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
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
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
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
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
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
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