Following a huge push by Blues footballer Ceylon Hickman, a group of players from CUWAFC took part in a first-ever combined Oxbridge fixture as part of the Football Beyond Borders (FBB) Community Cup. Hickman came across FBB after seeing their posts on social media, and made the most of her two passions of football and access to drive for a joint Light and Dark Blue team to send down to their charity tournament.
The FBB Community Cup was the biggest fundraising event FBB have ever held, and following discussions with the organisers, Hickman felt that, “The idea for an Oxbridge XI was a symbolic way of demonstrating the inclusivity of the FBB educational community (or the #FBBFamily!)”. The Oxbridge squad were there as role models for young people and to demonstrate that Oxbridge isn’t always about academia: there’s always time for football! It was also a great opportunity for the CUWAFC players to play some 11-a-side during exam term, and to get to play at the high-quality ground provided by Dulwich Hamlet Football Club in South East London.
Joining up with the foes from Ox**** might have seemed daunting, given the unfortunate run of three losses in a row for CUWAFC’s Blues, but in the end things went very smoothly, with Hickman reporting that “It was the perfect way to end 3 years of Cambridge football, and arguably more enjoyable than the Varsity match. We all got on fantastically and it’s just a shame some of us won’t have the opportunity to face them in next year’s Varsity!”
The day consisted of a youth tournament in the morning, followed by a 5-a-side tournament for FBB’s corporate partners. Up next came the Women’s Showcase featuring the Oxbridge team against another joint team, this time between Boiler Room Ladies FC and Wondered FC, two 5-a-side teams combined. This was followed by the Men’s Showcase featuring the likes of Owen Gibson of The Guardian, Rudimental, Leon Court and many other celebrities and ex-professional footballers.
Arguably at an advantage given the lack of full-pitch experience of the opposition, the Oxbridge side still showed their class throughout the game. A hat-trick for Henny Horsler and two goals for Becca Hirst, including a stunning free kick, helped the team to a 9-0 victory. Also taking part were two Cambridge alumni, Alice Farrell and Alex Greenwood, who relished the chance to play some full-pitch football and join back up with their previous squad-mates.
Hickman was delighted with the outcome of the entire process, from both the charity perspective and being able to join up with the Dark Blues, saying how, “Even if [the combined Oxbridge team] can’t play together at the FBB Cup, I’d love for the tradition of a joint team to continue.”
Congratulations to all involved, and we hope that this brilliant initiative does indeed become a more permanent fixture!