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

The London Lunch  which took place on Friday, 6th February on HMS Belfast was a great success with nearly 60 former players attending.




Dates for the diary

Wednesday, 1st April  Mobbs Memorial Match at Goldington Road.
Saturday, 11th April  Former Players' Spring Lunch and 1975 Canada Tour Reunion, followed by Bedford Blues v Moseley.
Saturday, 30th May  1975 Cup Winners' Reunion in the House of Commons.
15th May  End of Season Club Dinner and 2005 Powergen Shield Winners' Reunion.


Boxing Day v Bristol

Former player Mouritz Botha presented one of his England International shirts to Club President, Gareth Davies at half time. Mouritz was a great Goldington Road favourite and we all wish him good luck as he leaves for South Africa to play for the Sharks.


The final golf day of 2014 took place at Bedfordshire G.C. Stagsden on Friday, 17th October.


1st - Gerald Bygraves

Runner-up - Richard Chadwick

Nearest the pin - John Cooley

Longest drive - Richard Chadwick

Below:  Gerald Bygraves receives his winner's prize.

Autumn Lunch

About 200 were present in the marquee for the Former Players' Autumn Lunch. Director of Rugby, Mike Rayer was presented with a club cap by the FPA for his 10 years' service as both player and coach. A warm welcome was extended to the club's oldest former player 97 year old R.A.B. 'Ron' Rogers. Ron took part in the Normandy D-Day landings in 1944 and it was wonderful to see him enjoying the rugby camaraderie in the marquee.It was good to see a large party from the Bedford and County GC joining us in the marquee and we are grateful for their raffle prize donation. Many thanks to all those who donated raffle prizes and to everyone who supported the function.

Golf Day

Abbotsley G.C. Thursday, 10th July.  The golfers enjoyed a fine and warm day's golf.
1st Phil Evans
Runner-up Dave Kendall
Nearest the pin Phil Evans

IAN VASS      Former player Ian joins the Blues' coaching staff as defence coach for the 2014-15 season.

BRENDAN BURKE   Brendan joins Ampthill RUFC as player-coach. Good luck from the FPA!

CLUB DINNER  2nd May 2014

The Club Dinner was held on Friday 2nd May in the marquee. Guest speaker was former British Lion and Welsh International scrum half Robert Jones.Presentations were made to the following:-

Players' Player of the Year  Joe Vandermolen

Andy Finnie, previous record points holder for the club, presented an inscribed silver salver to James Pritchard in recognition of his fantastic achievement on becoming the new record holder with currently a total of 2715 points.

The Club Chairman presented inscribed club jerseys to Sacha Harding(200 games) and Brendan Burke(180 games) in recognition of their great service to the Blues.

Thanks go to Ian Bullerwell and Mike Rayer for organising the evening, to Dave Gunner, Leigh Mansell and Ian Bullerwell for donating the raffle prizes, to Sam Roberts for as usual, impeccably presenting the evening and to Paul Mead the caterer.

Former players win 5-2

Former players' winners

Budge Rogers and Gareth Davies

Richard Chadwick and Mike Cook

Steve Wells and Richard Butt

Andy Moffatt and Cameron Glanvill

Gerald Bygraves and Dave Jancey

Players' winners

Joe Vandermolen and Gregor Gillanders

Don Barrell and 'Ryan'.

Nearest the pin winners  Richard Chadwick, Gregor Gillanders and Brendan Burke

Longest drive winners    Jake Sharp, Jimmy Chandler and 'Ryan'.

Former players' captain Budge Rogers was presented with the President's Cup by Players' captain Brendan Burke.



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.



Congratulations to Emyr and Rachel Lewis on the birth of Isabella Nia, a sister for William.

Congratulations to Oliver Slack and his wife Delphine on the birth of their son,Tiago Rafferty.

Congratulations to current player Phil Boulton and his wife Louise on the birth of their son, Isaac John Gregory.

Congratulations to former player James Armitage and his wife Sam on the birth of their daughter Evie.

Congratulations to Matt and Katy Oliver on the birth of their daughter Sienna Rose.

Congratulations to Ali Hepher and Claire on the birth of their daughter Georgia Rose.

Congratulations to Jackson Wray and Leane on the birth of their daughter, Harper Lilly.

Congratulations to Laurence and Vicky White on the birth of their son, Monty James.

Congratulations to Joe and Stefanie Ross on the birth of their daughter, Fleur Marie.

Congratulations to former player James Shanahan and his wife Hannah on the birth of their daughter, Scarlett.

Congratulations to Don and Laura Barrell on the birth of their son, Douglas Robert, 'Dougie'.

Congratulations to former player South African Chris Pearson and his wife Nicola on the birth of their daughter, Emily.











Next Home Match

Wednesday 1st April
1st XV Mobbs
Goldington Road