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Friends of the Blues - Making a difference
Sponsored by Cooper Beard Residential Sales
The Trustees of the newly formed Friends of the Blues (a replacement of the Bonus Try Fund which runs separately from Bedford Blues Ltd.) invite you to take part in this more rewarding and enjoyable scheme. The Friends of the Blues fund is now fairly familiar to most club supporters and has an income that makes a substantial difference to the club.
You can join its growing number of members by completing a standing order form on the link below, and donating from as little as £7 per month, the more you give the greater the chance you have in our prize draws. For further info click here
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM... Your generous support is much appreciated.
Post Cymry Llundain (post hangover too)
Well, firstly congratulations to the team, from the FoB's, on a tremendous victory against the Welsh. It was a tumultuous day, both on and off the field, and I thought the crowd were fantastic. It was one to remember and righted several wrongs. John Mitchell said we'd win when he arrived back at GR.
There is no draw this week, as it is a B&I Cup fixture on Saturday. Our next draw will be the New Year's Day match versus London Scottish. On that day we will have a normal draw with five winners, but also a special draw. One member will win a Spring Time Trip to Paris for two persons by Eurostar, including hotel for two nights. So St Pancras, La Gare du Nord & Montmartre beckons for one lucky winner and their partner. The trip will be arranged by the Friends of the Blues, Travel Agent of choice Eagle Executive Travel of 11 Goldington Rd. Terms & Conditions apply- ie., you wont be in The George V, but it will be a good hotel.
The last game against London Welsh saw only Chris Kettler successful in choosing a try scorer. Patrick Tapley obliged (so well he did it twice). So that is three persons into the £1,000 draw at the end of season soiree. Chris also selected a meal at The Asia Lounge. That is twice Chris has chosen that very popular eaterie. Charles Dudeney, who has been a season ticket holder for 60 years won a pre-match lunch in The Marquee, and Geoff Appleton won 8 pints in The Cricketers. Well done to both.
That most generous of sponsors, Mr Gul at The Asia Lounge in the High St, Bedford is now offering a discount of 15% off meals (not drinks) Sunday to Thursdays on production of a season ticket. Tuck in! I'm the sure that the number of times you show him a season ticket will be reflected in the prizes he gives me.
Clearly we have not got any flights from Monarch Airlines this year. Our thanks to them for their help in the past. If you have access to any spectacular prizes (or even less so) please getin contact. As always i need all the help I can get!
So good luck to The Blues this Saturday against Connacht. Let's continue making the same noise as in our last home win.
Cymry Llundain (Dreaming Spires)
Rawlinson Pryde conducted another early draw this week and those successful are as follows.
J. (Joe?) Mumford- match ball winner & sponsor
Chris Kettler - choice of the prizes
Charles Dudeney -choice of the prizes
Geoff Appleton - 8 pints in The Cricketers
Elaine Rudgard- choice of a player only (or Geoff's 8 pints if he doesn't want them!)
Player choices will be made when the team is picked after this goes to print. We have no contact details for J. Mumford, who was in the old Friends of Bedford Blues, a forerunner to this format. Can any one help? I think it might be former Rams captain (circa) 1978 Joe Mumford who went to live in the west Country. He still pays every month but we only have his bank details. I last met him by total chance whilst on holiday on Penzance Station about 15 yeaars ago.
Once again no one was successful against Moseley, mainly because we didn't score many tries! That just leaves Colin Dainton & David Owen in the £1,000 draw after three home matches. Good Luck everyone. I will be in contact
Finally. One of our most generous sponsors Mr Gul at The Asia Lounge in the High St, Bedford gives us various meals as prizes. Now they have gone a step further. A discount of 15% off meals (not drinks) Sunday to Thursdays on production of a season ticket. Tuck in I say.It is apparently very good. Remember Sunday through to Thursday and you must have a current season ticket ground or stand to produce.
Oh dear all round!! None of our members were successful with no one nominating Neville Edwards. They went for Ollie Dodge, Nick FENTON!!!-Wells, Aaron Morris,Scott-Spurling & Booj.
