Friends of the Blues - Making a difference
Sponsored by Cooper Beard Residential Sales
The Trustees of the Friends of the Blues (which runs separately from Bedford Blues Ltd.) invite you to take part in this 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.
Jersey and Albert.
I would like to begin this week by paying my own brief tribute to dear Albert "Albie" Saunders who has passed away after a long illness, borne with bravery and his usual cheerfulness. A Blues fan for as long as I can recall, Albert was one of those people who genuinely made the world a better place. Always smiling and up to mischief, he was a main component part of GOSH, The Gentlemen of Sharnbrook who have supported the club through thick and thin all these years. They will badly miss him, as we all will. The Flag at Goldington Rd quite rightly flies at half mast this week to honour him. Albie you were a star.
From the last draw against Roth only Roy Eddy guessed righ,t with Skippy, scoring to get Roy into the £1,000 draw in addition to two tickets for the South Africa match at Twickers. Good work Roy.
Peter Hill Jones won a meal for two at The Embankment Hotel & Jill Dainton 8 pints at the splendid Gordon Arms.
This weeks winners are Nigel Bennett, old notobene himself. He gets to be Match ball sponsor and wins a signed ball. Fergus Crombie gets a choice of the prizes as does Paul Rostron. Prof Pat Mckeown who won Virgin flights last year just gets a try guess this time whilst Blues legend and my best man Bruce Mackay wins eight pints in The Gordon Arms. He lives in Guildford!!! No I wont drink them so may be I will have a redraw after speaking to him.
Lastly. If you fancy a night at James Pritchard's Testimonial dinner on Friday 10 October speak to moi, or to Maragaret Appleton. We have seven spare places for a practically sold out evening of tribute to our record point scorer.
Now come on you Blues.
PS Eight new joiners this week! Come on sort yourself out and join. You could win the Guernsey trip. It is three nights at the Cobo Bay Hotel with flights worth around £750. Our donor Steve Parrott is flying over for the Jersey match on Saturday-naturally to support the Blues! Come on guys join and give yourself a chance of that trip.
Rotherham match FoB winners
On a disappointing day for the club, at least one man went happy!
Our five chosen FoBs went in three instances for Patrick Tapley to score... without success I'm afraid. Marie Davies chose Paul Tupai, whilst that happy donor who went home vaguely smiling, was Roy Eddy.
Roy topped off a good draw for him by selecting James Pritchard and that was good enough to see him become the first FoB through to that £1,000 draw at the end of season soiree. He has already bagged a pair of autumn International tickets that he hopes will be for the NZ match, in late November. Good work Roy! Is that a pained smile though? pic.twitter.com/yXkOfCDtzS
Peter Hill Jones won a meal for two at the Swan Hotel.
Remember you can join when you wish and what better way to show your support. You could win a £1,000, a trip to Guernsey or be as happy as Roy! Simply download that form.
Oh. I am happy today because its the first Cambridge University game tonight at Grange Rd. Lots of Bedford connections. Andy Key is coach and Harry Peck is Captain. Good Luck both and have a great season.GDBO!
Two important things to say.
First of all, and it goes without saying, when our team is not going well, it is a time to show support. It is easy to back slap when we are winning but just as important to encourage and not damn, when we are not going well. Bedford is, what it is, because we stuck together when it was very tough and our great successes are founded upon that spirit. So come on you Blues, your fans are right behind you.
Secondly. The club is at a point where it has to embrace a future without Geoff Irvine whose support of the club has been more tangible than any one else's. That is, in time he has committed, matches attended and financial support. Geoff with the club's best interests at heart as always, has allowed the club time to prepare for the future without him. He began a process of consultation with local business men and women to find what that future looked like. That prompted Jo Marks, a very proud Bedfordian business woman, with no previous connection to the club, to grasp the nettle like no one could have ever imagined. She has undertaken a consultation that has gone far broader than just the Town's Senior Club and its future funding and has quite rightly included the whole pyramid of junior clubs and youth rugby that can lead to a young boy up representing his Town at Goldington Rd. She includes the future of Goldington Rd itself, better facilities for junior rugby and the need for a Bedford women's team. All these subjects were raised by her initial consultation and are clearly relevant.
