Whitehouse football ground on OS map 1921

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

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, built on Brasenose College land between Abingdon Road and Marlborough Road, was the club's home from 1900 to 1988.

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

Jackson's Oxford Journal, 31 March 1906.

The club’s greatest triumph came in March 1906 when the team won the national Amateur Cup. Hodges Court, which was built in the early 1990s on the site of the former Whitehouse ground, commemorates the game.

[Hodges Court plaque]

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. Two Oxford City players and two Oxford University players were on the England team, which won 9-0. Jackson's Oxford Journal reported the match in great detail the following Saturday.

This British Pathé short film shows the Football Association Amateur Cup Quarter Final of 1951 being played on the Whitehouse ground between Oxford City and Pegasus Association Football Club. Pegasus was the combined Oxford and Cambridge university team, which had been formed in 1948, and which was based at the Whitehouse ground in Oxford. The Pegasus Grange retirement complex, which is now on the site of the football ground, was named after it.

In the early 1980s, the manager of Oxford City Football Club was - briefly - Bobby Moore, former England captain. Sportswriter Jim White tells the story here (courtesy of Morris Oxford).


[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.

After the Whitehouse ground closed in 1988 excavations on the site revealed Iron Age rural settlements of the 3rd to 1st centuries BC [see this article, pages 39-41] and traces of 12th- to 14th-century medieval settlements. Hodges Court and Pegasus Grange were later 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.

Matchcard for the Amateur International England v Germany match played on Oxford City's Whitehouse Ground, 13 March 1909. Courtesy of Julian Lawton Smith, grandson of the England captain Herbert Smith. (Click image to close)

[Football Amateur International Match 1909 Oxford City Whitehouse Ground]