Bedford Blues have announced today that their chairman of 20 years, Geoff Irvine, is to stand down the at the end of the current season.
A Blues stalwart in more ways than one, Irvine has presided over two decades of rugby at Goldington Road after being a part of the group that saved the club back in 1999.
Irvine – who will now take up the post of Club President – was due to retire at the end of the 2019/2020 campaign, but remained in post to guide the club through their latest challenge with the coronavirus pandemic.
Geoff Irvine said: “I have spent over 20 years on the Board of Bedford Blues, taking the Chair following the tragic passing of my great friend David Ledsom.”
“There have been some incredible highs during that time, such as the winning of the Powergen Shield at Twickenham in 2005, and the away win in the B&I Cup at Munster in 2018.”
“Inevitably, there have been some lows too, but through it all, I have continually tried to keep Bedford Blues moving forward both on and off the field.”
“I am proud of the fact that Bedford Blues are widely respected as one of the most consistently successful clubs in England’s second-tier.”
“We are a club that attracts quality players through our brand of rugby and our unique and close relationship with our supporters.”
Away from Goldington Road, Irvine has also enjoyed a successful 12 year tenure on the RFU Council, as well as acting as Chairman of the Championship Clubs since 2010.
Irvine will be replaced as Chairman by current Director, David Gunner who will take on the position from the end of the current season, which ends on 29th May.
“Under Geoff’s stewardship, we have developed a club model which is the envy of many in English rugby. His service to Bedford Blues has been in a word, invaluable.”
“This is very clearly not a goodbye to Geoff, more of an au revoir. When we have a clearer idea of the shape of next season, we will be organising a proper evening in the Marquee to say thank you to Geoff and [Geoff’s wife] Sara in the traditional Blues fashion.”