Her work was just the start. In all my time I am not sure that any town in the land has undertaken such a process of consideration of a particular sports future within that borough. I suppose, it should be no surprise, that it should be Bedford. In my time we are the only Town that has won all three RFU Senior playing competitions through the Blues, The Ath and The Queens. We reallyare a rugby town.
We should be indebted that Jo has committed like she has to start this process. Those who heard her speak in The Marquee before the Rotherham match will not only have been impressed but also realise what an opportunity Geoff, and now particularly Jo have provided us to shape our future. That is the immediate future of the club, and also of rugby as a whole in Bedford. The two cannot be separated, but never before have they been brought together for consideration as a whole for the common good.
It is of the utmost importance that everyone in Bedford with rugby in their hearts should participate in her continued consultation. The weight of involvement by the people of Bedford will be measured by those whose help might be needed in securing the future. The Rugby Authorities, businesses & sponsors and Bedford Borough Council and others.
The all important document is available on www.markstrust.org/bedfordrugby. Please take part. Thank you Jo.
There you are, two important things to say, both about our future and how to get there.
Come on Bedford Rugby.
Pre Rotherham- prize winners! (oh and its not too late to join-please!!)
Well here we go. The first prize draw of the season with prizes a plenty, and lots of fun ahead of us, to make your membership enjoyable and to show how much your support is appreciated.
To remind you. Every member is in the draw and gets a ratio of chances that are commensurate with the size of their donation. Every member is in every draw and in theory could be drawn twice in one week. There are five winners each week who get a chance to select a try scorer for Saturday's match. If you do it correctly you enter the £1,000 end of season draw. Four of the drawn persons win prizes. No.4 only gets to select a player.
I beg, steal and blackmail my way to obtain prizes. If you can add to my haul I will really appreciate it, and in fact I wont blackmail you. Prizes please!!
Here we go. This week's winners are.
Roy Eddy who wins two tickets for an Autumn international (according to what I manage to blag). He has nominated New Zealand, so that's what I am aiming for. Roy is guaranteed two tickets for one of the matches. Now that is a very good prize! Last year I managed seven tickets in total.
Peter Hill-Jones (in his first draw as a member!) wins a lovely meal for two with a bottle of wine at The Embankment Hotel. I love that place. Well done Peter and thanks for joining.
Good old John McInnerney of All Sorts Media and Eagle Stand apron fame. John wins a signed match ball.
Next up was the President's wife. Abercynon's favourite girl, Marie Davies who gets to select a try scorer.
Last but my no means least. Jill Dainton.The Daintons are a large family and I am pleased to say most are members. Therefore winning eight pints of Eagle in the splendid Gordon Arms should please them all. For this prize winners are given eight beer vouchers so you don't have to drink all at once and if you prefer, lager that is what you should have. Good prize I'd say.
So all that is left is for the winners to select their try scorers and for the Blues to score some tries.
Come on you Blues!!!!!
Thank you all and some good news!
Prior to our first draw on Saturday I would just like to say a big thank you, to all those who have joined in the close season. Your generosity and support is greatly valued. I am very pleased with increased membership and increased income. Importantly, if you have not already joined, it is not too late. You can join whenever you wish and avail yourself of a chance of some splendid prizes including the wonderful Guernsey trip to be drawn at Christmas. Go on do it!
I am pleased to tell members of the FoB that from Saturday against Rotherham, your membership now includes permission to have a drink before or after the match in the Former Players bar. Former players pay a subscription to maintain the bar and to gain entry but they have generously offered to extend their hospitality to Friends of the Blues. Thank you to them, for that.
Additionally Flick Cooley, the wife of former player John Cooley, now offers pre-match luncheons for up to eight people in the bar and FoBs are eligible for that too.
There are opportunities at all the home games except when FPA have a luncheon. ie Autumn Lunch 13th September, Spring Lunch 11th April.
The cost is £10 per head and would normally be the same food being supplied on the day to the visiting committee.
Flick emphasizes she needs notice and will need a phone call at least by the Wednesday of your chosen week. So earlier the better I would suggest.
So if you are interested please ring Flick (01234 823532) to reserve your date.
Whilst I know many FoBs are also Former Players, if you are not, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a beer or a meal in a bar you wont have yet experienced at GR.
