As well as a new look squad for the 2016/17 Championship season, Bedford Blues have also welcomed two new members to the Board of Directors.
James Stonor and Leigh Mansell have both accepted invitations from Chairman Geoff Irvine to become Directors of the club with immediate effect.
Leigh is a name very familiar to all at Goldington Road having been involved with the club from boy to man. Having originally joined the Junior Blues, Leigh went on to play for the Colts before making his First XV debut against Old Paulines on Boxing Day 1989. The prop continued to play for the Blues until 2003 when he decided to focus his time on Grafton Motorcycles, where he is Managing Director.
Mr Mansell has remained heavily involved with the Blues where he became an active member of the Former Players Association before being named as Chairman in 2010.
Speaking about his appointment, Mr Mansell said: “I’m delighted to have been invited to take up a position on the Bedford Blues Board. The Blues has been a huge part of my life from a very young age and I’m really excited about having the opportunity to put something back into the club.
“We had a great campaign last season and I think that everyone is excited about what the future holds. There’s an exciting group of players coming together and I’m sure that Mike and all the coaches will be raring to go when the new season kicks off.”
James Stonor grew up in Bedford and attended Bedford Modern School before going on to run a nationwide civil engineering firm as well as having several other business interests. The 39-year-old has been a big supporter of Bedford Blues in recent years and is excited to take up a directorial position at the club.
Mr Stonor said: “I’m a Bedford boy, I grew up here, went to school here and run my business from Bedfordshire. I’ve also been a long-time admirer of the club and all of the hard work that goes into making it such a huge success.
“Bedford Blues is a true gem in the town’s crown and I’m looking forward to being able to offer my ideas and building on my experience to help maintain and improve the club for its supporters and for the town.”
Blues Chairman Geoff Irvine added: “These are really exciting appointments for the club and it is a pleasure to be able to welcome Leigh and James to the Board of Directors. Both Leigh and James have long-standing associations with the club and town, I am confident that they will bring plenty of fresh ideas to the table as we head into the new season.
“Two years ago, I said that I would be stepping back from the club and seeking a succession plan. While this hasn’t happened quite yet, there has been progress and with Leigh and James being appointed as Directors, I believe that we have established a strong board which is essential for the safety of the club going forwards.”

Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road