First 7 Teams Relegated From the Premiership: Where Are They Now?
Probably, the Blues finest hour was in 1975 when Bedford, captained by Budge Rogers beat Rosslyn Park in the final of the Knock Out Cup at Twickenham 28–12. Unfortunately this achievement did not continue with the club having little success resulting in many players with great potential leaving he club. There were bright moments such as John Orwin captaining the England touring party to Australia and Fiji in 1988. When the leagues were introduced in 1987-88 Bedford were in Division 2, promoted to Division 1 in 1989 but relegated immediately.
At the start of the 1996–97 season when ‘The Blues’ were in Division 2 the club turned professional. Frank Warren (the boxing promoter) and Sports Network putting in a big investment to secure quality players, many of whom were internationally famous, while others were young but promising. The best example is probably Scott Murray who until June 2008 was Scotland’s most capped international. At the second attempt Bedford easily won the Allied Dunbar Division 2 Championship in 1998 and were promoted back to the Premiership.
In April 1999 Sports Network sold the club to Jefferson Lloyd International but this was a financial disaster resulting in Bedford losing further staff. The club was about to be sold and moved from the town, which would have meant the end of first class rugby in Bedford. Following intervention by the RFU in October 1999 a consortium of Bedford businessmen headed by David Ledsom (SDC), Mike Kavanagh, Geoff Irvine (Irvine-Whitlock), David Gunner and David Rawlinson with assistance from Bedford Borough Council and other professional people, the transfer of the club to Bedford Blues Ltd. was organised.
They’ve since became a staple of England’s second tier, having not moved from the division since they were relegated in 2000.