Bedford FC's history can be traced back to 1957 with the formation of Bedford United who were a works team for the printing firm Diemer & Reynolds with the club playing in local leagues until in1971 they joined the United Counties League and then dropping down to the Bedfordshire County League until in 1989 they joined the South Midlands League which when merged with the Spartan League formed the modern day Spartan South Midlands League
In 2002 the club merged with "Unione Sportiva Valerio" who were a local Sunday club that had been formed in the mid 1980s. The new club were called Bedford United & Valerio being renamed Beford Valerio United in 2006 and then Bedford FC in 2007.
The club have played at their McMullen Park home since 1996 which is named after Jim McMullen who was one of the club's founders.
Since formation the club have never finished top of any league they have played in with I would say their best period of success being from 2021 to 2015 when they finished in 5th, 3rd and 3rd place of the SSMFL Division One and gained promotion to play in the Premier Division along with winning the Bedfordshire FA Senior Trophy in 2013.
It's been all change in December 2021 as local Bitcoin businessman Peter McCormack has taken over as Chairman after purchasing the club with him stating on social media "This acquisition is part of a childhood dream to own a local Bedford club. We don't have a big club where I live and I've always wanted to bring league football to the town."
McCormack has also stated the plan is '"To get our club into the Premier League - nine promotions" and "I expect to be laughed at and told we can't. I expect people will tell me stories of how other people have tried this and failed. I don't care, we can do this and I will put everything I have into it."
The club will also be renamed for the 2022/23 season as REAL BEDFORD. Where this leaves Bedford and District Sunday League Division Five side 'Real Bedford' who were formed in 2020 hasn't been confirmed as yet.
Since the news was announced they have been a plethora of supporter's clubs for the club cropping up on social media in as far flung places around the globe as Australia, USA, Brazil and Uganda.
The new Real Bedford website proudly states "Nobody will believe we can do this. Our mission is to bring League football to Bedford by building a commercially sustainable model, our club can deliver significant benefits to the town" by four key factors -
1) Supporting grassroots football
2) Supporting the growth of the women’s game
3) Jobs and opportunity
4) Increased economic activity
Like many people I have very little knowledge of what Bitcoin actually is, how you purchase them or how or where you can spend them. I can confirm that the £6 entrance fee into Ampthill Town converts to roughly 0.000171101035 of a single Bitcoin.
Since the takeover in December the club has seen Manager Jason Goldman and his Assistant Martin Wells depart the club - they had achieved good results with the club despite having no playing budget. I'm sure Bedford FC's loss will be another local club's gain as they are excellent coaches.
A new management team has yet to be officially announced.
There was a larger than average crowd at Ampthill Park for the local derby game played last Tuesday with the majority of 371 fans present supporting the home side who are having an excellent season so far being in third place prior to kick off. For a Step Six side they have a good number of supporters with home crowds now averaging 153 for their league fixtures along with 161 and 254 in Gladwish Challenge Cup games against Dunstable Town and Leighton Town.
There were no new players in the line up for Bedford although Chishom Amadi, Lewis Jones, Finlay Skilling and Tyrell McLeod-Bentley came into the starting XI from their last game on Saturday 18th December which was a 6-1 defeat at Northampton Sileby Rangers.
It was a very entertaining game which I'd say Bedford edged in the first half with The Amps getting back into the game in the second half to equalise - All in all I'd say a 1-1 draw was the right result.
Ampthill Town's next game comes tomorrow away at league leader's Stotfold which should be another very well attended game.
Bedford's scheduled home game against Letchworth GC Eagles tomorrow has been cancelled as the visitors have players with Covid within their squad. I send them my best wishes and hope they are back better soon.
MATCH HIGLIGHTS - SHORT
MATCH HIGLIGHTS - LONG
Where Bedford FC/Real Bedford will be in the next few years only time will tell? The takeover has certainly put the club on the map and attracted interest from all over the globe.