FPA INQUIRIES

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

Forthcoming events in 2017

Golf Society  The next Golf Day will take place at the Bedfordshire GC, Stagsden on Friday, 2nd June. Coffee and bacon rolls on arrival. Tee off 11.30 a.m. 18 holes, followed by ham, egg and chips. Approximate cost £38. Please contact Gerald Bygraves if interested. Email gerald@gbaccountingsolutions.co.uk.

Remembering former players Brian Arthur and Peter Green who died in the Paris Air Crash in 1974.

Former player Jeremy Janion organized a reunion lunch in Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge with the families of Brian and Peter on the 2nd May. Former players from the 70s present were Budge Rogers, Pat Briggs, Gareth Davies, Frank Bennett and Jeremy himself. Brian's wife Sandra and Peter's wife Julia were present along with Peter's brother John and friends of both families. Nick, Brian's son and Jamie, Joanna and Ben, Peter's children joined the reunion for pre-lunch drinks.

The End of Season Gala Dinner was held in the marquee on 6th May with 200+ present. The marquee looked spectacular and thanks go to Events Manager, Emma Talbot and her team. Thanks also go to Mike and Debra Rayer, Gareth Alred and Leigh Mansell for the organisation. The entertainment was excellent and as always the evening was conducted with his usual flair and wit by Sam Roberts.

Special guests present were 4 former players, currently playing in the Premiership-- Josh Bassett(Wasps),Charlie Clare(Saints) Mark Flanagan(Saracens) and Duncan Taylor( Saracens and Scotland). All four made a special effort to attend as they had commitments to their current clubs the following day. Duncan had a shoulder injury, but we were very pleased he recovered sufficiently to make a valuable contribution to Saracens' 28-17 victory v Clermont which secured them the European Challenge Cup.

Awards of the Evening

Players' Player of the Season  Myles Dorrian

Bedford Blues caps were awarded to Myles Dorrian and Jake Sharp.

Playing jerseys with number of games played were awarded to three players who are leaving after wonderful playing careers at the Blues.  Mike Howard, Jake Sharp and Myles Dorrian.

Gareth Davies is stepping down as Club President after 14 years and as kit manager after 26 years. He was presented with a watch by the club in appreciation.

Mobbs pre-match Golf  Bedford v Northampton

The annual golf competition resulted in a win for Northampton (3 and a half to 2 and a half).

The teams enjoyed dinner in the Former Players' Bar before watching the very entertaining Bedford Blues v The Army game, which celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the death of Edgar Mobbs in the 1st World War.

Match Details

The annual Mobbs golf match was played in glorious sunshine between former Blues and former Saints players. There were some intense matches with a birdie required to take the hole.

Results

1. J. Cooley & Bygraves v Folwell & R. Landon won by Blues 3 and 1

2. B. Page & Evans v Larter & Maciejewski won by Saints 2 and 1

3. Wilkinson & K.Lilley v Greenhaigh & Windsor-Lewis won by Saints 5 and 3

4. Wells & Butt v Carter & Wilcox drawn half.

5. Mansell & Chandler v J. Page & Wilcock  won by Blues 7 and 6

6. Thornton & Lanz v George & Mattacola won by Saints 4 and 3

Nearest the pin    J. Cooley

Longest drive      Mr. Greenhaigh

Spring Lunch 8th April 2017

The Former Players' Spring Lunch took place before the last home game of the season v Yorkshire Carnegie.

Guests were former player Tony Rodgers and Dudley Wood, former Secretary of the RFU who were welcomed by John Cooley, secretary of the FPA.

The London Lunch 2017 took place on the 10th February at the Ironmongers' Hall, The Barbican. 75 former players were present representing many decades of Bedford rugby. 

W.H. (Bill) Whiting who played for the town from 1948-58 was the oldest member present.

The 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s were all represented. The most recent former player present was Matt Volland 2001-08 closely followed by another prop John Brooks. Paul Tupai was a guest (in case he never becomes a FORMER player!)

There were at least five internationals present  3 England 1 Wales and 1 Samoa.  

England     Jeremy Janion  Bedford 1969-73, Brian Keen  Bedford 1972-76,  Derek Wyatt  Bedford 1973-78.

 Wales        Mike Rayer  Bedford  1996-98

Samoa       Paul Tupai    Bedford 2008 --------------------

The Lunch again was a very popular and enjoyable reunion. Thanks go to John Cooley(secretary) and Mike Lilley for their hard work and to Paul Alston and Bob Auker for their sponsorship.

FPA CONTACT DETAILS

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.

FPA SPONSORED LUNCHES - FPA BAR

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.

CONGRATULATIONS

2016

May

Congratulations to former player Ben Alexander and his wife Jennifer on the birth of twin daughters Emma and Ivy.

Summer Weddings

Congratulations to Billy Johnson and Katie Fuller on their marriage.

Congratulations to Greg Sammons and Holly on their marriage.

Congratulations to James Currie and Amy Palmer who were married in France.

Births

Congratulations to Shaun and Becci Brady on the birth of their third daughter Penelope Belle aka 'Dolly'.

Congratulations to Sacha Harding and Rosanna on the birth of their son, Zachary James Sacha.

Congratulations to Marek Kwisiuk and his partner on the birth of twin sons Reggie and Bertie.

Congratulations to James Armitage and his wife Sam on the birth of their son Frank,a brother for Evie.

Congratulations to Matt and Katy Oliver on the birth of their son, a brother for Sienna.

Wedding

Congratulations to Mark Gray and Alice on their marriage.

2017

Congratulations to Andy Johnson and his wife Rebecca on the birth of their daughter, Daisy.

Congratulations to Adrian Olver and Lisa on the birth of their daughter, Lilly Jules, a sister for Dax.

Congratulations to Billy and Katie Johnson on the birth of their son George Alexander.

Congratulations to Nic and Claire Strauss on the birth of their son Noah, a brother for Emma.

Congratulations to Richard and Claire Elliott on the birth of their son Joseph James, a brother for Rose and Molly.

Weddings

Congratulations to Nick Fenton-Wells and Skye on their marriage.

Congratulations to club director Ian Bullerwell on his marriage to Suzanne Clegg.

Congratulations to Jake Sharp and Alice on their marriage.

Next Home Match

Saturday 9th September
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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