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Football Club Alumni

Over many years the Exeter University Football Club has provided thousands of football playing students with memorable playing and social experiences. Many teams and individual students have achieved at national and local level, and many players have gone on to have impressive post-Exeter football careers in playing, coaching, management and administration.

The football club alumni section has been set up with three main aims:

  • To celebrate Exeter University football past and present
  • To organise, promote and implement an annual reunion
  • To discuss possible support for the current football programme

A very successful 2nd EUAFC reunion weekend was held in November 2021 with just under 100 attendees. Optional Friday golf was followed by era get togethers on Friday evening (including the Black Horse for old times sake!). On Saturday there were tours of the main campus and Luke’s, watching the current 1st X1 beat Newtown FC in the cup, and finishing with the reunion dinner and EUAFC celebrations in the evening. Sunday morning offered walking football and an alumni/current students match, concluding a great weekend that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The 3rd annual reunion took place in March 2023. 

We now have decade co-ordinators for the 1960s - John Gilbert / Alan Young, 1970s - Charlie Hawker, 1980s - John Palmer, 1990s - John Deadman and recent graduates 2020 - 2029 - Jimmy Hawkings. We are looking for co-ordinators for the decades 2000-2009 and 2010 - 2020. Please contact us at if you would like to take on this role and get involved with the football alumni network. 

For further information and/or to link to the football alumni community please contact us on All enquires are totally commitment free and we are always happy to hear from our alumni.


This section will be developed as football alumni provide information. Please send any relevant memories you have as well as any photos or documents (programmes / annual dinner documents / league tables etc) / that you want to share here to

This section will be developed as football alumni provide information. Please send any relevant memories you have as well as any photos or documents (programmes / annual dinner documents / league tables etc) / that you want to share here to

  • What Exeter University Football meant to me
  • Most memorable moments
  • Life post Exeter

John Clapp, 1947-49

Reading your Football Alumni Update reminded me of the 1947/8 season when I played soccer for St. Luke's College, then a teacher's training college. Back then with James Smeall as Principal (a Rugby Union enthusiast par excellence) soccer was the poor relation. I went on to gain an F.A. Preliminary Coaching Award devised by Sir Walter Winterbottom who later became a friend. Guess who examined my coaching skills for the award in 1962. It was none other than Tony Pace who had skippered the St. Luke's side in 1947. Happy days.


This section will be developed as football alumni provide information. Please send any relevant memories you have as well as any photos or documents (programmes / annual dinner documents / league tables etc) / that you want to share here to

  • What Exeter University Football meant to me
  • Most memorable moments
  • Life post Exeter

Colin Hoare, 1959-62

What Exeter University Football meant to me

Before arriving at Exeter, I had been forced to play rugby at school, until the school allowed hockey as an alternative. Rugby was a game that never appealed, and my goalkeeping “experience” consisted mostly from “pick-up” Sunday afternoon games on the local village green.

My first year at Exeter, I was the University hockey goalkeeper – there being no competition for the position. It was not a strong team, and the win-loss record was pretty abysmal. At the end of the season, the football club happened to be looking for someone to keep goal in the third eleven fixture for a Wednesday afternoon league game. I mentioned that I was interested, and Brian Guscott (one of the first team players), who was playing as well, arranged for me to be selected (masquerading as T. G.). We won the game 3-2, and both Brian, along with other players, were so impressed with my goalkeeping that he said I should try out for the football first team for the 1960-61 season, as the incumbent (T. Y.) was off for a year-long sabbatical in France.

I had never received any coaching (at that time, training players for that position was non-existent), so I bought a copy of a book in the (probably now long-forgotten) “Teach Yourself” series – the one dedicated to football. That proved to be pretty much useless, as the chapter on goalkeeping was pathetic.

Keep in mind, the total enrolment at the University at that time was in the region of 1,600 students, but the football team itself had, despite these low numbers, at least six schoolboy county players. Not enough to make a strong team for the first season, as we lost all three U. A. U. Southern Region games to Bristol, Reading & Southampton (more of the Reading game later).

Prior to the start of the season the U. A. U. also announced it was running a pre-season week-long camp, with the Loughborough Colleges coach, Alan Wade, as coach. I signed up (the only student from Exeter). It was not a great success, as Alan admitted when I got there that “he did not know very much about goalkeeping!”

Anyway, we also had a pre-season session on Top Field (it was grass at the time), and again, as the only candidate for the position, I was selected. I played all but two games, having been dropped, replaced by T. G., and then back in the squad after two games as T. G. liked weekend hiking on the Devon Moors, and decided this was his preferred way of spending a Saturday afternoon.

The following season, the team was strengthened by the arrival of some more strong players, notably Tim Brown, who had had a trial with Burnley. T. Y. was back as well. Again, there was a pre-season training session – and again I was the only goalkeeper who showed up. Knowing that there might be more competition, I had embarked on a fitness training session at home for a few weeks, and played several games for one of our local teams.

Another challenger also arrived (A. C.), who was a serious competitor. Nevertheless, I retained my place – but again was dropped at one point, to be replaced by A. C. Unfortunately (for him), he broke his wrist in a pre-game warm-up, so I was back.

This time, we defeated Bristol & Southampton, and tied with Reading, so we were through to the U. A. U. Semi-final for the first time ever.

We were drawn at home to Loughborough Colleges, a side that had eliminated Maidenhead United 4-0 the previous Saturday in the F. A. Amateur Cup. They were so confident of beating this upstart competitor that their coach, Alan Wade (again) did not make the trip to the West Country, but instead left the running of the team to Bob Wilson – yes, that Bob Wilson who later played for Arsenal and Scotland, had a long career in broadcasting, and wrote “You’ve got to be crazy: Bob Wilson on goalkeepers and goalkeeping.”

We had a couple of advantages, however: Gras Lawn. A sloping pitch that was very short, and we had about 100 supporters (at least 95 more than usual). The team played extremely well, and indeed, almost won the game. Our very fast striker, John Balson put the ball in the net twice, only to have both goals cancelled as the referee ruled he was offside (John always averred that he was not).

The final score was 0-0, so we had to replay at Loughborough. Prior to travelling to Leicestershire, a friendly was arranged against the Fourth Division home side of Exeter City. Before the kick-off, the player-manager (whose name escapes me) said to Brian Wood, our captain: “Of course, you have got to expect to lose six or seven nothing.” We did lose, but by the far more respectable score of 3-2.

At Loughborough, we again held our own until just over halfway into the second half, when a controversial penalty kick was awarded against us. Loughborough scored, and then added two more in the dying minutes to run out 3-0 winners.

Sadly, this was the last time the team played together.

The only games I played after that were in the inter-hall competition, where I played for Kilmorie (now long gone). I picked up an injury when I was kicked in the shoulder by a rugby player in the Semi-final, and could not play against Bradninch in the Final T. Y. took my place – and played a proverbial ‘blinder.’

Most memorable moments

When you are a goalkeeper, there are memorable moments that are negative and positive. The first Reading game was my nightmare game: it was played on Guy Fawkes Day 1960, and my performance that day can best be described as a damp squib. On the plus side, however, the two U. A. U. Semi-final games against Loughborough Colleges (as it was then) in 1962 were among the finest of my career. There were others as well, and the team we had in 1961-62 played some great games.

