Come on, admit it… we’ve all fantasied about stepping out onto that hallowed Wembley turf to score in an important final. Well, whilst your University footballing career is unlikely to reach such drastic and dizzying heights there is a high level of prestige attached to stepping out to represent Oxford University in the annual Varsity football match.
The Oxford University Association Football Club, as it is formally known, has a long tradition of breeding sporting success and most importantly beating bitter rivals Cambridge in the show piece event each year. In Trinity term last year, Cherwell Sport’s Ralph Turner witnessed a pulsating affair at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium which resulted in Oxford winning on penalties after snatching a stoppage time equalizer.
The club itself has an extremely impressive heritage. Formed in 1872, the team is one of the oldest to be associated with the University. A cohort of twenty nine players have progressed from the Blues team to represent their country. Perhaps the most famous of this elite group is CB Fry who won international acclaim both in Cricket and Football, captaining his country in 6 tests from 1912 whilst also enjoying an illustrious footballing career with bitter rivals Southampton and Portsmouth.
The club currently play its matches at the Iffley Road sports ground. The first ever game at this site was a high profile affair in December 1921 which saw Tottenham Hotspur beat OUAFC 1-0.
Whilst it may not be common knowledge, Oxford University have competed in the F.A Cup. The club entered the competition between 1872-1880 and have reached the final five times, winning the trophy once with a 2-0 win over Royal Engineers at the Kennington Oval.
It is clear that the club has a extremely prestigious past, but the question is, just how does one get involved in Blues football? This year trials will take place during Freshers week and are open to all who wish to put themselves forward. Further details, and the chance to register interest can be found on the club website at www.ouafc.co.uk
So, whilst it may be a while until the Blues team grace the Wembley turf in a major domestic final, they still have an impressive history, and let’s face it there is nothing better than telling your friends that you have just joined an F.A Cup winning side!