The offside rule? We invented it.

The offside rule? We invented it.

  • Football club
    Becky Graves (Girton); Henry Warne (Fitzwilliam); Alexi Spyrou (Fitzwilliam)

Photography by Adam Lawrence

The Cambridge University Association Football Club (CUAFC) may be the oldest football club in the world but it is still going strong in 2017.

Cambridge is stressful, but that intensity makes the bond with teammates strong in a way I’ve never experienced in other teams – these friendships last forever.

An ardent footballer since the age of eight, captain Henry Warne (Fitzwilliam) was down at the Cambridge University Association Football Club doing pre-season try-outs a week before officially becoming a Cambridge fresher.

“It was the best introduction to university I could have possibly had,” remembers Warne, now a fourth-year studying History and Philosophy of Science. “By the time term started, my nerves had gone – I’d already met 20 like-minded people.”

The 40-strong society, consistently in the top league of male and female university football, is believed to be the oldest club in the world and, last October, was inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame. In 1846, the founders drew up the first major code for playing the game, including the offside rule.

These days, life for Club members revolves around the beautiful game just as much as academic studies. The teams study hard and play hard, with games around the country on Wednesdays and training on Sundays and Mondays.

“Cambridge is stressful, but that intensity makes the bond with teammates strong in a way I’ve never experienced in other teams – these friendships last forever.”

To find out more about the Cambridge University Association Football Club please visit their website, at cuafc.org.

Interview by Olivia Gordon.

This article first appeared in CAM - the Cambridge Alumni Magazine, edition 80. Find out how to receive CAM.