News Gallery



Click below to read about other former students who have made the Headlines recently!

Danni Nicholls

Michael Whelan

Greg Taylor

What have students from Mark Rutherford gone on to do?

Daniel McGowan

Former student Danny McGowan is making huge progress in the world of Muay Thai Boxing. McGowan, who was awarded the Sport's Department's Special Recognition award in July, has the chance to earn a contract with one of Thailand's top promoters! He will be travelling back to Bangkok later this month as he continues to chase his dream.

Lydia Maddix

Below is the interview I did with Radio 1, Daniel Craig and Naomi Harris!

Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis is a former student. He has designed this card for Waterstones.


James Petty

Bedford’s James Petty was named Bedfordshire FA’s Charter Standard Coach of 2009 at an awards ceremony on Monday and will now represent the county in a regional and possible national final.

James studied Sport & Exercise Sciences at Mark Rutherford gaining a triple distinction grade in the BTEC National Diploma. The 21-year-old has combined his playing, managing and coaching with his university degree and his association with Brickhill Wanderers football club.

He started his coaching badges while in the sixth form at Mark Rutherford, school and studied at the University of Bedford so that he could continue as a coach with the Wanderers. He even wrote his dissertation based on research at his club.

Steve Abbott

Abbott on track for Tour de France -An unheard of’ Bedford cyclist has won a major cycling title and now has his sights set on tackling the Tour de France route.

Former Mark Rutherford pupil Steve Abbott will be leaving for the Alps this month having won the Cayman Classics cycling title – but be did not take up the sport seriously until the end of 2006.

Although he entered the National Schools Sprint Championship as a youngster he did not think he was any good.

He said: “I quit cycling in the winter of 1996, after being at Nottingham Trent University for a few months to concentrate on my studies instead.

“I didn’t ride a bike again until the end of 2006, when I bought an old mountain bike secondhand to get fit in the sunshine on Grand Cayman.”

He entered his first race for 12 years in May 2008 – a 5km time trial and a 45-mile road race the following weekend.

He added: “In June I rode my first ever century (100 miles) and over the summer and winter of 2008 I ramped up my training and was thoroughly enjoying myself.


Andy Johnson

Andrew Johnson (AJ) was at Mark Rutherford School in the mid 1990s and currently plays for Fulham FC in the English Premier League.  Before this he played for Birmingham City, Crystal Palace and Everton.

  AJ has scored over 100 league goals and played for England eight times.


Rene Howe

Another former student from the 1990s is Rene Howe.  After playing for Bedford Town he was signed by Kettering Town.  He then moved to Peterborough United in May 2007 before going on loan to Rochdale and Morecombe.  In April 2009 he returned to POSH.


Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor is another Rutherfordian who has entered professional football.  He has emerged through the youth structures at Northampton Town and made one first team appearance as sub against Bolton Wanderers in the Carling Cup.  Greg has now joined Kettering Town for the 09-10 season at centre half.




John Oliver was a highly talented student whilst at Mark Rutherford School.  Not only did he excel academically but he also contributed to the extra-curricular life of the school.  Acting was his real interest and he seriously considered Drama School as an option.  He started off when he was a teenager doing Bedfordshire Youth Theatre while going to Mark Rutherford Upper School. It proved very helpful as he got involved in making productions and seemed to often get cast in the funny parts and found he enjoyed it. However he eventually decided to apply to Cambridge University.  There he studied English and became involved in the world renowned ‘Footlights’.  After graduation he immersed himself in comedy and has a success career.  He has performed at the ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ and written and performed on US television.  UK credits include performing on ‘Mock the Week’ and writing for Radio 4.

John Oliver

MRUS has always had a history of producing excellent performers.  Notable names include John Oliver who writes and performs comedy, Heather Uprichard who is a member of a well regarded acting company in London and Nick Huntington who has had roles on stage.  Locally Matt Roberts is well known in the music scene and is remembered for nonchalantly coming into school and mentioning going to Jools Holland’s house to jam. 

Jemma Endersby





A contemporary from the early 90s is Jemma Endersby who performed with Matt whilst both were students. Jemma clearly had talent from the moment she entered the school and this was very evident at the end of her first year when she sang in front of the school.  This talent led her to taking every opportunity to perform and she logically took this pathway as she progressed through to the Sixth Form. 

Naturally she wanted to develop her musical and performing abilities and decided to apply to the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).  In 1999 she graduated and moved to Germany.  There she swiftly gained a name in the music scene, especially in her new home town of Cologne and played across the country.  In 2002 she recorded her first album ‘Afterglow’ and more recently issued an EP ‘Flow’. 

Jemma’s style is likened to the ‘tones of Norah Jones’ but with the ‘sassy soul punch of KT Tunstall’.  She mixes ‘classic acoustic pop’ with surprising ‘harmonic twists’ and ‘jazzy soul’.  As well as performing in her own right, Jemma has been singing backing vocals for other artists and has travelled the world. 

As she says on her website:-
'It has been a real juggling act fitting everything in, but I really wanted to get some of my new songs out there. There's been so much positive feedback following Afterglow and all the live shows, that it really was about time.'             
We wish her luck in the future!


Singer songwriter Tariq Shaheen says his music has a wide appeal.
Former student and budding musician, singer-songwriter TariQ Shaheen, aged 22 – who in the past reached the boot-camp stage of ITV1's X-Factor – last month made it to the regional finals of the Live and Unsigned competition where he will take on 15 other hopefuls at the Fairfield Hall in Croydon. He is hoping to win a £20,000 recording studio contract after beating thousands of entrants in the auditions of the national competition.

Tariq says "It's great because purely and simply you get to do your own music and your own songs. At the end of the day I am a singer-songwriter and the fact that the competition is wanting people to do their own stuff allows me to shine. "They are looking for talent that's different from X-Factor." TariQ, who is influenced by artists including Guns 'n' Roses and Michael Jackson, says his music appeals to most people's tastes.

Originally from Blackpool, he took up the guitar when he moved to Bedford aged 13, although he had been playing the piano and writing songs from a young age. After leaving Mark Rutherford he attended the Academy of Contemporary Music in London and has since carried on writing and performing as well as travelling and working as a charity fundraiser. "Basically I want to be a successful recording artist," said TariQ. "I want to be playing on stage at stadiums – that's my dream. The music I play is quite diverse and has a wide appeal."

Another former student David Mahmoudieh, Film Maker, wrote a 30 minute screenplay called Rain and won the European Independent Film Festival 2008 (ECU 2008). David still lives in Bedford and occasionally reviews films for Bedfordshire on Sunday.



Mark Rutherford School
Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mk41 8PX
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