Bedford Blues have confirmed long-serving tighthead prop Phil Boulton will be leaving the club at the end of the season to join National One side Coventry.
Boulton, 29, first stepped through the Goldington Road gates in the summer of 2008 and he has gone on to be one of the most consistent performers for Bedford Blues ever since.
Boulton broke onto the rugby scene in 2004 playing for fellow Championship side Rotherham Titans before moving to the Leicester Tigers Academy.
During his time in the Academy, Boulton spent seasons on loan to Nuneaton and back with Rotherham Titans before making his way to Bedford where he was part of the team that made the Championship Final in 2013 and the British and Irish Cup Final in 2011.
Speaking to the Bedford Blues website, Boulton said: “This has been an amazingly difficult decision for me to make as Bedford has been such a massive part of my life and rugby playing career and I will be really sad when I finally have to say goodbye.
“I will be leaving Goldington Road with some fantastic memories which have been made possible by everyone at the club.
“I want to thank Mike Rayer and Martin Hynes for everything that they have done for me ever since I arrived as a 21-year-old.
“They saw something in me and have helped me develop as a player and as a person and I cannot thank them enough for investing so much time in me.
“But what is also very special about Bedford is everyone else who is involved in the day-to-day running of the club.
“There is a brilliant chairman in Geoff Irvine and we have a wonderful coaching team with the likes of Ian Vass, Ben Gulliver and Paul Larkin, while Rob Crowle keeps things ticking along and Dave, Robbo and Ben Minney do a cracking job on match days.
“Andrew Petts has been brilliant at keeping me fit this season while the medical team have worked wonders when called upon.
“I’d also like to thank everyone behind the scenes such as the Gareth Davies, Nos Thomas, Debra, Alan, Ted, Tony, Simon and everyone who is involved.
“I also want to say a big thank you to the wonderful fans who follow the Blues at home and across the country.
“We have some very long journeys in the Championship and in the B&I Cup, so to see familiar faces cheering you on each week is a real pleasure and is not lost on the lads at all.
“This is a wonderful club and I really don’t want this season to end. I’m currently on 199 Blues appearances and nothing would give me greater pleasure than reaching 200 and helping the Blues to finish as high up the table as possible.
“And who knows, maybe the season could go on a little bit longer. Thank you Bedford Blues.”