Denis Ormesher
Academy Director


Denis was born in Liverpool and educated at St. Edward’s College and Sheffield University. He played for Sheffield University and Liverpool.

Denis, who started coaching in the Junior Blues, was Academy Manager for 8 years, before leaving the Blues to become Director of Rugby at Luton in 2008. Denis returned to the Blues in 2010 as Academy Director. He has worked with the East Midlands Under 18 squads and coached the East Midlands Under 20s. Denis is a RFU Level 4 Coach and RFU Coach Educator/Tutor.

Denis retired recently from a Global Business Development and Operations role for a Pharmaceutical Contract Organisation. He is married with a daughter and two sons.

Date Joined Bedford:    2000
Sporting Hero:               Muhammed Ali, Steve Redgrave
3 Dinner Companions:  Antonio Carlucci, Stephen Fry, Paul Merton

David Wheatley
Team Manager

David was born in Cumbria and educated at St Joseph's School and then went on to study at Workington College/Lakes College.  He starts a BA (Hons) course in Youth Work at the Open University this year.

David has been involved with Saracens since 2008 and is currently part of their successful Community Department.  David was also part of the Saracens/Active Luton, Field of Dreams/Youth At Risk Project in which he was a mentor and rugby coach.

His rugby background includes Rugby League, with Workington Town Academy and Scotland, and Rugby Union with Workington, Newcastle Falcons Development, Cumbria (from U16s to U21s) and England U18 Schools XV.

David lives in Luton with his partner and their two children.

Date Joined Bedford:   2014
Sporting Heroes           Steven Gerrard, Joe Calzaghe, Jamie Peacock.
3 Dinner Companions  Jamie Oliver, Keith Lemon, Ellie Goulding

Alan Brown
Joint Head Coach

Alan was born in 1977 and educated at Bedford Modern School and De Montfort University, Bedford.

Alan, who joined the Blues in 1994, played for the Blues Colts, Development XV (Under 23) and 2nd XV.  He coached the Blues U19s during an injury lay off in 1997-98 while still at University, before moving to London to work for the RFU and became player/coach at Richmond. He moved back to Bedford and played for Kettering before injury ended his playing days.

He re-joined the Blues, coaching the Academy in 2004/05, before leaving the Blues in 2007 to take up the post of Head Coach at Ampthill, where he won two league titles and the East Midlands Cup.

Alan is an RFU Level 3 coach. He is a coach educator and assessor for the RFU and has worked as a Rugby Development Officer for the RFU. He is married, with a young daughter, and teaches PE at Biddenham School.
Date Joined Bedford:     1994
Sporting Hero:                Ian Botham
3 Dinner Companions:   Stephen Fry,  Morgan Freeman, James Corden

Rich Candlin
Joint Head Coach

Rich was born in Birmingham and educated at Great Barr School, Birmingham.  He studied Sport and Environmental studies at De Montfort University, Bedford, and completed his Teacher Training at Hertfordshire University.  He played 2nd row for Coventry before joining Bedford Blues in 1997.  He played for the Blues U21 XV and Development XV making his Blues 1st XV debut in 1999.  Rich spent a year playing in Ireland for De La Salle Palmerston in Dublin, before joining Cambridge in 2002.  He retired from playing in 2008.

Rich is an RFU Level 3 coach who has coached the Hertfordshire U15 squad and was Director of Coaching at Letchworth until 2011.

Rich is married with two young sons and is a PE teacher and Associate Principal at Samuel Whitbread Community College in Shefford.

Date Joined Bedford:   1997
Sporting Hero:              Michael Jordan
3 Dinner Companions: Jenifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Hugh Lawrie

Steve Guest


Steve was born in Derby and was educated at John Port School, Derby, and De Montfort University. He played for Worcester, De Montfort University, Kempston, Bedford Queens and Bedford Athletic.

He has coached at Bedford Athletic, Bedfordshire County Juniors, and presently helps out with the Junior Blues Under 7s as well as being the Under 19 Colts backs coach.  Steve is an RFU Level 3 Coach.

Steve is married, with two young sons, and teaches Physical Education at Bedford School.

Date Joined Bedford:   2000
Sporting Hero:              Gary Mabutt, Steve Redgrave
3 Dinner Companions:  Brian Clough, Christopher Guest, Mohammed Ali

Grant Hathaway

Grant was born in Hertfordshire and was educated at the Cavendish School, West Herts College and Bucks University where he gained a Foundation Degree in Applied Coaching Science.

Grant played rugby union for Hemel Hempstead, London Welsh, Luton,Tring and Drummoyne (Sydney) and represented Herts and, at youth level, London & SE. He played rugby league for Hemel Stags, London & SE and was selected for Junior Great Britain.

Grant is an RFU Level 2 Coach, who has coached Hemel Hempstead, Herts, London & SE Girls, St. George's School, and South of England U16 Rugby League.  He starts the RFU Level 3 course in July 2014.

Grant works for Saracens running their HITZ programme (Premiership Rugby's award winning social inclusion programme). 