As I said Mick Meadows is off to the popular Asia Lounge, Jonathon Wilson is going for Nos's Nosh lunch for four and David Murfitt was last seen crying into his eight free pints in The Cricketers. Dont forget The Cricks for all terrestial shown Internationals on tv. I watched the Ireland match in there last Saturday evening & they have the Wales v. Tonga match on next Friday in The Welsh Embassy.
I will have some good news for curry fans later in the week!
Next draw London Welsh.
Moseley on Friday (not forgetting Vic Lyttle).
Matthew Rawlinson has conducted the draw for Friday and those successful are as follows,
First out was former Olney & Blues flanker Pete Kemble who wins a signed match ball, becomes the match ball sponsor and gets a choice of a player to score him a try. Pete has immediately nominated whoever wears "7" on Friday night. Flankers stick together! Obviously the team has not yet been selected.
Second was Grandstand steward and ex-Blues player Mick Meadows. Mick was a fine full back & an equally good cricketer. However his sporting highpoint was witnessed by myself from about ten feet. On an OBM Easter tour to Devon we played a match in the middle of Dartmoor, in a howling gale that was accompanied by spiteful horizonantally flying hail throughout. It was seemingly impossible to score. Playing down hill with the wind behind us Mick elected to kick a penalty from half way. As he approached the ball, it fell off its mud tee, and sped, end over end downhill. Mick stayed calm, head down and inserted another pace or two, into his run up and struck the moving ball through the uprights. We won 3-0.
Mick has aleady elected to take a meal for two at The Asia Lounge. Popular place!
Third was Jon Wilson who is a summer joiner. He gets a choice of the prizes too. Well done Jon.
Fourth was David & Lorraine Murfitt of Fire Safety Services, one of our major sponsors. David and Lorraine are celebrating Lorraine's birthday this weekend. Happy Birthday Lorraine. David will be in receipt of 8 pints in the Cricketer Arms.
Fifth was Sue Dimbleby who won a match ball last year. She just gets a choice of player.To score a try Sue.
Once I have the player choices I will update you.
Vic Lyttle the flying Irish pre war, International winger lived a stones throw from Moseley's ground The Reddings. Despite this he travelled to play for Bedford. His bosses at Kodak, were the Blake Brothers who ran Bedford & Kodak for decades. I believe his family still support the junior section of the club each year. Remember Vic.
No Man's land.
Unfortunately with an absence of home league matches my updates have been few and far between. Our last draw was was for the match against Ealing. Of our five drawn winners that day, only the astute David Owen and Colin Dainton were correct with their choice of James Pritchard to score a try, and he obliged with a brace. Therefore they are our first pair through to the £1,000 end of season draw. Well done both. As they were 2nd & 3rd out of the hat that day, they also had a choice of the prizes I have garnered. David & Helen have chosen Dave Gunner's sirloin of Aberdeen Angus. When I say Sirloin, I mean, SIRLOIN. It is a wonderful prize thank you to Dave & Dovecote Park his firm. Colin Dainton meanwhile has chosen a 3 course meal for two at the popular Asia Lounge, High St. Bedford. He is very happy.
Former skipper of Bedford Tony Marshall, whose father Arthur was president of the RFU & Bedford was first out of the hat. He turned down a signed match ball on account of his 83 years. I think, he thought, it was for playing in the back garden! Anyhow we have given him lunch for two in the Marquee as a special case, and thanks to Phil Novis we have found some old team photos with Tony in them which he was pleased to receive as well as the RFU Presidential portrait of his Dad.
Richard Glasspool needs reminding he has eight pints waiting for him in The Cricketers.
On the prize front I have received a welter of lunches, dinners, and teas for two at the splendid Swan Hotel & Embankment Hotels. Thank you to both these establishments for their support. I now have a lot of meals and I believe I will be able to stage a special meal draw as a bonus to cheer everyone up shortly.