Tomorrow I will tell you of this weeks winners!! Hang on to your hats. You could, by the end of the season be £1,000 richer like Soleig Haywood is now, after last years win.
What a great prize!!!!
FoB members will be delighted to hear they have a chance, in a special Christmas draw, of winning another brilliant weekend away.
Blues fan & FoB, Steve Parrott who is Guernsey resident has very generously donated the following. A cracking two or three night stay, for two persons, at the Cobo Bay Hotel on Guernsey. The prize includes travel to Guernsey with flights from either Gatwick or Southampton. Steve said, "I am thrilled to be able to offer support to the Friends of the Blues.It is a fantastic way to make our club even better. I'm also really happy that a couple of Blues supporters will get to see our beautiful island. I look forward to meeting and greeting when the winners arrive"
Well thank you Steve, and of course his wife Debbie, for your generosity.
The award winning hotel can be viewed here. cobobayhotel.com.
"Recognised by The Times as 'Britain's Best Value Beach Hotel' in 2012, the Cobo Bay Hotel offers an unrivalled beachfront location along the scenic west coast of Guernsey. Overlooking one of the Channel Islands' most beautiful bays, with clean, soft white sand and stunning sunsets, yet only 3 miles from the main town of St. Peter Port, the Cobo Bay Hotel provides the perfect location for short breaks, family holidays, romantic getaways and business trips alike.
A complete renovation in recent years has resulted in the highest ever AA rating for a 3-star Guernsey hotel of 87%, as well as Gold & Breakfast Awards from Visit Guernsey, with an overall score of 86% - worthy of 5 stars"
Looks fantastic & sounds great.
So you've got to be in it to win it. Join this weekend to give yourself a very good chance. With the FoBs draws, we are not talking Lottery odds. You have a real chance of winning. Go on. Help The Blues.
Thanks Steve & Debbie.
What are you doing this weekend?
How about showing your support for the club, by spending five minutes downloading the form above and joining the Friends of the Blues from as little as £7 a month. By doing so you will provide the club with additional, much needed income, and it will give you lots of fun, the chance to win some great prizes and hopefully a warm glow.
Holidays, International tickets, free meals at top local restaurants, competitions with cash prizes and many more prizes. Additionally an evening with the players at the end of season soiree is our thank you to our members at the end of a season.
News of a great new prize for FoBs is coming up later today. It could be you who wins it.
Last season Jim Oliver flew to Barcelona with his wife thanks to Monarch Airlines
Glyn Buck had a celebration springtime weekend in Paris via Eurostar.
Ten tickets were won by members for Six Nations & Autumn International matches.
Sixty free meals were eaten at local eateries.
Two hundred attended the Soiree.
Solveigh Haywood won £1,000 in the Try scoring competition
Pauline Orchard won £230 in the crowd competition.
..and there were many more prizes besides.
Please join us if you can and help us make that difference.
More later today.
A new season approaches with eight new pints!!
Doesn't time fly.My first post of the season.
May I say thank you to all of you that have joined FoB during the summer.I hope you enjoy your membership, win some prizes and take pleasure from contributing to the clubs well being. If you have joined please have a chat when you see me. If you haven't joined, now is certainly the time to do so,
Second, and biggest, thank you is to Paul & Stephanie ex- of The Cricketers for their support over the years and for looking after so many Blues, and indeed away fans, with your fantastic ales. Only last year they won the prize for introducing the largest number of new FoBs. They sold match day tickets to save their clientele queuing over the road. They have also sponsored FoB, along with Brains Brewery, for an eight pint prize at every home league match since FoB started. Down the years they hosted some fantastic celebrations after Blues victories with players and fans, at one together, long into the night, and nursed and cared for a few that were now in need of it . Rudi Straueli will be particularly sad to hear of the closure, as indeed will many Welshmen. The Welsh Embassy is closed! Such a shame. Good Luck to both of you. Nos da a diolch yn fawr.
