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1890 was the date of the first men’s Varsity Match and the first women’s match is thought to have taken place in the same era. As was the case then, the Varsity Match represents one of the main focuses of the season, not only for the Blues players today but also for the second and third teams in their Varsity Matches.

The 1890 Club was set up in 2000 to promote fellowship among Oxbridge hockey players who are members of the respective University Hockey Clubs. It attempts to maintain those friendships off the pitch and to recall the glory years on it.

On the hockey side there are regular summer fixtures for men, women and mixed teams as well as matches with the Universities and other invitation sides. On the social side, there are occasional, five yearly formal dinners, the most recent being in October 2010 at the Oval, attended by 120 revellers in a most enjoyable evening.

There is another very important aspect to The 1890 Club. As sponsorship and central funding become harder to find, The 1890 Club is assuming a key role in providing financial and organisational support for the Universities. In recognising the significance of the Varsity matches to all the teams in the University Hockey Clubs, The 1890 Club this year donated £500 towards the Second and Third teams’ recent day of Varsity matches and have donated £1,500 towards the cost of today’s matches. It is hoped that the size of this donation can be increased in future years in line with an increasing membership of The 1890 Club.

It is hoped that the help offered by The 1890 Club to the present students will encourage them to join and to establish a thread of continuity to underpin Oxbridge hockey for the next generation of participants.

If you would like more information about any aspect of The 1890 Club, please contact the secretary by email at

Robert Woodhead

1890 Club

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