My thanks once more to artist Alasdair Bright who has donated a copy of his Goldington Rd portrait, and it is now hanging in the Scrum Hall. Copies are still available and he will do personalised commisions of whatever you want. They make great Christmas presents and he has commisions on going.
Alasdair did one for Mike Rayer's testimonial dinner. Once again he donated it. It was very good and featured a match scene with MR, MH & PL on the balcony, Skippy converting a penatly with Monty his boxer dog sat beside him whilst Norman careers up and down the field on his mower during the game! Many other player/coaches are identifiable. Talented man Alasdair. Richard Glasspool is now the owner.
Lastly the FoBs and the Followers have jointly funded an amount of framing for the refurbished Scrum Hall walls. It is still a work in progress but I hope you will all agree it looks a lot better. Budge's shirts (some of them!) are now displayed together as a tribute.
Thanks also to Mike "Stumpy" Pile for purchasing the signed Championship XV shirt from the match versus The Maori last year. That is now displayed with a picture of the four Bedford players who featured that day, again in The Scrum Hall. Top man Stumpy.
There you have it. Next draw Moseley at home.
EALING FOLLOW UP
As I was away at the weekend, I had to organise the draw and prizes from a distance- Scotland. So a bit of a delay. I can tell you though that the following choices were made in the try scoring competition.
Tony Marshall - Mark Atkinson
David Owen- James Pritchard
Colin Dainton- James Pritchard
Dick Glasspool- Brendan Burke
Bex Howe- Mark Atkinson
So Davis and Colin are through to the £1,000 draw at the Players Soiree at the end of the season. Well done. Ten out of 55 chances gone. I will speak to them about the prizes chosen during the week.
Kate Watts has not one, but three tickets as her prize from the Leeds match, and is off to see the Australia Test on Saturday. Have a great day Kate. Remember its not too late to join. Lots of prizes this year and next available.
Rawlinson Pryde have conducted an early draw this week as I'm away for the rest of the week and miss the Ealing game. The winners are as follows.
Tony Marshall. Match ball sponsor and wins a signed match ball. David Owen who gets a choice of a prize. Colin Dainton who is the same Richard Glasspool. Eight pints in The Cricketers. Bex Howe. She gets a choice of a player to score a try as do all the above. Bex is now the most successful in the draws, having come out two weeks running and twice last season. Good Luck to all with the try scoring. No one was successful against Leeds despite us scoring four. £1,000 is awaiting one of the 55 persons drawn this year!"
Welcome to this week's new joiners Alan Brodie and John Whareham, both of whom I have written to thank. Thanks and good luck to both of you.
There is no draw this week as the Llanelli match is B&I Cup game, not Championship. Unfortunately no one was successful in selecting a player who scored against Leeds. That was despite us scoring four tries! It does show how hard it can be. However the following members did bag prizes. Phillip Moore of Henlow, and Action Sales & Customer Service received a signed match ball. Bex Howe chose 2 tickets for England v Wales. Kate Watts chose two for England v Australia & Ann Beal will be having eight pints in The Cricketers! Next draw is versus Ealing. It could be you, or Alan or John.
Here is a quick update for members on our available prizes and our prize donors. Restaurants and pubs named are normally donating meals for two.
A trip with the followers including lunch allowance
Return rail fare to, and lunch with myself in The Sun at Richmond, prior to the London Scottish fixture
Nigel & Elaine Rudgard frontrow.photium are donating two framed A3 pictures of your chosen player
A sirloin of Aberdeeen Angus Beef courtesy of Dave Gunner. Lunch in The Marquee pre match
Two trips for two, for two nights at an away fixture
Monarch Flights to anywhere in Europe. We are hoping for two lots of two.
The Asia Lounge
The Embankment Hotel
Alamin Tandoori Restaurant
The Gordon Arms
The Cricketers Arms (8pints per match)
Eagle Executive Travel
Wallace Brown Sudio
Nigel & Elaine Rudgard frontrow.photium
Bedford Rugby Followers Association
The Silver Tennis Collection
Simon Jones Physix Sports
Wells & Youngs
SCRUM HALL MEMORABILIA
This week I have been busy with Phil Novis of the Followers replacing the memorabilia in the Scrum Hall. It has taken a long time!