Life post Exeter

I left for Canada immediately after graduation, and my participation in football continued for another two decades. I played for Canadair, a team in Montreal, for a couple of seasons. Because of the severe winters, both cricket & football are played at the same time – May to September/October. In contrast to the quality pitches in England, the fields are hopelessly overused, with very little grass.  They are also rock hard. Even wearing padded shorts, diving to make saves & collect balls took its toll. Two knee cartilage replacements in my twenties, and one total knee replacement in my sixties is proof!

I retired from playing and took up refereeing for two decades. Plenty of games over that time, including two years as an Assistant Referee in the North American Soccer League. The most memorable game was when Pele came to Montreal (still as a player with Santos) for an Exhibition game against an Italian side.

I also got a compliment from F. I. F. A. when I contacted them to point out that the diagram for the pitch in the current Rule Book had an error: the flag at the halfway line positioned on the line itself, instead of being one meter outside. Thousands of copies had been published in many languages – and no-one else had told them.

Another area in which I was involved was in administration. For six years, I was the President of the Metropolitan Soccer League in Montreal.

Finally, I got into freelance broadcasting for two years. A local radio station, CJAD, picked up the broadcasting rights for Montreal Le Manic for 1982-1983. I sent in my résumé (I had also plenty of acting experience), and landed the position of colour commentator. My employer was willing to let me do the job, as it did not interfere with my regular work. I saw more of North America then than I had before!

Sadly, that was it – well, not quite. My company relocated to Toronto, and I got a three-month TV stint as host of “World Soccer Report” on a local TV station. Unfortunately, the ratings did not justify keeping the programme, so it did not last very long – just three months.

David Green, 1966-69

3rd XI photograph:


Back row  L to R: Ian Parry, TBC, Vance Gallagher, Sam Twiston – Davies, Chris Williams, Ian Stratford, Tony May, Brian Lancaster

Front Row L to R: Peter Clyst, Ian Pateman, Pete Wyatt, David Green ( Capt, Charlie Lawrence, Paul Bateman, Dave Templeton

David says: "The trophy in this photo is for the league championship of the Devon and Exeter Division 2 East for 1968-69. It was the first time, I believe, that a University team had won a local league championship. Many of the players went on to play for the 2nd XI and a couple became regular members of the 1st XI."

Alan Young, Captain, 1967-70

Here are several photos from Alan's time as Captain. The first shows the First Team in 1967-68, the next the First Team in 1968-69, and then the Second Team in 1968-69. Finally the last photo is from the 1972 tour to New York, where several guys who had graduated in 69, 70 and 71 were invited to join the trip. 

First Team 67/68

Back – Tony Spooner, ? , Mickey Smith, ? , Colin Appleby, Brian Dyer, Alan Young, Geoff Ball

Front – Dave Templeton, Dave Watts, John Garvey, Barry Mead, Brian Lancaster

First Team 68/69

Back – Micky Clarkson, Mickey Smith, Terry Quy, Colin Appleby, Phil Fitzpatrick, Ian Murray, Geoff Ball

Front – Dave Templeton, Alan Young, Brian Dyer, Tony Spooner, Kelvin Norris


Second Team 68/69

Back – Chris Williams, Brian Lancaster, Jack Parry, ? , Kenny Mead, Martin Oakes

Front – Chris Porter, Stu Taylor, Dave Morgan, Rob Thomas, Tony Charles




"We played several matches as we travelled up New York State. I particularly remember the match against Princeton University as it was filmed, so we watched the game afterwards in the clubhouse - the first time for many of us that we had actually seen ourselves in action! This picture is from the match against Cornell University which in many ways was the highlight of the tour. The match itself was played in the evening under floodlights by which time there were several thousand people in the stadium. They had expected to do well against us, but we produced a brilliant performance to win by 7-3.

The line-up was:
Back - Alan Young, Phil Chamberlain, Dave Whitney, Mickey Smith, Dick Head, Terry Phillips, Micky Clarkson, Andy Childs.
Front - John Gilbert, Ian Murray, Martin Oakes, Steve Perkins, Tony May, Rob Thomas, Simon Dobbs.

Colin Appleby was also on the tour and I think taking the photograph."

 John Gilbert, 1969-72

 What Exeter University Football meant to me

  • My entry point into men’s football from under 18s football and having to learn / adapt quickly in the uncompromising Devon Leagues before playing in University 1st X1 football.
  • Meeting fellow student footballers several of whom became lifelong friends and extending the Exeter University playing experience in and around London over three decades.
  • Experience of both playing but also running a football club and having to deal with many on and off the field issues.
  • Enjoying the banter, fun, comradeship and competitiveness that playing in a team brings especially at Gras Lawn before and after big UAU matches. Also the singalongs coming back by coach from long distance away trips.
  • Becoming a good friend of Ted Wragg who helped me organise Exeter’s first US football tour in September 1972 and whose love of the Club over many years from the touchline inspired many generations of students.
  • Always enjoying returning for a number of alumni matches.

Most memorable moments

  • Beating Cornell University 7-3 under floodlights in their large on-campus stadium and partying well into the night at the local Holiday Inn. Some textbook goals that will long remain in the memory. September 1972 including a hat-trick from captain Martin Oakes.
  • Losing 7-1 to Ajax Under 18s inspired by Johann Neeskins at their Amsterdam training ground (outside the main stadium where we changed) in April 1970 after scoring first before the floodlights came on!
  • Witnessing two of the hardest shots of my playing career – a free-kick by Malaysian player Lan Harun in October 1971 that was hit with such ferocity that the Essex University wall all ducked as the ball hit the back of the net in an 8-2 win and former Grasshoppers junior Ian Murray lashing in a half volley at Clyst Hydon that the referee said he had never seen a football hit so hard.
  • Scoring with a long range header beating the Bath UAU keeper to draw level 4-4 towards the end of a fractious match against Bath University that saw Exeter down to ten men March 1971.
  • Beating St Luke’s 1st XI 5-2 having gone behind in a friendly December 1970.
  • Scoring 2 vital goals that helped the 2nd X1 win the Devon & Exeter League at the end of the 1969-70 season at Newton Rangers, Torbay.
  • Winning the Crediton 6-a-side tournament in June 1971 scoring 2 goals in the final.
  • Returning on several playing reunion occasions, the last of which was in 2001 when a team averaging around aged 50 played a pre-season match not against fellow veterans but a warm up against the University 1st X1 at Duckes Meadow. Fortunately the pitch was dry, bouncy and compact and the ball often went far out of play. Half time the score was 0-0 and in the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half the Alumni team went 2-0 up with 2 well executed goals from Dave Whitney and Charlie Hawker. Eventually the fitness of the students told and ended up 4-2 winners but a great game for many to prolong and end their Exeter playing football memories. Ted Wragg made an appearance as a sub for the University 1st X1.

Life post Exeter

  • M.Sc at Birmingham University playing 1st X1 football & cricket before moving to London and a career in international banking with postings to Hong Kong (where 2 seasons were spent playing for HKFC in professional league, although amateur club) & Australia.  In the mid-1990s set up a business research consultancy based in Wimbledon and holiday cottage business in Devon.
  • Former Chairman & Trustee of The Change Foundation (formerly Cricket 4 Change) a charity using sport and dance to change the lives of disadvantaged children in the UK and abroad from 2005-16.
  • Always kept in touch with former Exeter sporting alumni and with Rod Alexander (History 1971) established the Exeter University Alumni Golf Society (EUAGS) in 2005 that has run up to 4 events every year with some 300+ alumni attending one or more event & raised some £100,000 towards golf scholarships and equipment. EUGC 2019-20 No 1 ranked UK university. Sit on The Alumni Network Group Board.

