January 17, 2023, by School of Medicine
Memories of the Nottingham Medical School Football Club
I began my studies at Nottingham Medical School in 1971 as one of the University’s second intake of medical students. Whilst none of the students in the first intake were interested in playing football (although several of them played rugby union), 8 or 9 of us in the second intake were keen to play.
So, during the 1971-72 season we organised a couple of friendly games against teams from different Halls on the university campus to begin to explore the feasibility of forming a Medical School Football Club.
Encouraged by the levels of enthusiasm and talent (in that order!) displayed in these friendlies we decided to go ahead with setting up a Club, on the assumption that the third student intake was likely to include even more footballers, thereby enabling us to have enough players to field a full team.
Supported by Medsoc, who purchased a very smart set of kit for the team, we entered the University’s Sunday Morning League for season 1972-73. Games took place at the Grove Farm playing fields, kicking off at 10.30 every Sunday morning. Remarkably we did quite well in our first season and might even have finished in a top 2 position had a crucial “must win” game not been scheduled to take place on a Sunday morning after a particularly vigorous all-night party at the famous 564 Derby Road medical student residence!
As Nottingham’s medical student numbers continued to grow we were able in subsequent years to field two teams regularly. We were consistently strong in the Sunday Morning League, and won it in 1973-74. We also began to play friendly fixtures against teams outwith the University, including games against other UK Medical Schools.
Furthermore, as capability and confidence grew within the Club we organised and hosted the first-ever UK Medical Schools 6-a-side football tournament in 1975. The tournament, which was won by University College London, was a great success and, in retrospect, marked the moment when Nottingham “arrived” on the national Medical School football scene.
In the same year the Club held its first annual trophy presentation dinner. This was attended by the Club’s first president Anne M Jequier, who was consultant and senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Nottingham, and who presented the awards on the evening.
Sadly for the world of football, the members of the original team did not have an opportunity to play together again after we qualified in 1976. But we all enjoyed meeting up at our Year reunion in 2011, and we are all looking forward to discussing and celebrating the team’s history and achievements, both on and off the pitch, when we meet again at our next year reunion in Nottingham later this year.
Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University
Captain, Nottingham Medical School Football Club 1971-75
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