Paris Air Disaster Victims Remembered
The Former Players Association of Bedford Blues Rugby Club will be coming together before the game against Plymouth Albion on Saturday afternoon to remember two players who tragically lost their lives as a result of the Paris Air Disaster 40 years ago.
On 3rd March 1974, Brian Arthur – a prop who made 125 appearances between 1966 and 1972 - and Peter Green - a centre three-quarter who appeared 166 times in a Blues shirt between 1967 and 1974 - lost their lives when the Turkish Airlines DC10 on which they were passengers, crashed near Paris just minutes after take-off, killing all 346 people on board.
Peter had been unable to play for Bedford on the weekend of the tragedy after pulling his hamstring three weeks previously during a game against Headingley. As a result, he joined his friend Brian, along with members of Bury St Edmunds’ RFC on their trip to Paris for the Five Nations match between France and England.
The game finished in a 12 draw, but the following day as the party made their way home from Orly airport, their plane came down in Ermenonville Forest killing everyone on board.
In April 1974, the Blues organised a charity game between Bosuns and a Midlands Invitational XV which raised £2,750 for the dependents of the disaster and also produced a ground record score of 72-56.
Prior to Saturday’s Greene King IPA Championship match against Plymouth members of Peter and Brian’s families will join the Former Players Association for lunch where a special plaque will be unveiled in memory of the two Blues players.
Bedford Blues President and Former Players Association member Gareth Davies said: “To lose two such wonderful Bedford Rugby talents in such tragic circumstances was a very dark day at Goldington Road and it is only correct that we remember and honour them on the 40th anniversary of the disaster.
“Brian and Peter were fantastic individuals and true cogs in the Bedford Blues machine. They were sorely missed at the time and are both remembered with great fondness and respect.
“I’m delighted that members of both their families will be able to join us on Saturday afternoon and I’m sure that we shall be raising a glass in their memory."