Crest of Bedford Town Football Club

Bedford Town

Pitching In Southern Football League Division One Central

Bedford Town Football Club, nicknamed “The Eagles,” is a non-league football club based in Cardington, Bedfordshire.

Established in 1970, they currently compete in the Pitching In Southern Football League Division One Central, which is part of the eighth tier of English football. The team calls The Eyrie their home ground.

History

Bedford Town Football Club, established in 1908, has experienced a dynamic history in non-league football, highlighted by impressive FA Cup runs. The club initially competed in the United Counties League and its precursors before moving to the Southern League in 1945. A significant turning point was the arrival of player/manager Ronnie Rooke in 1951, which led to a series of remarkable FA Cup victories in the 1950s, including against Watford, Norwich, Newcastle, Exeter, Brighton, Oxford, and a memorable draw against Arsenal.

The club faced managerial changes through the 1960s and 70s, with Barry Fry and Trevor Gould among those at the helm. However, in 1982, after losing their ground in Queens Park, the club ceased to exist. In 1989, determined supporters initiated a successful campaign to reform the club, initially competing on a public pitch in Queens Park. Bedford Town then moved to a new ground at Meadow Lane in Cardington, built with council support and fans’ efforts.

Under Mick Foster’s management in the late 90s, the club achieved a series of promotions but also faced relegation threats. After further managerial changes and fluctuating fortunes, including a brief stint in the Conference South, the club experienced relegation. More recent years have seen a mix of success and struggle, with various managers and ownership changes, and the impact of COVID-19 leading to seasons being curtailed. As of the latest update, Gary Setchell is the manager, with the team showing promise under his leadership.