Where Oxford American Football started…

A small but crucial piece of Oxford American Football history is sadly disappearing

The Nuffield Arms pub in Littlemore, Oxford, was closed in September 2014 and is being converted into a supermarket according to this report in the Oxford Mail.

For passing drivers and local residents, it may very well be currently considered an eye sore. There are few people however who would know the role this pub played in Saints history.

Team Founder - Steve Abbott
Team Founder – Steve Abbott

The Nuffield Arms is where team founder Steve Abbott arranged the first meeting to discuss setting up an American Football team in Oxford.

Only four people turned up but the undeterred and dedicated Steve Abbott is said to have drawn a picture of a tree, with a branch representing each person and in turn that branch breaking out into other branches.

Within a couple of weeks the first training session was held at Peers School (now known as The Oxford Academy).

This same location was used for the Saints pre-season training for 2015, with the next generation of players coming down and practising at the same place where the whole team started back in the early 1980’s…

Thanks to Steve’s vision and determination, he has left a legacy behind him as Oxford is now believed to be the longest running American Football club in the country.

In the early days the club was known as the Oxford Eagles and then changed to the Oxford Bulldogs. They competed proudly under the Bulldogs title before eventually becoming the Oxford Saints in 1992.

We’ve now been competing since 1983 without fail and 2015 will see many new players representing Oxford.

Check out our schedule here and come see this historic team in action.

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The 2014 Oxford Saints
The 2014 Oxford Saints