Hundreds of students enjoyed a magnificent afternoon at Silver Jubilee Park, as the inaugural UCFB Varsity fixtures took place.

UCFB Wembley were the hosts of the matches, played between the men’s and women’s teams from both Wembley and Etihad campuses.

And it was the hosts who were presented with the shield at the end of the tournament, winning both fixtures in dramatic style.

Two very late goals secured a 2-0 win for the Wembley women’s team, before the men’s team fought from 2-0 down to draw the match and win the subsequent penalty shootout 5-3.

The initial plans for a Varsity fixture between the two campuses were originally made back in 2020.

However, these plans were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But it was well worth the wait, with hundreds attending and showing support for their campus, and even more tuning in via the live stream on YouTube.

Both teams victorious with the Varsity shield

Wembley men’s captain, Jack Bibb, said about the event: “It was amazing to be involved in UCFB’s first ever Varsity games, but even sweeter to come out as champions!

“To show the character we did at 2-0 down and take the game back to the Etihad defined the spirit of our season, never backing down to a fight, and to win on penalties was the perfect ending.

“I’ve had the fortune of being involved with UCFB football teams throughout my three years here, and it’s a great way to socialise with students other than those on your course.

“I’ve made some unbelievable memories, the Varsity win at the top of it, and I’m so honoured to have been a part of it.”

The crowd at one end of Silver Jubilee Park

The winning women’s captain, Sarah Sparrow, added: “Varsity was such a great opportunity for our squad to get to compete against our Manchester Counterparts.

“The match was a good challenge for everyone and I have to say I’m proud of the girls to yet again go all out for the full 90.

“The support we got from the stands was absolutely unbelievable and the best we’ve had all season. I think being a part of this squad has done something for all of us.

“Speaking on my own coming in as a First Year, I didn’t know many people and having a team I got to see twice a week all year gave me a set of friends I’m so grateful to have.

“Thank you so much to the girls, the coaches, the athletic union and everyone who has helped make this an unforgettable experience.”

To find out more about the sporting academies available at UCFB, click here.