Roger Peek, 1963-1967

Before describing the Football Club in the early sixties a quick bit of history to give some context. I applied to Exeter in 1962 to start in the academic year 1963/64. This was the first year that UCCA existed; you put down 4 Universities with a fifth reserve. Before that one made individual applications to all 17 Universities (excluding Oxford, Cambridge, London & the Scottish Universities); if you lived in the South East and were struggling to get a place then you applied in descending order to Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor and Aberystwyth. Exeter was the last of the old University Colleges of London to get its charter in 1956 and become a university in its own right. Leicester, Southampton, Nottingham, and Keele all gained their charters a few years before Exeter.

Continue reading Roger's memories

Jack Parry, 1966-70

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Friendship, confirmation that I was only an average goalkeeper!

Most memorable moments:

  • Breaking the leg (above the knee!) of the North Taunton centre forward – watching the ambulance crew trying to fit an inflatable splint to his leg.
  • Long trips to Brighton, London, Reading etc and getting back to Exeter at about 2-3am on a Sunday morning.

Lift post Exeter:

  • Continued playing football until 39 years old.
  • A lovely wife, 2 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren.

Tony Charles, 1967-70

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Great times with great players. Lots of travelling, most memorably to play against Lancaster University. Loads of fond memories.

Most memorable moments:

Trips with the ever affable Bill Brewer (coach driver).

Lift post Exeter:

Work in insurance/finance.

Rob Thomas, 1967-70

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Life time friendships, great memories, happy days.

Most memorable moments:

Playing in 2-1 victory vs Bideford under floodlights. Captaining 2nd team to league title in Exeter District.

Lift post Exeter:

Career in fashion retail, husband, dad and grandfather.

David Ventham, 1968-71

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Playing football with friends on a serious but sociable basis, well organised university administration and excellent running of intramural league. Having come from rugby/hockey playing schools, Exeter gave my first chance at football.

Most memorable moments:

  • Captain of the History team that won the intramural league in 1971.
  • Mid-week games for the 3rd team.

Lift post Exeter:

  • 1971-74 worked for P&O in London and Germany.
  • 1975-2015 – 40 year in shipbroking , ships for dry cargo.
  • 2012 – 1 year sabbatical – Trip around South America/
  • 2015 – retired
  • Married 38 years to my Swedish wife and have 2 daughters.

Andrew Childs, 1968-71

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Great facilities, comradeship, 3 football tours – Holland, Germany and USA, lifelong friends

Most memorable moments:

  • Win vs Cornell University 1972
  • Playing against local villages

Lift post Exeter:

  • Long marriage, 2 children, 4 grandchildren
  • Legal Aid Lawyer for 33 years
  • Love of sport

Phil Fitzpatrick, 1967-70

What Exeter University football meant to me: 

It made me the person I am today. Friendship, support, passion, commitment and belief that together we can win.

Most memorable moments:

  • Scoring a hat trick on my debut
  • Named the best centre forward by Ted Wragg
  • Representing Southern and English Universities 

Life post Exeter:

Teaching, semi-pro football, Head of 12 schools - and moving them out of categories - special measures and notice to improve, mentoring Exeter students.

This section will be developed as football alumni provide information. Please send any relevant memories you have as well as any photos or documents (programmes / annual dinner documents / league tables etc) / that you want to share here to

John Harris, 1969-73

The year is 1969 and I had just completed my education at Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School for Boys and doubtless like thousands of others, was headed to university in something of an adolescent daze. Along with my contemporaries, we had filled in the U.C.C.A. paperwork which asked us to list our three top choices of university. In the tense wait afterwards, we nervously sat back to see which one would respond. Thankyou Exeter, for the gift of an entry place!     

The trepidation of beginning an unknown future in an unknown town was slightly relieved by discovering that a fellow ‘Chis & Sid’ export was also headed to Exeter and he a footballer, er, to boot. This was Steve Neale (English faculty fresher) and soon to be an early member (goalkeeper) of the University 3rds team like myself. Taking the express train from Waterloo, I arrived at Exeter St Davids station and was kindly helped on the last leg to Raddon House hall of residence by a kind third-year student taxi-ing me in his open-topped sports car. In these days, the University contrived to ensure we freshers got one of the limited number of places in the halls. Raddon was very close to the railway shunting yards so the rattling clang of wagons, especially at night, was ever present.

Scanning the Devonshire House sports notice board, located just outside The Ram bar, we soon spotted an open invitation to attend a ‘trials’ session where, we hoped, selection for the University’s numerous teams would result. In an effort to make sure I got noticed in the trials, I quickly went into Exeter town and bought a football shirt in Newcastle United’s colours. Someone must have spotted me (being six foot two inches helped) as my name appeared in the next University 3rds fixture. I forget who the first match was against but it would have been one of the many Devon village teams.   

Attired in the University’s renowned all-green colours, we played our home matches at the big Duckes Meadow complex beside the river Exe, or at Gras Lawn. The coach journeys to away matches always started from outside Devonshire House and were a jovial, often hilarious, event due to our captain, Vance Gallagher, an English Literature (2nd year) student. Vance came from Rochdale and conducted the team in raucous, out-of-tune singing and endless comic one-liners. The other names that return to memory from 55 years ago include, Pete Mountain (who roomed next to me in Raddon), Bob Dodd (Social Studies student who took over the goalkeeping from Steve Neale), tall scouser Andy Childs, Johnny Harrison (theology student), Kim Nguyen (a centre-forward who wore his long, jet-black locks in a bandana), Martin Quinn (a Geordie) and big winger Alan Pain.

The 3rds team regularly won at places such as Okehampton, Pinhoe, Exmouth, Clyst St Mary, and Crediton. Of these, three matches in particular stand out. One was against a RAF radar lookout-post’s team stationed on the wind-battered headland of Hartland Point. Where did we change kit? In a literal pig-sty! Another match was against RAF Chivenor on the river Taw in the north of the county. Here we were well beaten by the ultra-fit aircraft squad but the abiding memory is of the (literally) deafening jets taxi-ing on the runway just yards away. The poor referee’s whistle was rendered pointless and a bizarre kind of semaphore was adopted between all concerned to indicate infringements and decisions! The third match I recall was in the grounds of what was then titled a ‘mental institution’ and play was once or twice interrupted by some poor lost souls deciding to meander across the muddy pitch while we were actually in play. 

It was while playing for the 3rds that I first met someone who played a big role in my soccer time at Exeter. This was Johnny Gilbert, later to become a long-time stalwart among  University alumni. I clearly recall crossing the football for Johnny to score with a low header while he was actually leaning away from goal. If that sounds strange, I can best explain how he scored by saying that it was an exact replica of Ian St John’s FA Cup winner at Wembley in 1965 (try Youtube).

