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Craig Mackail-Smith announces retirement

I figured this deserves it own post rather than going in the ex-players discussion.

CMS has announced his retirement. He had been playing for Bedford. He scored 11 times for the Chairboys.

Best of luck CMS.



  • He has still scored the second most recent hattrick for us (Crawley, H). Great player in that promotion season and scored a memorable winner in the first L1 season back up too.

  • He was a terrific player, used to love watching him play. So clever with his movement, and his first touch and passing were so good

  • Really loved him playing for us - I'm shocked that he only scored 11 goals.

  • 13 in 68 in all comps

  • Didn’t know he was at Bedford. They are another bay shit crazy outfit

  • I think that's the other Bedford.

  • Maybe you should talk to the Couhigs about that - two clubs playing at one ground - sharing costs - why didn’t we think of that before?

  • Bedford Town and Real Bedford have their own adjacent grounds.

  • Bedford Town were the one's we used to play, Real Bedford are the new unangelic upstarts.

  • Did well for us in a role that probably didn't best suit his talents - wide in a 3.

    Had a very limited spell as the central striker and there was a school of thought that was the way forward for a while.

    But I'll always remember he had a great game and scored one week. Was rotated for Samuel the next game and pretty much never got a look in again.

    The harshness of football at times.

  • edited January 2023

    Bedford Town, currently 16th in Southern Prem Central (Edit tier step 3), are averaging 522 at home this season, with a high of 862 on Boxing day against AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

    Real Bedford, currently top of the Spartan South Mids Div One (Edit tier step 6) by 12 clear points, are averaging 181, with a high of 273 on the opening day against Rushden & Higham United. Their last game, on 2 Jan, saw them lose 3-1 at home to Lowly Langford in front of 272. Prior to the takeover by the bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack, gates were rarely over 50. They live stream their games on their YouTube channel, they build a small scaffolding tower at away games, and highlights can also be found on the channel.

  • So Rushden has two football clubs. Crikey.

    There will be few on here (if any) old enough to remember an extraordinary sequence of cup replays against Bedford in the ‘sixties. It was so remarkable that the Sun newspaper (then a broadsheet) had a feature article dedicated to the whole saga including what we would now describe as a ‘timeline’ relating it to national/? world events.

  • Yes, both clubs play at the Hayden Road ground in Rushden. I see that former Chairboy Adrian Mann is the Chairman of Rushden & Higham.

    Gasman has a feature on those Bedford games:

  • @micra Also remember the three-game FA Cup series against Bedford in the mid 70s, which we eventually won in a second replay at Loakes Park in torrential rain. Remember being very impressed by Bedford's ground in the first replay.

  • i remember the bricks being of good quality… as they smashed through the rear window of one of the coaches

  • But their main stand was very impressive to be fair

  • And straying back to the original post good luck to CMS in whatever he does now. One of those footballers who always looked pleasing to see and, like others, always felt he was under-used especially latterly.

  • There are three clubs in Bedford. Kempston Rovers also play in the town.

  • Yes. I saw the games at Loakes Park. The conditions were awful but it was a novelty as I seem to recall it was the first time floodlights were there. I lived not far away so didn't get too wet walking there and back.

  • I’m surprised to learn about the Spanish royal family’s patronage of a non league team from Bedford!

  • Little bit of Trivia

    Can anyone recall another Wanderers forward who left to go to Bedford ??

  • I know gasroom threads love tangents, but why is the focus in here on Rushden and Bedford, instead of CMS's time with us ? 😂

  • Ed_Ed_
    edited January 2023

    Spent a lot of time this year just passed undergoing treatment from a physio who used to treat CMS when he was on loan from us at Stevenage. He said of him that it was a two week mission to put him back together again after a match, the mind was still 20 but the body just couldn't match the desire every single game. He said that even with the ever improving standards in fitness training, in treatment and in nutrition, after a certain point in time and after some traumatic injuries, the body just doesn't recover as quickly or as fully as it used to. The same physio was at Bury when that all went to the dogs, it has been an interesting time getting to hear some of what goes on behind the scenes although regarding Bury he didn't have any more of a clue what was going on that anyone else at the time.

  • Little clue, this striker played alongside his brother against us prior to signing for us.

  • No this gentleman has a prolific goal scoring record for this club in which he played with his sibling.

  • CMS was a really nice chap when I met him once, all the best for the future!

  • I might be wrong but did his career begin to decline following a bad achilles injury?

  • Kempston is technically a different town, though it's gradually becoming subsumed by Bedford.

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