He lives in St. Albans with his partner and their daughter.
Date Joined Bedford:    2014
Sporting Hero:               Jonny Wilkinson
3 Dinner Companions:  Bill Walsh, Neil Harris, Margot Robbie

Neil Harris

Neil was born in Norwich and educated at Wymondham High School and De Montfort University, Bedford.  He joined the Blues Academy in 2000, when he came to University in Bedford, and played at prop for the Blues U19s, U21s, 2nd XV and 1st XV.  Since then he has played for Wymondham, Norwich and Luton.
Neil is an RFU Level 2 coach, and a SAQ instructor, who has coached the Hertfordshire U14, and U15 squads and was Head Coach at Luton before before joining the Blues coaching team in 2012.  He starts the RFU Level 3 course in mid-2014.

Neil is a teacher, and is Head of Rugby and Head of Boys Games at St George's School, Harpenden.

Date joined Bedford:   2000
Sporting Hero:             Steven Redgrave
3 dinner companions: Jessica Ennis, Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington

James HInkins

James was born in 1977 and was educated at Dover Grammar School for Boys and De Montfort University, Bedford.

James, who joined the Blues in 1995, played for the Blues Development XV (Under 23) and 2nd XV before making his Blues 1st XV debut in the 1997/98 season.  James had a short spell at Moseley in the 2002/03 season before rejoining the Blues and going on to play more than 130 games at wing and full back for the Blues 1st XV.  James left the Blues in 2008 and spent two years playing for Cambridge before retiring from playing early in 2010

James, who is one of only four players who have been granted testimonial games by the Blues, is an RFU Level 3 Coach.  He is married with two young children.  He will be Director of Rugby at Bedford School from September 2014.  James was Head Coach at the Blues Academy for two seasons, stepping down in May 2014 due to work commitments.  He will continue to coach occasional sessions at the Blues as work commitments allow.  

Date Joined Bedford:   1995
Sporting Hero:              Daley Thompson and Liam Roberts
3 Dinner Companions: Daley Thompson, Dick Van Dyke, Patrick Swayze

Matt Williams
Strength & Conditioning Coach

Matt was born in Wellingborough and educated at Weavers School before graduating with an Honours degree in Applied Sports Science from the University of Bedfordshire in 2008.  He completed his Post Graduate Certificate of Education in 2011 and has recently completed an MSc in Sports Performance.
Matt began as a swimmer at County level, competing in various National competitions, and played football as a centre back.  He played rugby at Wellingborough RFC from Under 14 - Under 19 as a centre and second row; for the East Midlands Under 16 and Under 17s squads, and for the University of Bedfordshire.

Matt lectures in Physiology, Biomechanics and Research Methods, at Barnfield College (in association with the University of Bedfordshire) and has also worked as a personal trainer.

Matt works as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Under-19 squad working on their physical development and testing of fitness.

Date joined Bedford:     2012
Sporting hero:               Mark Foster, Jonah Lomu
3 Dinner Companions:  Jonah Lomu, Albert Einstein, Scarlett Johansson

Alex Daalhuizen
Sport and Exercise Rehabilitator

Alex was born in Surrey and moved to Bedford at the age of 10. He was educated at Sharnbrook School before graduating with an honours degree in Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation in 2014 from Middlesex University.  He starts an M.Sc. in Strength and Conditioning in September 2014.

Alex is a keen surfer, he swam at County level and played hockey at University.

Alex has worked as a Strength & Conditioning Coach in tennis and swimming and is currently working in Sport Rehabilitation at Queens Park Rangers Football Club.

Alex worked with the Blues 1st XV squad in 2013 on a work experience placement and this season will support the Blues Academy squad.

Date Joined Bedford:   2014
Sporting Hero:              Kelly Slater
3 Dinner Companions: Dave Grohl, Ian Thorpe, Muhammad Ali

Jo Livesey
Sport and Exercise Rehabilitator

Jo was born in Olney and educated at Ousedale School, Olney, and Moulton College, Northampton, where she obtained a Sports Fitness Coaching and Development Diploma, before graduating with an honours degree in Sports Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention in 2014 from St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Jo is a keen runner and gym user.

Jo has worked as a Strength & Conditioning Coach in gyms, and with Northampton Demons Rugby League club, and is currently Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Sports Rehabilitator, for Olney Ladies Rugby.  She works as a Respiratory Rehabilitation Technician at Bedford Hospital, where she treats patients with chronic respiratory problems.

Jo worked with the Blues 1st XV squad, the London Welsh squad, and the Tongan Rugby League team during the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, as part her University work experience placements.

Date Joined Bedford:      2015
Sporting Hero:                Jessica Ennis
3 Dinner Companions:    Lord Alan Sugar, Rebel Wilson, Channing Tatum

Jack Hunt

Jack was born in Northampton and educated at Unity College, and Moulton College, Northampton, where he obtained VTCT Diplomas in the Prevention and Management of Sports Injuries, and Sports Massage and a Diploma in Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness.

Jack is a keen surfer, usually in N.Cornwall, and loves National Hunt horse racing. 

Jack is an RFU Level 1 Coach and coaches the U14 squad at Northampton Old Scouts.  He plays for Northampton Old Scouts and played for the England Deaf Rugby XV in 2014.  Jack worked as a masseuse with the Blues 1st XV in 2013/14 and this season will support the Blues Academy squad.

Date Joined Bedford:     2013
Sporting Hero:                Don White
3 Dinner Companions:   Sir Alex Ferguson, Tom Cruise, Eric Cantona