Within a term or so of being resident at Raddon, I decided to move out. In truth, I was a lonely, ill-at-ease lad for much of the time, so set off down Pennsylvania Road one desperate day and just walked and walked... Purely by chance, opposite a grocery store in Mount Pleasant Road there was a row of three-storey flats-cum-digs. Here, at no.104, I discovered there lived a landlady, Mrs Barton, a Dutch woman with her teenage son Richard. She explained her rent terms and I instantly accepted, becoming much happier with life. Even better, I soon discovered that Johnny Gilbert was in lodgings just a few yards away and he and Steve Perkins (another footballer) occasionally invited me round to watch BBC’s Match of the Day. ‘Mrs B’ would look after me like a son for three years and I even helped wallpaper three floors of no. 104 in return.      

It is now 1971 and your correspondent is elevated to the University 2nds team. I spent my time as either central defender or midfield and the standard of play was definitely rising. The names from this era included big Tony May (central defence), Pete Wilson (a tirelessly hard-working midfielder and Social Studies student, later to gain a First degree), Pete Phillips (a brilliant left-winger with long hair who sadly left University early, declaring that it was not for him), Malcolm Campbell (red-haired and a brilliant winger), Wyn Evans (a prolific striker), Dick Airley (a mature student with a big sense of humour), Pete Owen (striker), Dave Wright, Geoff (?) Prout (central defender), Stuart Loze (a local Devonshire lad) and northern goal-keeper Warren Holland (known as ‘Woz’). There was later a strange moment involving Woz and TV. The BBC used to transmit an early evening local news slot called Nationwide hosted by gravelly-voiced Michael Barrett. One evening MB decided to highlight graduate unemployment and announced that the Plymouth studio was set to interview a graduate called Warren Holland. I viewed this while back home in Kent, watching with Mum and Dad in Orpington; I was agog. Then Mr Barrett sadly announced, “I’m sorry but we seem to have lost Mr Holland from our studio...!”

Another player of this time was Lan Harun, a Malayan lad who had, beyond question, the fiercest shot of all. It was explained to me that, when a child, Lan had practiced Malayan football in his bare feet. He had hardened his feet to the point that adding a football boot turned his shots lethal. Once, an opposing team’s wall was formed in front of Lan’s free-kick but when he struck the ball, the entire wall fled! 

It was in 1972 that Ted Wragg, the University football coach, announced that there would be an Exeter University summer holiday excursion to the U.S.A. including accommodation at several big State universities and friendly soccer matches. The U.S.A. was just then acquiring an appetite for soccer but I was unable to afford the cost; a big regret. (There are more details of this tour elsewhere on the website).

For my third University year I was, to my surprise, promoted to the first team. I decided to try and improve my fitness and impress Ted Wragg. Incidentally, Ted would later become celebrated in education at a national level, frequently introduced on television chat-shows as ‘our resident education boffin, Dr Wragg...’

Playing for the first team often required long-distance travel. I recall visits to the universities of Southampton, Surrey, Reading, Bath, and Brunel. Alas, Exeter never progressed beyond the group stages in my time but we did follow closely those players who had progressed to professional level. These included Republic of Ireland and Liverpool winger Steve Heighway, a product of Warwick University in 1970 and Steve Coppell, emerging from Liverpool University to join Manchester United in 1973.

Following graduation in 1972, I tacked on an extra year’s M.A. study in the Economic History department. This enabled me to enjoy two years of first team football, rotating between centre-back and centre-forward again. The names from this period included Johnny Gilbert, Steve Perkins, goalkeeper Simon Dobbs (a big Leyton Orient fan), full-back Brian Hicks (I think...), striker Charlie Hawker, Ian Murray, striker Terry Phillips, midfielder Johnny Parmenter (psychology student), Kevin Smith (captain and central defender), dashing winger Stevie Moss, striker Dave Whitney. 

Of these, a few had famously had trials at professional football clubs; Stevie Moss at Tottenham, Johnny Parmenter at West Ham and Phil Fitzpatrick at Liverpool. Sadly, Phil broke a leg in my time at University so I scarcely saw him play. Dave Whitney was signed to Barnstaple Town F.C. (then in the Western League) while still at Exeter University. In 1972 or 1973 the University first team played a friendly against Exeter City, whose fortunes we followed very closely of course. We lost 6-1 but I seem to recall that in the second-half the City team ‘allowed’ us students an honourable 1-1 draw. My highlight from that game was playing against Dave Gibson, a tiny midfielder who had played for Leicester City in the 1963 F.A. Cup final and for Scotland.   

 Incidentally, readers will have seen Steve Moss’s own memoir elsewhere on this part of the University website which includes a team photograph from, I’m fairly certain, 1973. This team picture appeared on the back page of Express & Echo, the town’s local ‘rag’. I recall my professor/tutor Walter Minchinton summoning me into his study at Streatham Court shortly after and demanding to know if I was the glum looking chap in the team photograph and, more importantly, why I had played university football for four years but never revealed my ‘other life’ to him.    

When the last day as a student dawned, I felt overwhelmed at having to leave Exeter University. Today, more than ever, I am conscious that it was a blessed time. The vast national expansion in university places had not yet occurred, so there was still some cachet attaching to the word ‘degree’. My local borough council, Bromley, had furnished me with wonderful academic possibilities. The University was then well funded, offering numerous opportunities to expand one’s mind socially, attend music gigs and indulge in any number of sports. The football matches had also given me a thorough grounding in Devon’s geography, a county entirely new to me. Above all, the thing that remains with me is the spirit in which the game was played; in four years I do not recall a single incidence of a referee imposing any disciplinary card of any colour.

Afterwards, I continued to play intermittent football for a variety of teams in Maidstone, Salisbury, and Sidcup, but nothing ever matched the innocent fun of the university years.

After leaving University I had a mad dalliance in Canada for a year and then took up work in Sidcup working for the I.T.T. accounts department. Incidentally, while there I did meet another Exeter University footballer (from the same 3rds team) called, I think, Dave. This was followed by time in Hampshire at the TSB bank, finally by early retirement to Dunbar, Scotland where I golfed myself to distraction. Today, I’m in Sussex.

If the above chronology has gone awry, please just blame my disintegrating powers of recall. If any university footballers happen to live in the south-east Sussex and fancy a ‘blether’ about ancient Exeter times, the beer is on me; just contact alumni H.Q. and email me.

Steve Moss, 1971-75

The main photo I think was taken in 1972 or 1973 and it has our loyal supporter, Professor Ted Wragg - deceased 2005, standing back row far right with yours truly next to him.  I remember that Ted was a great man to have on your side, always positive beyond belief.  At half time, with the score at 0-1 he would encourage us by saying “your good enough to be 5 goals in the lead”.  What a lovely optimist Ted was.

At one stage we were trained by the Exeter City centre forward (whose name escapes me).

In the early days of Exeter University football team, pre-72/73 I believe, we played in the South West Universities League (Exeter, Bath, Bristol, Reading, Southampton and Kings College London).  This league gave rise to good quality football played with finesse.  For some reason (probably prohibitive travel costs) the University switched to a local Exeter league with lots of pub teams who would kick the crap out of you whilst dribbling past them. But it hardened us up. 

Our home venue was Gras Lawn, a lovely pitch with a wooden cricket pavilion as changing rooms.  That venue disappeared after I left the Uni.

We had a summer soccer tour of the east coast USA in 1972/73 playing 5 or 6 games against novice American University sides (such as Temple Uni) and did well, playing in the scorching summer heat against fit Americans with no football skill as such.  We stayed with hospitable American families of opposition players.  A wonderful experience for me as I hadn’t ever visited the USA.  