I am glad to say that the club is still surrounded by the best pubs in town, and to announce that one of them has already approached me and volunteered to replicate the weekly prize. Phil & Ruth, the new landlords at the Gordon Arms, have offered eight pints of Eagle IPA to replace the Brains that Taffy donated.Thanks Phil & Ruth. Phil is sports mad and attended the end of season FoB soiree as a guest of Dave "Nobby" Fuller, and has joined our number as a member. Phil and Ruth already play host to many Blues fans on match days, and offer food before and after matches. several players enjoy the pub.
Thank you also, to all our prize donors, that have renewed their pledges of a variety of prizes, including I should mention The Castle & Santaniello's Pizzeria in that area. We would not raise the funds we do without you. Thank you.
If you or your business has something, by way of a prize, to offer, I would love to hear from you. I need prizes guys and I love new members too!
Good Luck to the Blues in Ulster this weekend and a big welcome to all the new players.
Average attendance Prize.
Well done Pauline Orchard and commiserations to Phil Day who was pipped at the post like NOS was last year. The final figure was a disappointing 2331 (not for Pauline tho')
The other riunners and riders were
R Colling – 2259
Phillip Day – 2313
Pauline Orchard – 2342
Richard Gerlach – 2350
Robert Main – 2350
Brendan Burke – 2375
Andrew Reynolds – 2415
About twenty of us did the Treasure Hunt yesterday for Mike's Testimonial. It was a right old hoot. Thanks to NOS for the food, Phil Day for the bar and God for the weather. We raised nearly £1,000 for Keech Cottage. It could go through the barrier yet. It was an afternoon to really appreciate what great fans and staff we have. All positive stuff with lots of fun.
Now please consider the FoBs are a must to join and get your forms in. Lets do it. Thanks.
Friends of the Blues Soiree and Jersey.
Well I hope you all thoroughly enjoyed your evening on Thursday. For my part it was great to see so many of the FoBs together, socialising with each other, and the players. There was lots of fun with Tom Armes securing the Try of the Season competition, and a bottle of bubbly (which he should share really with Patrick Tapley!). The Raffle went well, with £1,000 being made, that helps cover our costs immensely.
My word we had some prizes won this year. A Trip to Paris (and a lovely interview with winner Glyn Buck & his wife on the night). International tickets meals galore and more besides.
Thank you to all prize donors, most of which are familiar for their ongoing support and particularly Geoff Irvine for the Sonos first prize. The winner, a guest on the night, has already joined the fund as have numerous others who were there. I guess another £1,000 of new joiners were secured that night alone. So please get out there and get some more, we need them.
The culmination of our season long draws was the £1,000 draw. Well done Solveig Haywood on winning. Solveig like many others who are employed on match days by the club reinvests in the FoB fund. That is really great.She is obviously overjoyed.
We couldn't divi up the prize for average crowd before the Jersey match. someone is going to win in the region of £229.8 today with the average being 2298 at the moment. Closest is Phil Day the bar manager. Another employee.
Others close are as follows
R Colling – 2259
Phillip Day – 2313
Pauline Orchard – 2342
Richard Gerlach – 2350
Robert Main – 2350
Brendan Burke – 2375
Andrew Reynolds – 2415
Exciting. There in the list is Brendan Burke. He was in the £1,000 draw but didn't win, but Thursday gave us the chance to celebrate his career and that of Sacha Harding. I think everyone enjoyed watching their career highlights and the interviews with them. It certainlly brought home their longevity the great players they have been for us, and the great players they have played with. You've made all those others look good, guys. They are both Hall of Famers now. Lets hope they finish with a win today and have a great party afterwards.Great guys, great servants and thank you Pikey for your support of this fund. You will remain a Friend of the Blues for the duration now.
I have many people to thank. Not least NOS and Louise for the excellent food provided after huge amounts of toil (and at cost). NOS remains part of the heart beat of the club.
I must aslo pay tribute to Andy Irvine who is leaving for a new career opportunity. He has been so supportive of me. Advising, counselling, getting prizes, dealing with difficulties and at times my ineptitude and confusion. He and Debra have to put up with me! Thanks Andy for everything and good luck to you in the future
The Try of the Season reels were well received too. Mark "Rowan" Atkinson was hilarious in his review of them and had everyone in stitches.
What more can I say.
Thanks to all you are great supporters of a great club.
Lovely night and I am looking forward to next years already.