We have to get it all done by the Ealing match, as Sky will be filming in there. They are actually going to film in the corner where you will now find the signed Championship XV shirt that was bought at auction last Friday at Mike's dinner by FoB Mike "Stumpy" Pile. He immediately donated it to the club.
The FoB's and Followers have helped with this project. A quick plug for Cambridge University. They had a very competitive game last Monday against N'pton and next up is Saracens next Monday. Chairman, and ex-Bedford player Nick Bennett has managed to improve attendances by some innovative means. Andy Key is clearly having an effect on performance and leading the way are captain Will Briggs, scrum half Harry Peck (son of) and back-rower Sam Farmer. All are Bedford School boys and the latter two ex N'pton academy. Give it a try. I will be making the draw for Ealing very early, as I will be away in Scotland next week and wish to notify winners asap. I'll update this site as soon as Rawlinson Pryde have done the draw. Regards Howard
The nominations for this week's prize winners are decided. Phillip Moore of Henlow and Action Consulting, Sales & Customers Service is the match ball sponsor and receives a signed match ball. He has chosen Don Barrell. Bex Howe has chosen 2 tickets for England v Wales and Mark Atkinson. Kate Watts has yet to choose her prize but nominates Ollie Dodge Gordon Mitchell has his money on Neville Edward Ann Beal is with Mark Atkinson too, and will be the wrong side of eight pints in The Cricketers.
Well done and good luck to all. Those choices could lead to a £1,000 prize at the end of the season draw if your player score Don't forget its not too late to join- get your form from the front page of the website COYB
A NEW SEASON BECKONS!
Thank you first, to all of you who have joined the fund over the summer period. I hope you thoroughly enjoy your membership and take great pride in the extra contribution you are making to the club’s progress. Invitations to join are going out with the season tickets this week and I am hoping many more will join us.
So what have we got planned for this year.
Hopefully you will now have returned your estimate of the home league gate (not including play- offs). Last year’s winner, Alan Chambers, was within a spit of 2750, which was the final average, and took home £275 from the FoB player’s soiree.
Our bread and butter draws, will again take place at each home league game. Prior to match day we will draw five winners. So 55 a season. All of those drawn will get a choice from the chosen team of a player most likely, in their view, to score a try. If that player then scores they will go into the draw at the FoB soiree to win £1,000. Last year there 23 were in the hat. A 1/23 chance, and the happy winner was Nigel Bennett. So when he chose Ben Ransom to score against Scottish it was a good day’s work!
Two of the five drawn will also get a choice of the prizes I have garnered. They are mainly restaurant meals for two at some of Bedford’s best eateries but some other good prizes too. One further member will be awarded eight free pints at the Cricketers Arms. I will post a full list soon.
At Christmas, and at the soiree, I am hopeful we might have more Monarch flights to anywhere in Europe to be won! Jim Oliver and Eric Walke (and spouses) were the beneficiaries last year.
The first major draw of the season was to have been about now. The prize was two nights, including flights, for two for the Jersey trip, as won last year by Ann Beal. However the early season placement of the fixture precluded that, as it was so close to the draw date. We therefore decided upon the same trip to Galway for the Connacht match. However, as the prize was to travel with the team, that fell through too, when it was realised it was necessary for the team to fly in, and out, the same day for the game. We are, therefore, now considering the next option. There will be a similar prize on offer though.
Last year we also offered a weekend in a Newcastle hotel and will do something along those lines again this. We were also very fortunate to have several FoBs donate prizes. One was three night break at a Scottish Hotel. Anything you can offer will be gratefully received again this year, from a shopping voucher to a holiday. Thank you again to all who helped, you are very generous.
So with the prize list yet to be finalised, I can tell you that the season will end, once more, with the FoB soiree with the players. This is a thank you, to you all, for your support. It is free and exclusive to members and offers lots of fun, draws and unique access to the players for a whole evening.