Over the decades we’ve had a couple of re-union matches against the then current University 1st team, and I have to say I was surprised at how good most of the vets were (some featured in the above photo), but I won’t include myself in that list even though I had always kept myself in good condition. The games were knackering! There are two photos of the our reunion vets’ team.

It was a wonderful time playing for Exeter Uni football team during that period and I have fond memories of it.  If I’ve got an of my facts or dates wrong in this memoir I know our team captain (Charlie Hawker - kneeling, far left in the photo) will correct them!


Nick Armitage, 1973-76

I played football most days of the week for my first couple of years at Exeter and captained the 3’s or 4’s in 74/75 – sorry can’t remember which! My greatest memories are of Sunday football when Sodom n’ Gomorrah were one of the best teams; it would be great to re-contact Rob Ashmore who was the skipper.

James Tonge, 1975-78

What Exeter Football meant to me.

I’m from a small mining village in S Yorkshire and football gave me a chance to integrate into the University. I went to trials in the fall of 1975 and to be honest most of the players were woeful. So I walked into the 4th and was in the 2nd by Christmas. I played in the 1st but I preferred the 2nd it was more fun. I played for 1st in final two years in both UAU games against Hull in quarters and semi’s and got my colours in 1978.

Most memorable moment

I remember having 10 games in three weeks after Easter break with a chance to win the  league if we won out, almost but we were dragging bodies out of Cornwall house during finals. I continued at Exeter in the PhD program like three other of my team mates. I loved playing with Hope Hall team on Sunday morning in intra mural no matter what our state. When Lukies came in I played for one more year before playing for fun at Lympstone until 1982.

Life Post Exeter

I post doc’d at UCNW Bangor for two years and played in UAU both years. As we had Roy Reese, an Umbro head coach, we had an amazing team. I got my FAW U 16 coaching badge but never used it. We won the welsh cup in my first year and went 1/4’s in UAU both years.

I did another post doc at Northwestern University in Evanston IL, and unlike the UK I wasn’t eligible to play football due to strict NCAA rules. I joined the research department of a fortune 100 company in US and forgot about football/soccer for 30 years. Today I travel 150 miles each way on a weekend to watch Liverpool games at the supporters club bar in Detroit with my son, and about 100 other ex-pats even though my nephew coaches Barnsley and I bled Wednesday Bluesince birth. 

Phil Greenfield, 1977-80

I played for the first team from 1977-80, and my firmest memories were probably of that 1979-80 season which I received my 'colours' for. We beat a Devon County side in a friendly at the Uni's 'all weather' pitch 4-0 and that set the tone for some sparkling football to come. As I remember it, we went through the season in the Premier Division of the Devon & Exeter League unbeaten until the very last game of the season when we narrowly lost in an evening game to, I think, the runners-up, Alphington. We also lost in the semi-final of the National UAU Competition to Liverpool University, at Warwick I believe (and we 'wuz' robbed on the balance of play).

I now live in London, turned 60 a few months ago and am still playing - in the Southern Veterans Football League (over 35s and still 45 minutes each way). Or technically not playing at the moment, as I have a broken leg - hopefully back after Christmas!


View more newspaper stories


Dr Charlie Hawker, 1971-84

Some photos from Charlie's time at Exeter: 

1977/78 UAU Semi-Finalists, lost 5-4 to a last minute goal in extra time on a snowy day in Warwick (we were robbed….)  

1977/78 Match report and action photo from Gras Lawn (Phil Monk in full flight!!) from the quarter final revenge victory over holders Hull -  8-7 on penalties after a two all draw

1976/77 UAU Quarter Finalists, lost 2-1 to eventual winners Hull who had Tony Galvin (later to win the European Cup Winners Cup with Tottenham) in their team

Earlier 70’s Ram’s Reunion from 1996

1972/73 Team Photo

1975/76 Team Photo

Charlie's colours certificate 1972-73

Robert (Bob) Vaughan, 1975-76

I was almost reduced to tears when I reviewed the football memories. I wasn’t very good but I played for the First team and loved every minute. Charlie Hawker was Captain and a lovely guy. I will never forget when Steve Moss ran down the left wing in an away match and sent over an inch perfect cross for me to head home to clinch a 2-0 win. Great memories at a great University.

Paul Mapson, 1974-77

What Exeter University football meant to me:

  • Very high standard of friendly football with lots of trips around the county playing in Exeter and Devon League.
  • Responsible for getting me a rubbish degree (2:2) due to football taking priority over work/study.

Most memorable moments:

  • UAU semi final vs Liverpool (lost 5-4)
  • Scoring 8 goals vs Beer
  • Managing 2nd team for a year plus 3 years in 1st team

Lift post Exeter:

  • Accountant – director of finance in NHS in Bristol
  • Retired June 2019


John Palmer, 1979-83

What Exeter University Football meant to me

Football played a huge role in my whole 4 years at Exeter while training to be a PE and Maths teacher. My first day in Exeter was meeting in the Black Horse for pre-season training a week before the term started. I made my 1st X1 debut before I attended a lecture, and my last game was the evening before one of my final exams four years later. The Black Horse, Gras Lawn, Ted Wragg, the annual dinner at Dawlish Warren, training on the main campus redgras and Lukes gym, Devon and Exeter league championship battles, Exeter City fixtures, UAU – away trips, highlights and disappointments, and 4 games a week after Easter all became the norm - and frankly enriched the whole Exeter experience massively.

Playing 1st X1 for 4 years, being club captain, being fortunate enough to play 4 years of representative football for UAU/British Universities including foreign travel to Europe and USA, brought countless opportunities and friendships that have impacted me ever since. For example, through university football networks I was able to coach in the USA - initially during the summers when a student and young teacher, and then as a coaching graduate assistantship at an NCAA top 20 football (soccer!) university while studying for a master’s degree.

Great memories.

Most memorable moments

In my 1st year we beat Loughborough in the last 16 of the UAU at Gras Lawn. Prior to the game we found out that they had already made the date for their last 8 game v Bangor University! This was highly motivating to us. This game in 1980 was the first time I had seen a fully choreographed team warm up (they didn’t do this in the First Division!), performed by players in specialist purple warm up tops with the Loughborough name in huge lettering - beating them was very enjoyable. We went on to beat favourites Bangor University – run by Roy Rees British Universities manager and future USA Under 16s coach - away in the last 8, and then lost narrowly to Liverpool University (including Barry Horne) who went on to win the final. (Ted Wragg as usual somehow appeared on the touchline in Liverpool and was as gutted as us).

Life post Exeter

Teaching / managing in School and Further Education. Latest role managing a Sports Development and Coaching degree. Based in Taunton, Somerset. Married to Gill - 4 children and a dog.‌

View memorabilia from the 1980s

Jon Tilt, 1980-83

What Exeter University Football meant to me

I always tell my friends that I studied Football and Computer Science at Exeter and I’m convinced that the EUAFC side had more impact on my career than anything I learned in the classroom.

I was 4th team skipper, so can’t profess any great skills on the field, however I was lucky enough to be voted Clubman of the year in 1983 and I think this award was enough to secure my first job in IT. My third class Computer science degree looked pretty flakey on my CV, but I managed to convince my new boss that the trophy represented great leadership and teamworking potential.