Now for Jersey COYB
Paul "Three Tries" Tupai & The Magnificent Seven
Well that was quite an afternoon of frolicking in the sun. We do like scoring tries when the sun is on our backs. I wonder if the wettest winter in history had anything to do with the lack of tries scored by us in other matches. Here's hoping for a hot day against Jersey. They, poor souls, will certainly be sweating whatever, I suspect.
Well Toops did well didn't he, but in terms of our £1,000 draw seven people did equally well. With only six people prior to the match, through to the draw this Thursday, much to their chagrin, another seven joined them on Saturday. To get the competition completed prior to the soiree, we unleashed ten members who had been successful in the draw. Two went unsuccessfully for Mark Atkinson, one for Booj. Of the others Keith Holme went for Joe VDM, and six others for the flying Tapley. With their brace of tries that meant that the total number in the draw rose from 6 to 13.
Those in Thursdays draw are Solveig Heywood, Geoff Snelson, Chris Kettler, Colin Dainton, Dai Owen, Brendan Burke, Alan Layton, Dave Burton, Keith Fossey, Sue Brice, Josie Vass, Charles Dudeney, & Keith Holme. So its a 1 in 13 chance as opposed to last years 1 in 23. Someones going to win it. Some of the above also win prizes and I will be in contact with them soon. Busy week.
We wont be able to complete on the guess the crowd competition because of the remaining match, but the average at the mo is 2298. Can you recall your guess? It will be decided on Saturday.
So I look forward to seeing you at 8.00pm Thursday. No DJs, its not a dinner, and no seating plan. Its an informal Soiree with buffet. We have the try of the season competition too, for you to vote in. We have 200 attendees! See you then.
This weeks winners in the FoB match day draw are
Alan Layton who gets a choice of my dwindling prizes, as does John Gooch.
David Burton and Keith Fossey get to fight it out for the 8 pints in the splendid Cricketers PH.
We are only a short time away from the FoB Soiree on Thursday 24th April. We have around 150 acceptances, which is very pleasing, as it is our chance to say thank you to those who donate so much "over and above" to help the club along.
Don't forget that the Mike Rayer "All Dayer" Treasure Hunt is on Sunday 27th April KO 1pm at the Club, with a walking route of about 2 and half miles to and from the club, passing several hosteries. The idea is to have fun and raise money for Keech Cottage. You must enrol at either of the remaining home matches,so that NOS has numbers for catering for your food on return. Entry is £10. Half to Keech and the rest for your food.
Thanks to all FoBs for your continuing financial support.
Rotherham Live on Sky
You should have had your invitations now to the FoB soiree with the players. It is casual dress and informal and you must reply to assure your place.Thanks for the excellent response so far.
I also invite you to consider joining the Mike Rayer All Dayer Treasure Hunt on the Sunday following the Soiree- details are below. It should be a hoot.
Back to the Soiree. Only six members are in the hat so far for that £1,000 draw. This weeks winners are as follows and if they get it right they could be joining the select group of winners so far.
Those FoBs successful in our draw for Rotherham are as follows.
NOS Thomas- Match ball Sponsor- A well deserved win for our noisiest and most benevolent member. Well done NOS!
Andy Whitehouse -Ex Blues flanker of over 200 appearances-Choice of the prizes
Andy Cobley- Followers Chairman- Choice of Prizes
Philip Moore- 8 pints in The Cricketers
Maurice Webb- Dear Maurice; one of our senior members who in 1944 saved his life by parachute over France. Those beastly Germans; fancy shooting our Maurice down!!!!
Good Luck all (particularly Maurice).
Good Luck to the team on Saturday too.
Post Plymouth, The FoB Soiree & Keech Cottage Mike Rayer Testimonial Treasure Hunt
Well Plymouth was a great disappointment. Oh well onwards and upwards.
Of our Members selections, only one was successful. Brendan Burke chose Pritch to score, and he duly obliged, putting Brendan into the £1,000 draw. I saw Brendan afterwards and despite his good fortune he was still thoroughly miserable. Of the other choices Booj was selected twice, NFW and Mark Atkinson but they didn't cross the whitewash.
