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© Chris Byrne 2010

The White House Ground (1)

Oxford City had a slightly nomadic existence in their very early incarnations, and might well have ended up playing off Botley Road - near the present West Oxford Community Centre (opposite St Frideswide's) - had Oxford Cygnets not been sitting tenants. In the 1890s, with one or two exceptions, matches were played on the Grandpont ground (also used by Oxford United College Servants) until the White House ground (also used by OUCSFC) became available.
The first match played by Oxford City on the White House was (probably) against Balliol College on November 17th 1900, and, though one or two matches were played elsewhere in Oxford after that, it remained City's home until 1988.

Bury MAtch Cropped
WH Map(2)

This section of a 1970s map of Oxford shows the position of the White House Ground.
A short item in the Oxford Chronicle in January 1921 states "...City's ground at first was over the lines at Grandpont which was originally the Christ Church cricket ground and a pigeon shooting arena. Pembroke College are now laying out the ground as their new sports ground."
This would put that first ground roughly in the area circled in red.

This early photo of the White House Ground shows the English Cup match against Bury on January 12th 1907 about to kick off. The camera looks north towards St Matthew's Church and Western Road.
The City side, containing many of the players who had lifted the Amateur Cup less than a year previously, of Keates, Witherington, Scothern, Hunt, Smith W, Organ, Draper, Dickinson, Compton, Arnett & Kirkpatrick lost the match 0-3

OSC Final(cropped) 1910
RE 1

The trio of pictures (left) - that appeared in The Oxford Journal Illustrated - show the Oxfordshire Senior Cup Final between Thame and Bicester in March 1910: Thame won 2-0.
The bottom picture shows the presentation of the Cup outside the pavilion, with the Thame captain, H. Rose, holding the trophy.

The picture (above) shows the first goal of the Amateur Cup match against the Royal Engineers (Aldershot) on January 18th 1913. It shows the end of the old North Stand and houses on Western Road. City went on to win 5-1 with a goal apiece from Rev. Kenneth Hunt, W.J. Seymour, Alfred Jakeman and two from Guy Buckingham.

These other rather grainy photographs below - again courtesy of the Oxford Journal Illustrated - show the ground from different angles.

Ilford 2
Ilford 1

These two pictures from the pre-WW1 era show action around the goalmouth from a typically close encounter with Ilford in the Isthmian League match on October 10th 1913. The left-hand image is looking north across the Abingdon Road End goalmouth. The right-hand picture looks across the same goalmouth from the other side of the pitch towards White House Road.
City won the match 2-1 with both goals coming from P. Woodward.

v Leytonstone 1920(1)(Reduced)
Old Pavilion(REDUCED)

This view looking towards the Marlborough Road end is from the match against Leytonstone on September 11th 1920. City won 3-1 with goals from Harry Wackett, Frank Hartley and Alf Jakeman.
The picture shows "...the City captain, F Ansell, hotly pursued by Leytonstone".

This image from the November 12th 1919 issue of the Oxford Journal Illustrated has the caption "...the last bit of the Old White House which has been pulled down to make room for new buildings on the City Football Ground. Covered stands are also being erected on the Western Road side of the field."
It was taken from the south-side touchline facing east, and you can see the 1898-built pub in the background, with the tree in front which was still there in the 1960s.

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