I retired last year after many happy and successful years in the industry. It was probably that trophy, and the rich life experiences I gained from being part of EUAFC that unlocked the doors for me. In my experience, the so-called ‘soft’ skills of leadership, teamworking, communication, training discipline and knowing how to graft will get you further than any bits of paper.

Most memorable moments:

When asked about his most memorable moment, Eric Cantona explained that it was not a goal, but a pass.

In my case, it was not a goal but a miss! Or more correctly a brilliant save by the then 1st XI keeper, John Palmer. In a pre-season trial I hit the sweetest volley from perhaps 25 yards and it was arrowing for the top corner - I had visions of first team selection, perhaps a call up for the Grecians, until Palmer lept like a dolphin to caress the ball over the bar. Dashing my hopes, but opening the door to some fun times in the 4s.

My favourite game was against Starcross on a Bank holiday Monday. As captain I led the team to a pre-match tipple in the Anchor inn close to their ground. The first half was an interesting experiment in the effects of alcohol on highly tuned athletes. Luckily we made it to the interval only two goals down, saved by the alcohol tolerance of a rugby player (Paul Wogan) who we’d enlisted earlier in the day. As we sobered up in the second half our silky skills returned and we won 3-2. A lesson learned for the rest of my life, keep the beer until after you’ve done the business.

Whilst Duckes Meadow was our spiritual home, I loved the away games as they fostered a great team spirit, all travelling to the lands that time forgot in an old minibus. Away trips were always the opportunity for the locals to remind us that we were ‘bound to be fit as we didn’t pay any taxes.’ Never worked out what they meant by that but it kept them amused!

On one trip down the East bank of the Exe, our minibus ran out of fuel. Fortunately we were at the top of a very long hill and  we managed to roll what seemed like miles to the nearest garage and make it back in time to meet with the other teams at the Blackhorse for a few beers, a few stories and a few songs!

Life post Exeter:

Played a few games of football after leaving Exeter, but wasn’t able to match the atmosphere we had back in the EUAFC days. I made the move to rugby union which provided the friendships and camaraderie I’d had at university, and played for several clubs in the South of England as well as playing in the US for a while.

My first job was as a computer programmer for a branch of Philips in Crawley, West Sussex. In 1986 I joined IBM and spent 33 very happy years with them, solving problems, both technical and people related, around the World. At 40 years old I took up athletics (mainly 400m hurdles) and have travelled around Europe and The States competing at Masters level for GB. I also coach a group of talented 400m runners at Southampton AC. I married in 1988, have two daughters and am now happily retired in Romsey, Hampshire.

Stuart Clark, 1980-84

What Exeter University Football meant to me

As a fresher I was invited to pre-season, but cricket commitments back home prevented me from going. I then missed the trial and was left with a free weekend until club captain Iain Felton found me on the morning of the game and asked if I would play for the fourth team. That was it, the journey had begun. That season I played for all four teams finishing up in the first team and staying there for the rest of my time in Exeter.

I was privileged to play for Exeter University alongside some extremely talented footballers, who became good friends. I remember Dennis, the groundsman at Gras Lawn and the perfectly manicured pitches, being careful not to walk across the cricket square. The games against Exeter City at St. James Park, Exmouth Town, Civil Service and our constant run-ins with the Manager at Dolphin. Fair to say he didn’t like us much. As students we were fair game for the more mature players in the league. We did take a bit of a kicking at times but I wouldn’t change a thing. I think most of us lived for Wednesday and the UAU fixtures. We always started as favourites in the regional group, and that put a bit of pressure on us but we thrived on it. For somebody who is travel sick, the coach journey to away games was not so great, especially when the Fines Committee kept fining me for feeling sick. I also got fined for coming from the North and supporting Newcastle United which I found a bit harsh. Great memories, great friendships.

Most memorable moments

In my first year we beat Birmingham at Loughborough in the final of the UAU (for the 3rds), a game I was lucky to play in as I had established myself in the first team.

Memorable for all the wrong reasons was breaking my leg in Canterbury playing against the University of Kent in my final year. The journey back in a full length cast in a minibus full of drunken footballers was memorable but not much fun, especially with most of your leg stuck out of the window. 

I was always amazed how Ted Wragg managed to get to so many games. I understand, to watch us play in the UAU against Bristol, he ducked out of a meeting with Secretary for Education Sir Keith Joseph. We were far more important. Ted had a great passion for football but was burdened with being a Sheffield Wednesday supporter – he took a lot of stick for that.

Does anybody remember Peter Amos? A mature student and excellent football coach, he introduced us to zonal marking and the POMO line (look it up!). That first training session was mystifying.

Life post Exeter

I chose to go into Facilities Management rather than teaching, working for Leeds Leisure Services as an Area Manager with a portfolio of leisure centres and golf courses. I then moved into education as a Facilities Manager for schools in West Yorkshire before completing my working life as a Contracts Manager for Carillion and managing 15 schools in Barnsley. It is maybe no coincidence that a year after my retirement Carillion folded.

I have a son who has inherited the football gene and is Head of Marketing at Barnsley FC. My Daughter works as a Product Manager at Nestle in York. I am now happily retired and living just outside York.

View more memorabilia from alumnus Roger Cantello (English, 1984)

Chris Westphal, 1981-84

What Exeter University Football meant to me:

Friends, friendship, the enjoyment and fun of playing the greatest game, representing my University, some great competitive games in UAU and the associated trip, Saturday leagues that everyone wanted to beat and sometimes beat up the students (never happened), great nights in The Blackhorse.

Most memorable moments:

Winning 3rd Team UAU at Bath v Birmingham 1984.

Beating Leeds 2nds at Leeds on ICE for 2’s. How the game was ever played even in those non pc days defies belief!

Playing consecutive nights end of season for 2’s 3’s and 4’s, the last on a farmer’s field in the middle of Dartmoor, with half a rugby team. I think Simon Hogg played, changing room was a barn and with a hole in a pipe for a shower.

Dawlish away on a Bank Holiday Monday, 2’s or 3’s blowing a gale, we had a couple on the way down, a crate for HT and still won!!

It was really about playing games, representing an Institution and enjoying the pleasure and occasional setbacks the game brings.

Life post Exeter:

PGCE in West Sussex 1984-85.

Teaching 6 of the next 10 years in Mexico (British and American School) included World Cup 1986 and earthquake of 1985. Other years teaching in Harlow and Walthamstow.

Teaching History and coaching football at ACS Cobham international School since 1995.

Married Claudia in 1990, she now also teaches at ACS Cobham, we have one son.

Football wise, played non-league in both Mexico and UK, played until 41, coached and managed a little and set up a Junior Football Club.

Played cricket until last year, 2018 for East Molesey.

Andrew Soutar, 1983-86

Being based at main site and studying chemistry, my only contact with Ted was through football. I played mainly in the second eleven, with the odd game for the firsts through my six years. Though a busy man, Ted always had time for a chat, and was great company. 

In November 1989, just prior to submitting my PhD thesis, I was asked to play for the 1st XI in the UAU against Bristol. The game was won convincingly. 

After the game I had a good chat with one of the Bristol players in the Black Horse. He was a friend of my brother. Next thing I hear is that Bristol had raised an objection about me playing, claiming I was ineligible. Points were to be deducted, and there was a threat of expulsion from the competition, I believe. 