That is now 6 FoBs in the £1,000 draw at the Soiree on Thursday 24th April. Invites have gone out and you are asked to respond promptly so Nos can prepare the food appropriately. It promises to be a great night, as indeed it was last year. Hors d'ouvres will be served by the players and you will have two players on each table. Brendan will be served by his own team mates like royalty !
We will have the cash prize for the average gate of the season, The £1,000 draw and The Try of the Season competition that you will judge.There will also be a Grand Raffle. It promises to another really enjoyable evening.
On the Sunday following the Soiree & the Jersey Match we have the Mikey Rayer All Dayer Treasure Hunt to raise funds for Keech Cottage-his chosen Charity and one that needs no introduction hereabouts.
The Treasure Hunt is foot based-starts at the Rugby Club at 1pm and is about 2 mile long. With your clues you will follow a route that doesn't stray far from the club but which does stray past several,cafes pubs and restaurants. The emphasis may be on the pubs! The route suits all ages and nothing is too demanding. It is some fun. The idea is that you stop where you wish, but get back to the club for 4pm. Here Nos will serve you some grub and the bar will be open.
Entry is £10 per adult. £5 goes to the charity and £5 for your food. You must be entered before the day so we can cater. You can do so by paying £10 at the Followers Hut at he next two home matches. You will be given a sponsorship form and if you could raise £20 it would be fantastic. It will be fun and is not competitive in any way, so no treasure hunt anoraks please! Go on have a craic.Support Mike and raise a few bob for those poor children.
Here we go again. Finally a home match to savour once more.
The last home league match against Bristol saw a performance that warranted at least a bonus point. Despite the Blues scoring three tries, none of our FoB winners were able to find a try scorer. Eoin Sherrif and Aaron Morris (twice) crossed the whitewash but were not selected. The main hopes rested with Patrick Tapley. So no one joined the small throng waiting hopefully, for that £1,000 draw, and only four home matches remain!
Those already in the hat are David Owen, Colin Dainton, Chis Kettler, Solveigh Heywood and Geoff Snelson.
The luck of the draw sees Colin drawn again for this match. Can he boost his chances? Who will he select? Listen to Sam to find out.
This weeks winners are therefore
Barry Tucker-match ball sponsor
Fergus Crombie- who wins a prize
Brendan Burke- who will also be eating out.
Nick Carter- 8 pints in the Cricketers
and finally Colin Dainton.
A date for your diaries. The FoB end of season soiree with the players, will be on Thursday 24th April at 8pm. You will receive your invite soon. Each member can bring a guest for this bash, that acts as our thank you, to you the members. It will feature the Try of the season competition, the £1,000 draw, the guess the crowd competition result and a blooming good raffle. You just need to buy your drink and the rest is on us.
Bristol post Notts
Unfortunately, due in the main to the meteorological maelstrom Goldington Rd endured against Nottingham, none of our winners were successful in choosing a player who could score. The one man who did was the admirable Joe Vandermolen, but the four members that chose a player, all went, quite naturally, for Patrick Tapley. Patrick spent an unhappy and fruitless afternoon, swimming against the tide chasing high kicks. Albeit we won.
The one person who didn't choose was Steve Jennings who spent a dryer afternoon in Las Vegas watching the 7s. I was going to choose Tapley for him, but on consulting Steve's great chum Twirls, I change my mind. "no he wouldn't go for Tapley. He'd choose a prop!" Steve being a prop himself, and a sometimes, a quite contrary soul, I decided to let him have a go on his own, when he returns for Bristol. The judges ruling is final.
So this weeks winners are as follows
Match ball sponsor is Dave Burton.
Brian Harris is a second time winner and gets a meal of his choice.
Former Blues player John Egan also wins a meal.
Ian Roberts & John Daniels can fight it out for a choice of eight pints in The Cricketers.
All get a choice of a player to score.
Good Luck everyone and good luck Bedford.
Notts at home. First match I ever watched in about 1966.
Back to league action and back to FoB draws!
Glyn Buck is still celebrating his Springtime weekend in Paris win, and planning when to step aboard the Eurostar at St Pancras. Our two prize winners from the London Scottish match, Frank McMahon and Solveigh Heywood are still wrestling with which restaurant to dine at. From that match Solveigh & Geoff Snelson went through to the £1,000 end of season draw with their choice of Nick Fenton-Wells. That is five members who have successfully chosen so far.
