For inquiries regarding The Bedford Blues Former Players Association please contact John Cooley on 01234 823532 or email him at  cools@btinternet.com

Spring Luncheon

The Spring Luncheon will take place on Saturday, 29th March before the Blues v Rotherham game. As this game will be filmed on Sky the kick-off will be at 5p.m. Gates open at 1p.m. with lunch at 2p.m. Please book tables or individual places with Sophie@BedfordRugby.co.uk


This was the 10th meeting between the former players of Bedford Blues and Northampton Saints. Bedford took the match 4 games to 2 at Overstone Park GC near Northampton.The teams now stand at 7 wins for the Blues and 3 for the Saints. Next year's match will be at Bedford.

The game was followed by a 4 course meal at the Crooked Hooker at Franklin's Gardens where John Cooley thanked the Saints for their hospitality and well organised golf challenge. John Shurvington replied on behalf of the Saints and emphasized the need for this great fixture to be retained, as it is enjoyed by all and great friendships established.

Bob Taylor, former Saints back row, British Lion and former President of the RFU arranged seats in the stand for the Mobbs game between Northampton and the Army.

Individual scores

Robbie George/Jan Maciejewski v Gerald Bygraves/Tod Slaughter   Bedford win 0-1

Trevor Wintle/John Surguy v Bob Wilkinson /Keith Lilley                 Northampton win 2-0

Bob Leslie/Steve Wilcock v Richard Chadwick/Grahame Brown      Bedford win 2-3

IanMoffatt/Roger Arneil v Brian Page/Andy Moffatt                        Northampton win 5-4

Bill Comer/Gary Fitzhugh v Budge Rogers/Alan Buchanan            Bedford win 1-2

Oscar Gammans/Fred Matthews v John Cooley/Phil Day             Bedford win 6-7


Mike's Testimonial Golf Day

Several former and current players took part in Mike's Testimonial Golf Day at The Bedfordshire Golf Club on Sunday, the 9th March.  30 teams enjoyed a great day's golf in glorious sunshine.

Credit must go to Geraint Dixon and his team for the precision of the detailed and fantastic organisation.

English and Welsh golfers enjoyed an excellent meal before watching the 6 Nations Match between England and Wales.

FPA chairman Leigh Mansell insisted on sharing this photo with you!



The FPA is currently updating the contact details of former players. Please forward your email address to committee member Cameron Glanvill at cameron@pemburyfencing.co.uk Thank you.



Friday, 7th February at the House of Lords.

The London Lunch this year was hosted by former player, Lord Framlingham (Mike Lord). 83 members from all over the U.K. and further ( Roger Tushingham flew in from Arizona) enjoyed an excellent lunch at the House of Lords.  Many thanks to Lord Framlingham for arranging the superb venue and to the FPA committee and former players who worked hard to make the day such a success.


There is a Greek proverb which states “Those having torches will pass them on to others.”  For many years and for many reasons I failed to fulfil my promise of returning to Goldington Road.  It wasn’t that I agreed with the adage of never return to old haunts rather a lack of will-power and determination.

For the last two years I have rectified this yearning desire and accepted the hospitality of the Bedford Blues Former Players Association.  Not only has the welcome been generous by all concerned but particularly so with some of the characters who tolerated my inadequacies on the pitch.  The hugs from Gareth Davies and Bernard Henry were particularly pleasant as I had never been able to get within five yards of them previously as they side-stepped their way past me and left me floundering.

To chat with “Tod” Slaughter was delightful particularly as his vocabulary is less limited than when he delivered his pre-match briefings.  My mum respected his heroics on the pitch as much as I did!  To reminisce; to enjoy outstanding food and watch a game from the comfort of the grandstand makes for a memorable day out.  You can invite five guests to join you too which provides an opportunity to exaggerate and delve into a bit of fantasy.  As I whispered to my wife on our first visit “I scored a try in that corner and kicked the conversion.”  I hope no one else was listening.

Do take advantage of this offer to sponsor a game it is terrific value for money and you won’t receive a better meal anywhere in town.

Mike Nurton.



The Former Players' Autumn Lunch took place before the 1st home game of the season v Leeds. Chairman, Leigh Mansell welcomed the Association's guests Clive Leek, President of the East Midlands and his wife,  David Powell, acting President of Northampton Saints, Followers' committee members Jackie Markham and Pete Kimber and the Leeds committee which included Sir Ian McGeechan and his wife. Thanks to Dave Gunner, Mike Lilley, Roger Slaughter and the Club who donated raffle prizes.




Club President Gareth Davies started the proceedings by awarding, on behalf of the club, a posthumous honorary life membership to Blues legend, Mark Howe. Later in the evening an inscribed plaque was presented to Don Gillett, in memory of Harry Stillman. It will mark the Announcer's Seat in the main stand.

Simon Jones, the club's former Head Physio, was presented with a framed signed club shirt by Mike Rayer in appreciation of his long and dedicated service. Finally, Ben Gulliver received the Players' Player of the Year Trophy from last year's winner Chris Locke together with a watch which was donated and presented by Bernard Henry. This year's entertainment was provided by a comedian.

The FPA would like to thank members who donated raffle prizes and Simon Jones who gave a flag signed by the 2012 Ryder Cup teams, which was auctioned. Director of Rugby Mike Rayer thanked players, staff and supporters for their contribution to a very successful season.

The whole evening was, as usual, presented impeccably by Sam Roberts and the excellent meal was provided by Paul Mead.



The annual golf match between the FPA and the Blues took place at The Bedford GC on Wed 4th Sept in glorious sunshine.

Brendan Burke, the Blues captain, had kindly organized three prizes for longest drive and nearest the pin. He also provided drinks after the match which was even more appreciated.


The FPA won the event 4 matches to 2 with the following FPA winning pairs.

1. Andy Moffat & Richard Chadwick
2. Tod Slaughter & Richard Butt
3. Gareth Davies & John Cooley
4. Phil Evans & Gerald Bygraves

Longest drive Winners

1. Phil Day
2. Michael Le Bourgeois (our new recruit from Jersey)
3. Andy Moffatt

Nearest the pin winners

1. Brendan Burke (Twice)
2. Phil Evans

Brendan had the honour of presenting the cup to John Cooley who was very pleased with the team performance and thanked Leigh Mansell (Chairman FPA), Gareth Davies (President) and Mike Rayer (Director of Rugby) for giving their valuable time in participating in the event.



Congratulations to James and Clare Hinkins on the birth of their son, a brother for Florence.

Congratulations to Oliver Slack and Delphine on their recent wedding.

Congratulations to Marco Cecere and Dominique on their marriage.

Congratulations to Mark Harris and his wife Jesson the birth of their son, Cruz.

Congratulations to Rob Subbiani and Monika on the birth of their daughter Mia Eva, a sister for Ollie.










Next Home Match

Saturday 26th April
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road