Ted was having none of it. He must have spent hours in communication with the AU. I have a copy of the letter that he sent to them.

As others have mentioned, all his other work would have gone out the window, while he devoted all his effort to saving his beloved football club!

Eventually the points were lost, but the team was not expelled and went on to reach the final that year. 

Simon Dunkley, 1988-92

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Great feelings of being part of a special group of people. Companionship, mutual respect and ‘live for today’.

Most memorable moments:

  • Scoring winner against Bristol.
  • Avoiding initiation ceremonies.
  • The Blackie.
  • Ted Wragg.

Lift post Exeter:

  • Teaching 1 year.
  • Financial advisor 28 years.
  • Four children.

Exeter set me up for the rest of life, thank you!


John Deadman, 1992-96

I was at St Luke’s 1992-96. EUAFC meant everything to me during my whole time at Exeter and the memories have lived on ever since and always bring a smile to my face. Despite enjoying a semi-pro career for 14 years, it was always playing at Gras Lawn or UAU matches with mates that meant the world to me (I played when injured so many times, would never miss a match for anything!).

I was lucky enough to play 1st XI as a fresher and we won the Devon & Exeter league and got to the last 16 of UAU. I looked up to the 3rd & 4th years and we had a great team spirit. I also played English Universities in 1994 & 95, and GB Universities in 1995. But EUAFC was always my 'home'!

My memorable moments from EUAFC are numerous, so here goes:

Ted Wragg - what an absolute legend, always appeared at every match and gave his witty and inspirational advice; Pub Socials - whether it was the Black Horse, Clifton Inn, Mount Radford or St Luke’s Bar - we always created an atmosphere and just had brilliant fun every time we got together; Playing at Gras Lawn - our 'Wembley', with its tiny 'shed' changing rooms and huge crowds on UAU Wednesdays. What an atmosphere, and what a shame it's gone; Training at Top Site on Mondays - we walked all the way from St Luke’s, up the hill, trained indoors with about 60 people for an hour, and then if you were selected in the 1's or 2's for the Wednesday 'UAU' matches, it was another hour out on the 'Red Gras' in the wind and rain (before walking all the way home); UAU Away Tours - fancy dress, fines on the bus, arriving late, winning anyway, out-singing the oppo in the student bar, leaving freshers at Exeter servs, and ending up at St Luke’s to join the other teams before heading out to Timepiece for some 'Mad Dog 20/20's'; Rennes Tours - I went in 1993 and 1995, we drank on the ferry all the way there, played a couple of matches, wandered around the streets of Rennes with nowhere to sleep(!), and drank all the way home - absolute carnage, it took us a week to get over these trips; Summer term football - returning after Easter to a full programme of fixtures for all teams! 1st XI having to play 9 'away' matches (because Gras Lawn was now a cricket square) and winning most of them to win the league. Playing almost every night as 'Birthday XI's' and 'Luke’s XI's' made up the 3's or 4's as we battled with the local 'Oggies', whose dislike of the students was always apparent. And finally, to finish where I started - one of the most influential people I was lucky enough to meet and know, I will always remember what you did for me personally and the whole of EUAFC - Ted Wragg.

Life and plans Post-Exeter:

I have been a PE teacher since graduating in 1996; now Director of Sport at Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, Bucks. Enjoyed a semi-pro football career until 2002 with Grays, Purfleet, Hendon, Kingstonian, Enfield & Wealdstone. Got married at St Luke’s(!) to fellow Lukey Jacqui; we have two daughters - Esme (19) & Abbie (16). Life plan is to part-retire by the age of 55, and hopefully 'fully-retire' five years later down to my beloved Exeter?!


Andy Russell, 1998 

For me, the connection to the football family at Exeter goes beyond sport.

As for so many, the pre-season freshers week introduced me to university life before term had even begun. I'm not sure what was the most enjoyable, the gruelling pre-season sessions running up and down Exmouth beach, or the 'refuelling' evenings around Exeter's bars and pubs. What was clear from the very start was that the football and the social side of the club was going to be serious, but also lots of fun.

As a 'main siter' it took me awhile to break into the top teams, which meant serving a great apprenticeship in the thirds with a great bunch of lads. Eventually I managed to progress into the seconds and then first team in my second year, which took a lot of hard work and discipline. I was able to learn from and compete with some top players, hugely improving my game in the process. Throughout however, the ethos was always work hard and play hard, and I can still remember the fancy dress shenanigans involved in UAU Wednesdays as we toured around different universities. Win lose or draw, all of the teams reconvened in Timepiece to compare notes over a few sherbets…

However it was in 1996 that the football club really showed what supporting a teammate was all about. Unfortunately, I had an accident during that summer which meant I became a wheelchair user and my football days were over. It was a super difficult time for all involved, especially family and friends. The football club, alongside the University in general were hugely supportive. So many people visited me in hospital, and I seem to remember a whole bunch of teammates shaving their heads to raise money for me to buy equipment.

There was even a decision to rename 'most improved player' award which I had won the season before was temporarily in my name, which was a lovely gesture. I was able to graduate one year after leaving hospital and since then I’ve lived and worked in London and regularly return to Exeter to see my nephew who is studying there as well as provide support and careers advice to current students.

These are all things that 20+ years later I still remember, and highlight the strength and unity that comes with sports and this club in particular. I'm still in touch with many of the guys, and shout out to all of those who played at that time and can remember me! 

Paul Fuggle, 1996-1999

I played in all of the games for the EUAFC 1st XI as a fresher in 1996-1997, and didn’t miss a 1st XI game over the next 2 seasons between 1997-1999.

"The football club WAS my University experience. I respected the senior players who I looked up to as a fresher; I remember my debut and the marrow; the away tours (particularly the only fools and horses tour to Brunel); the celebrations after winning our league in 1996-1997, representing the South West and English Uni teams, and playing in a testimonial game in front of hundreds of people against Exeter City; the pre season hill runs with Dizzy; and playing with some of the best players I ever played with in my life."

James Heale, 1992-96

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Fantastic memories of playing in Devon and Exeter League and UAU competitions. Friendship, many war stories and brilliant tours to all corners of England and France.

Most memorable moments:

  • Summer term, playing 5-6 games a week for every side in the club.
  • Scoring a hattrick on my 22nd birthday.
  • Finding my way back from Exeter services in my boxer shorts as a fresher.

Lift post Exeter:

  • 25 years of teaching.
  • Headteacher of secondary school in West London.
  • TEDX speaker.
  • Founder of Flywheel learning – leadership coaching and development.

Jay Davenport, 1992-96

What Exeter University football meant to me:

Great football and great friendships that have lasted a lifetime. When we meet up now it's like we have never been away. 

Most memorable moments:

  • Away trips to UAU fixtures across the country.
  • Summer term fixtures everyday against Devon and Exeter opposition.

Life post Exeter:

Twenty five years teaching including being a head teacher for the last seven. Now running own leadership programme, executive coaching and consulting business. My son has just started at Exeter as a fresher in 2021.