It was good to see Jon Wilson who joined in the summer taking up his prize with his choice of a meal for five at the celebrated "Nos's Nosh bistro" pre match. Thank you Nos for your generosity in donating the prize to the fund and being such a supportive member
This weeks winners are as follows. Well done guys and gals
Paul Rostron of sponsors Anglian Fastners
Margaret Saunders the wife of the previous President of Bedford Blues, John Saunders
Mark Tibbetts who was a new joiner in the summer.
Steve Jennings aka "Gonzo", an inveterate follower of the Blues away from home and, former Biggleswade prop forward.
I will be in contact with all about their player picks.
Roy is match ball sponsor, Paul & Margaret win a choice of the prizes available and Gonzo wins eight pints in The Cricketers. Margaret is plumping for Sunday lunch at The Swan Hotel. I think John is hoping she'll take him too. Well done all and good luck with your choices of potential try scorers this weekend.
Those of you that can remember your guess, in the "guess the average crowd competition" might be interested that Statbunker is listing our average home league crowd as 2,475. That is the second highest in The Greene King Championship, albeit a couple of hundred down on last year. Are you close? The winner takes home 10% of the final figure in readies at the end of season soiree with players. So many reasons to join.
If you want to help the club and perhaps win something a long the way-please down load a form and tuck in.
Its well done all round. Firstly the team for an excellent start to the year with a tactical victory on a wet day, and in moments of adversity paricularly to Aaron Morris for a match defining try saving tackle.
Secondly to two of our FoB winners, who both went for the admirable Nick Fenton-Wells to score for them against the Scots. They were Solveigh Heywood & Geoff Snelson. That is five members to the £1,000 draw.
The biggest smile of the day belonged to that great supporter Glyn Buck. He of the pork pie hat that weighs a ton, on account of the collection of club badges adorning it. Glyn goes to just about every away game... well he did. Glyn's wife consulted him pre season about his responsibilities towards the funding of his daughter's wedding this year. This led to Glyn having to forgo his fortnightly forays to foreign parts with The Followers for one whole season! However on the blindside he submitted a standing order for the FoBs. "She'll never know".
Well she bloody will now, because the biggest smile of he day was when Glyn found he'd won the weekend in Paris, by Eurostar, courtesy of Eagle Executive Travel. He had the prize presented at half time and he will be off to Paris in the Spring. Hard luck to the rest of you, your time will come, but I am really chuffed for Glyn. Few could deserve it more. Enjoy Glyn.
We have handed out some good prizes this year and last. If you want to help the club and perhaps win something a lon the way-please join.
FoB's. Can you help?
The club are looking for a bedroom for a month- January into February for a young NZ conditioning coach. He is a recently retired player from Otago who is being sent over by Colin Jackson & Otago for some experience working with Paddy. Preferably it would be close to the club. If you can help please contact myself or Paddy at the club. Your help would be much appreciated and assists the ongoing exchanges. TJ Harris has just returned from Otago and we have sent other young players out there.
New Years Day post Hogmanay.
Well that is Christmas and Rotherham out of the way. Hope the former went better than the latter. Here's hoping for a great start to 2014!
All members have a chance of an especially good start by winning that Eurostar trip to Paris in spring with hotel accomodation for two nights thanks to our Travel agent of Choice Eagle Eexcutive Travel. We will be drawing/announcing the winner at half-time- it could be you. If it is you will be presented the voucher on the pitch. Listen in.
It is certainly a good start to the New Year for the following who came out of the hat in our London Scottish draw and thereby get a choice of our players to score a try against the Scots.
The winners are as follows
Jon Evans Match who is match ball sponsor and wins a signed ball
Solveigh Heywood completes a hat trick for the East stand stewards. Mick Meadows, Elaine Rudgard and Solveigh stand together vetting tickets and all have been successful this year (but not in choosing a scoring player). Can Solveigh do better? Solveigh wins a choice of the prizes available.
Frank McMahon a summer joiner (as was Jon I believe) also gets a choice of the prizes
Geoff Snelson & The Hoods, John and Penny also get a choice and can fight it out for the eight pints in the splendid Cricketers Arms.
So good luck to all and good luck to The Blues.
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.