins against Stade Francais 22-0 and Barbarians 7-3.

Bedford v New Zealand

15th November 1905 at Goldinton Road. Won by the All Blacks 41-0 with a record attendance of 6,000.

R.C.(Dick) Stafford

Educated at Bedford Modern School (1900-1910). Made his Bedford debut 20th March 1909 (Captain 1911-12). 4 England caps 1912. Died of spinal cancer 1st December 1912, aged 19.

The Lions of Bedford

Gerry (Beef) Dancer (South Africa 1938 - 3 tests)

Derek Prior (Budge) Rogers (South Africa 1962 – 2 tests)

W.C.C. (Billy) Steele (South Africa 1974 – 2 tests)

 D.P. Rogers OBE

Educated at Bedford School (1950/58) he made his debut for Bedford on 26th December 1956 against Old Paulines. 485 appearances for Bedford and 34 for England.

The Pennant Flies High

1974/75 – RFU Club Competition Winners.

2004/05 – Powergen Challenge Shield Winners. 

2005/06 – Powergen National Trophy Runners-up. 

1998/99 – Runners-up Courage League 2 (promoted)

1994/95 – Courage League 3 (Champions - promoted)

1997/98 – Allied Dunbar Premiership 2 (Champions – promoted)

International Board

41 players whilst contracted to Bedford have won full international caps. 

England (27), Scotland (3), Wales (1), Ireland (2), Samoa (1), Tonga (2), Canada (2), Italy (2), USA (1).

Three  have captained  England, David Perry (1965), Budge Rogers (1966) and John Orwin (1989).

83 further internationals have made one or more appearances for Bedford.

Leading Appearances for Bedford

D.P. Rogers 485 (1956/76)
M.A. Howe 478 (1976/96)
R. Eidforth 374 (1924/49)
F.N. Barker 347 (1966/77)
J. Smith 343 (1953/66)
St L.H. Webb 336 (1952/65)
R.J. Slaughter 334 (1960/78)
B.E. Mcarthy 330 (1952/65)
A.J. Finnie 322 (1982/96)

by Phil Beard  Hon. Keeper of the Records


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    Believed to be the first Bedford team combining the Rovers and the Swifts

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    ‘Beef’ Dancer on the rampage with the Lions in South Africa

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    The stand was opened in 1933

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    1975 - Budge Rogers with the ‘cup’

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    Andy Finnie scored more points for the club than anyone else in 125 years

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    Celebrations at Twickenham in 2005

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    James Pritchard, captain of the Blues in 2010-11, with Gregor Gillanders in support, left, and Darryl Veenendaal, right. Pritchard became the first Bedford player to score 400 points in a season