by Joe Heaton

Bedford v Moseley, at Goldington Road, National League Division 1,
Friday, November 28th 2008, Kick Off 7:45pm
Gates & Bars Open at 5:45pm


Two consecutive away matches against teams at the very top of National League One (Leeds and now Bedford ), off the back of a home match against Doncaster, who were sixth, is as hard as it gets.

Bedford is a very pleasant and prosperous County Town, situated on the River Great Ouse, and conveniently close to Oxford, Cambridge and London. It has a population of around 150,000 and one of the finest river settings in England. Bedford owes both its origins and continued development to the river; once essential for defence and transportation, it remains one of the most attractive parts of the town. The wider area was the national centre for lace making during the 17th-19th centuries.

“Bedford Blues”, as the rugby club is now called, was formed in 1886 and plays at Goldington Road, which has a capacity of 4,700 spectators. Although the club has a distinguished history, over recent years it has tended to be overshadowed by both its East Midlands neighbours, Northampton and Leicester.

Bedford was a founder member of the Guinness Premiership but ended the season 1999-2000 with relegation. Since then the club has been in National League One.
The club’s best season was 2nd in 2005-06 and the worst was 11th in 2001-02. Last season Bedford ended up in 6th place and currently lies in that position in this season’s campaign. The club remains, like Moseley although better funded, a semi professional side, but with player links to Leicester and Northampton rather than Gloucester.

At the end of last season no less than seventeen of the Blues players moved on, necessitating significant recruitment, which included Greg Gillanders, who was such a hit at Coventry last season. Mike Rayner remains Director of Rugby, having appointed a the former England player Nick Walshe as the new player/coach,.

The results of Bedford’s last three matches are:

22nd November Doncaster 50 v Bedford 21 L
15th November  Bedford 37 v Plymouth 9 W
8th November    Leeds 19 v Bedford 8 L

The present relative positions of Bedford and Moseley in National League One are:

            P  W D L BP P Pos
Bedford  13 8 0 5 7 39 6th

Moseley 13 5 0 8 7 27 11th

Last season, in beating Moseley both home and away 62-17 and 43-5, Bedford scored over one hundred points. This is a measure of the task facing Moseley on Friday evening


Stop Press:  Bedford v Moseley – dedicated to the memory of Dave Ledsom

Sudden death announced of "one of Bedford's best adoptive sons"

Bedford's business and sporting community was in shock after the sudden death of one of its giant figures on Tuesday (18th November).

David Ledsom, 62, headed a business consortium which saved Bedford Rugby Club from collapse in 1999.

At the (Bedford) Blues, Mr Ledsom led a group of Bedford businessmen to take control in October 1999 after the disastrous sale of the club that April by Sports Network to Jefferson Lloyd International.

The club was about to be sold and moved to Coventry, which would have meant the end of first class rugby in Bedford, when the RFU intervened and, with the help of Mr  Ledsom, several thousand businesses and supporters, the transfer of the club to Bedford Blues Ltd was organised.

Mr Ledsom was appointed chairman, and Mr Irvine said he only succeeded him in a supporting role.

The current Blues chairman said: "What happened was typical of the man. He would have said he wasn't even a rugby man, but he became a rugby man.

"When he intervened on behalf of the rugby club, he said at the time he didn't even understand the rules. But that didn't matter. The rugby club was a great thing for the community as far as he was concerned.

"Bedford has lost one of its greatest adoptive sons."

He leaves wife Lesley, children Jane and Mark, step-daughter Emily and two grandchildren.




Bedford Blues
Goldington Road
MK40 3NF

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