Each year all the funds raised go the club. Half of the money is put at the disposal of the players to choose capital projects that will assist them professionally. Last year you helped double the size of the gym and pay for its refurbishment.
This year we will be paying for a Compry Cool. “Player fit”, Cryotherapy system. It can dispense intermittent or constant compression. Intermittent reduces swelling and constant stops it. It can treat two players at once and can be used on a coach returning from a match. The second item is a Watt bike, a state of the art gym cycle that can be used as part of a fitness programme, for measurement, and again for rehabilitation.
There will be funds for other projects too.
So to sum up.
If you are a member-Thank you and enjoy. If you aren’t, we’d love to have you on board. Please join us, you will, I’m sure take great pride in being an FoB. If you can, please find other members, and if you can source a prize please let me know. Regards Howard
LAST SEASON SUMMARY
Well, what a season that was! Well done to Mike Rayer, his coaching staff and players for giving us such fantastic rugby and so much pride in our club. At the end of the first full year of the Fund in its present form, we can look back at lots of fun, through our draws and their prizes; and a projected income of around £25,000 pa going forward.
The main project nominated by James Pritchard last season was a gym extension. Half of the money raised went to fund that work and it is complete. You’ll agree, it was reflected in the team’s fitness last term!
I was very pleased to see so many members at the soiree with the players in May. Many commented on what a good night it was and on how much they like the format now, with the fun involved in the competitions. That night we raised £1,000 in the raffle. That more than covered costs. Nigel Bennett won £1,000 the season long try competition, Alan Chambers £270 for the average crowd competition and Jim Oliver won the Monarch flights. Phil Boulton won the Try of the season.
They join thirty or forty more of you who won prizes last season. Two nights in Jersey, a holiday in Scotland, more flights with Monarch, a weekend in Newcastle, and loads of restaurant meals. Next year you are in the hat for more of the same.
If you haven’t joined so far –please give it some thought and help Bedford Blues to continue to flourish. If you wish to join us and take part please fill in the standing order form. Membership starts at £7 but you can donate as much as you like. The more you give the greater the chance you have in our prize draws
Dear Supporter, By joining this scheme you will be known in future, as a “Friend of the Blues”. You will donate to a fund that helps your Rugby Club. We give because we want the club to benefit, but we could all do with a bit more fun and that is what I have tried to create. I want the members to get far more enjoyment out of their donations, with little spent on running costs and the chance to get a bit more back with quite a few quality sponsored prizes.
Prior to each home league match I will draw the names of five members of the fund and I hope you will be one. I will then contact the winners. Two will win a prize, from the selection available in the prize pool at that time. (An example list is attached). All five will also be able to choose a player for the match who you think is likely to score a try. Probably not a prop! If your player scores, you will be entered into the draw for £1,000 at the end of the season. One person will also become the match ball sponsor. Announced by Sam at kick-off. There is no cost to the winner, and he or she will also receive a ball signed by the team.
It has been decided that 50% of the funds will go to a project of the Captain & Players choosing. This year we will be paying for a Compry Cool. “Player fit”, Cryotherapy system. It can dispense intermittent or constant compression. Intermittent reduces swelling and constant stops it. It can treat two players at once and can be used on a coach returning from a match. The second item is a Watt bike, a state of the art gym cycle that can be used as part of a fitness programme, for measurement, and again for rehabilitation.
How much is it going to cost? Well first of all to save money and administration costs we’d like every member to pay monthly by standing order. To be open to as many people as possible there will be a minimum entry level of £7 a month. However we would very much appreciate higher donations per month if you feel that you can do this. For the minimum you will get an entry to all draws. We will give greater entries, pro rata, for figures above the minimum.
For members of Friends of the Blues there will be an end of season soiree, where you’ll meet and socialise with all the players. Various players and coaches will speak and the major £1,000 draw will take place. We also have plans for more entertainment on that night so watch this space! That night we will also announce the winner of “the guess the average attendance at GR for league matches”. You will be asked to enter your educated guess before the season starts. There will be a cash prize for that and other prizes to be won on the night.