Many notable men and women have passed through the sporting ranks at Oxford University. Just some of them are celebrated here.
We are extremely proud of the 158 Olympic medals that our alumni have won on behalf of many nations across the globe. Hundreds of our alumni are ‘Olympians’ and many more have been at the heart of helping to stage the modern Olympics, including London 2012.
Distinguished Sporting Alumni
A. C. Smith
English Test cricketer (Brasenose College, 1957) Cricket and Football Blue
Alan Christopher Smith was described more than once as the “complete cricketer”. A solid wicket-keeper, he scored three hundreds – two for Oxford in 1959 – held six catches in an innings in 1970 and in a 1965 match, he removed his pads and immediately took a hat-trick.
He won cricket Blues in all three years for Oxford – he captained them in his last two summers – and after a good summer for Warwickshire was picked, to the surprise of many, to tour Australia and New Zealand in 1962-63 where he kept wicket in six of the eight matches.
He was an effective all-rounder, a dogged middle-order batsman, a useful right-arm seamer, bowling off the wrong foot, and a competent wicketkeeper and, in later years, a leading administrator.
After retiring, he was a Test selector, an England tour manager, secretary of Warwickshire, and the first chief executive of the Test & County Cricket Board.
In his spare time, he was a director of Aston Villa (he was also a football Blue).
Claire Taylor MBE
English Test cricketer (Mathematics, Queen’s College, 1994) Cricket Half Blue, Hockey Blue
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2009 and ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2009 who played 15 Tests, 126 One Day Internationals and 27 Twenty20 matches for England.
Claire holds the record for the highest individual One Day International score at Lord’s by a man or woman after scoring an unbeaten 156 against India in 2006. She is regarded by many as the “greatest batsman women;’s cricket has ever seen”.
At Oxford, Taylor earned three blues for hockey, and three half blues for cricket.
Sir Arnold Lunn
Creator of the modern Alpine slalom race (Balliol College)
British slalom skier and international authority on skiing who in 1922 introduced slalom gates (paired poles between which the skier must pass on his downward descent) and thereby created the modern Alpine slalom race.
At Oxford he founded the Oxford Ski Club and later the Ski Club of Great Britain (1903), the Alpine Ski Club (1908), and the Kandahar Ski Club (1924). He helped organize the Anglo-Swiss University match of 1925 to popularize the slalom course.
In 1930 he convinced the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) to recognize competition in the slalom as well as in the downhill, and in 1936 he assisted in the organization of the events for the Winter Olympic Games. He served as a member of the FIS executive committee (1934–49) and as chairman of the International Downhill Ski Racing Committee (1946–49).
Lunn was editor of British Ski Yearbook from 1919 for more than 50 years and wrote many books on skiing, mountaineering, philosophy, and Christianity. He was knighted in 1952 for service to British skiing and Anglo-Swiss relations.
C. B. Fry
English cricketer and footballer (Wadham College, 1892)
Represented England at both cricket and football, including an FA Cup Final appearance for Southampton FC. Fry also equalled the then-world record for the long jump.
He won Blues in Association football, cricket and athletics, but narrowly failed to win a Blue in rugby union, because of an injury. He captained OUCC and OUAC in 1894.
Fry was also a decent shot putter, hammer thrower and ice skater as well as being a proficient golfer.
He was reportedly once offered the throne of Albania while on a diplomatic mission and boasted a party trick in which he jumped backwards from stationary on the floor to his living room mantelpiece.
England’s first football captain and winner of the FA Cup at Oxford University (Brasenose College)
Cuthbert Ottaway lifted the FA Cup as skipper of Oxford University. He represented Oxford at the top level in five different sports – athletics, rackets, real tennis, cricket and football.
An accomplished cricketer he once shared a 150-run partnership with WG Grace in the highest level of cricket. His most notable achievement was captaining England in the first ever international football match though.
This list is not definitive and we would be delighted to hear from you regarding other Oxonians who deserve to be included.
Please Contact Us if you can help bring these names and achievements to life!