South Oxford Community Centre

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Oxford's first football ground

Football became increasingly popular during the Victorian period, as a form of exercise and as a spectator sport. Oxford City Football Club was founded in 1882. The Whitehouse Ground (shown on the map left), built on Brasenose College land between Abingdon Road and Marlborough Road, was the club's home from 1900 to 1988.

Whitehouse football ground on OS map 1921

Oxford City's Whitehouse Ground shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1921.

[Whitehouse ground Oxford City vs Swansea Town FA Cup 2nd Round Dec 1969]

Oxford City playing Swansea Town at the Whitehouse ground in the FA Cup Second Round, December 1969. This photograph shows the proximity of the football ground and the stands to St Matthew’s church. Image from the Oxford Mail.

The club’s greatest triumph came in March 1906 when the team won the national Amateur Cup.

JOJ 31-03-1906 p7 Oxford City Amateur Cup victory detail

Jackson's Oxford Journal, 31 March 1906.

[Hodges Court plaque]

Hodges Court, which was built in the early 1990s on the site of the former Whitehouse ground, commemorates the game.

On 13 March 1909 the Amateur International match was played at the Whitehouse ground between England and Germany, attracting a crowd of over 4,000. Three Oxford City players were on the England team, which won 9-0. Jackson's Oxford Journal reported the match in great detail the following Saturday.

After the Whitehouse ground closed in 1988 excavations on the site revealed middle Iron Age rural settlements of the 3rd to 1st centuries BC and traces of 12th to 14th century medieval settlements. Hodges Court and Pegasus Grange are now built on the site.

Incidentally: Headington United football club, later Oxford United, was founded in 1893.

The South Oxford Football Club had its ground on Dean's Ham.

Jackson's Oxford Journal, 20 March 1909, p.8. (Click image to close)

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