This section will be developed as football alumni provide information. Please send any relevant memories you have as well as any photos or documents (programmes / annual dinner documents / league tables etc) / that you want to share here to

  • What Exeter University Football meant to me
  • Most memorable moments
  • Life post Exeter

This section will be developed as football alumni provide information. Please send any relevant memories you have as well as any photos or documents (programmes / annual dinner documents / league tables etc) / that you want to share here to

Matt Webb, 2012-15

After playing locally for Cullompton Rangers, I belatedly became an Exeter ranger in the summer of 2014. I initially played at Centre Back until the friendly with Exeter City, where I was pushed out of the starting XI by a certain new signing from Spain - Alvaro ‘Butra’ Gomez. I couldn’t quibble, he was class, a former Racing Santander and Spanish U17 international.

From then on I played at Left Back as the team had a great season. We reached the Quarter-finals of BUCS Cup, flying up to play Stirling who defeated us after extra-time. We were unfortunate to bow out, and despite the class of the opposition (featuring many scholars), we felt we were the victim of some poor or even biased refereeing. Their manager was Shelley Kerr, who had left her job as Arsenal Ladies manager to take on that job. She was in the ear of the referee towards the end of that match.

We also reached the Semi-Finals of the South West Peninsula League cup, and despite bowing out to Plymouth Parkway (I think), the cup run included an epic battle away to Bodmin Town in the Quarter Finals under floodlights. They were one of the leading teams in the SWPL at the time, with a significant playing budget and their keeper was the aging, but still larger than life ex-Palace, Exeter City keeper Kevin Miller.

We were also on for the league title that season, but unfortunately the Easter break left us short of key personnel and our title charge came unstuck.

Our squad, captained by Pete Beadle, was full of talent but I also felt we were so driven to succeed that season. A competitive group, with excellent training and S&C programme. 

Part way through the season we were assisted by Garry Haylock, who was working as coach/scout of Exeter City at the time.

Garry was an ex Huddersfield player and NIPL top scorer, and didn’t have the best opinion on the standards of BUCS football compared to when he was coaching Team Bath back in the day. As knowledgeable as he was, he didn’t have a patch on Dicky and Dave - the true legends and leaders.

Our group sadly missed out on playing our Varsity match due to ‘Eel-gate’, a fishy tale in which the lead culprit was an eel named Colin. 


This section will be developed as football alumni provide information. Please send any relevant memories you have as well as any photos or documents (programmes / annual dinner documents / league tables etc) / that you want to share here to

  • What Exeter University Football meant to me
  • Most memorable moments
  • Life post Exeter


UAU / BUCS Records

Prior to 2008 the university football club played in the regional and national inter-university organised by the UAU (Universities Athletic Union). This was replaced for 2008-09 by BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport).

Formal annual records are only available from 2004-05. Records for previous years will be built up as alumni provide details from their own records, ideally with evidence to substantiate.

1969-70 3rd in Regional League Didn't qualify for last 16
1970-71 3rd in Regional League Didn't qualify for last 16
1971-72 3rd in Regional League Didn't qualify for last 16
1979-80 National Semi-Final  Lost to Liverpool University 
1980-81 National Semi-Final Lost to Sheffield University
1981-82 2nd in Regional League 

Didn’t qualify for National Last 16

1982-83 National Quarter Final  Lost to East Anglia University
1985-86 National Champions  Beat Southampton University at Bath City
2004-05 South Premier League 6th (Relegated)
2005-06 Western Conference  5th
2006-07 Western Conference  1st
2007-08 Western Conference  2nd
2008-09 South Premier  3rd
2009-10 South Premier  6th (Relegated)
2010-11 Western Conference  3rd

Western 1A



Semi-Final Lost to Brighton University 2-0


Western 1A



Last 16 Lost to St. Mary’s 3-1


Western 1A

Premier South Play offs



1st (Promoted)

Semi-Final Lost to Brighton 2-0


Premier South



Quarter Final Lost to Stirling  2-1


Premier South 

Premier South Play offs



2nd (Relegated)

Last 16 Lost to Loughborough 3-1


Western 1A



Quarter Final Lost Cardiff University 3-1


Western 1A

Premier South Play offs



Won 3-2 v Reading (Promoted)

Quarter Final Lost to Bournemouth 3-1


Premier South 

Premier South Play offs

Knockout Cup


1st (retained Premier South place)

Quarter Final Lost to Hartpury 3-1


Premier South 

Knockout Cup


1st X1 League Record

Southern Universities Football League  


 6th P20  W8  D4  L8  Pts 20


 6th P22  W9  D5  L8 

Devon and Exeter League – Senior 1A 

(2nd XI as 1st XI only played university fixtures at this time)

1970-71 10th  
1971-72 7th  
1972-73 11th  

Devon and Exeter League – Senior 1B

(2nd XI as 1st XI only played university fixtures at this time)




Devon and Exeter League - Premier

1973-74 9th  
1974-75 2nd  
1975-76 11th  
1976-77 6th  
1977-78 7th  
1978-79 2nd nb. First year post St Lukes amalgamation
1979-80 1st P30   W22  D7  L1  F95  A24  Pts  51
1980-81 1st P30   W23  D2  L5  F91  A32  Pts  48
1981-82 5th P30   W13  D7  L10  F55  A38  Pts  33
1982-83 2nd P30   W20  D4  L6  F89  A47  Pts  44
1983-84 4th  
1984-85 10th  

Devon and Exeter League – Senior 1A

1985-86 2nd  
1986-87 3rd  
1987-88 7th  
1988-89 1st  
1989-90 10th  
1990-91 7th  
1991-92 9th  
1992-93 1st  

Devon and Exeter League - Premier

1993-94 3rd  
1994-95 5th  
1995-96 7th  
1996-97 2nd  
1997-98 1st  
1998-99 4th  
1999-2000 3rd  
2000-01 1st  
2001-02 1st  

Devon League

2002-03 7th  
2003-04 11th  
2004-05 15th  
2005-06 16th  
2006-07 6th  

SW Peninsula League (East)

2007-08  6th  
2008-09  6th  
2009-10  12th  
2010-11  8th  
2011-12  15th  
2012-13  10th  
2013-14  7th  
2014-15  4th  
2015-16  3rd  
2016-17  9th  
2017-18  5th  
2018-19  13th  

Devon County League (Step 7 of National league Structure)


Annual Reunion

The first highly successful reunion was held on the weekend of March 7/8 2020. The weekend involved watching a match, visiting the university campus and the Black Horse, dinner at Cote Brasserie and drinks into the night! It was unanimously agreed by all attending that this would now become an annual event every March. 

A very successful 2nd EUAFC reunion weekend was held in November 2021 with just under 100 attendees. Optional Friday golf was followed by era get togethers on Friday evening (including the Black Horse for old times sake!). On Saturday there were tours of the main campus and Luke’s, watching the current 1st X1 beat Newtown FC in the cup, and finishing with the reunion dinner and EUAFC celebrations in the evening. Sunday morning offered walking football and an alumni/current students match, concluding a great weekend that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. A third reunion took place in March 2023.

Read the report from the first here.

Read the report from the second reunion here.

Football alumni reunion report 2023

Inaugural Exeter University Football Alumni Golf Day report

EUFAC Reunion Dinner report Nov 21

Memories of Ted Wragg - Exeter University Football Club Legend

Professor Wragg – just ‘Ted’ to all who played football at Exeter – was a true legend within the football club for over 30 years. Ted was initially at Exeter as Lecturer in Education from 1966 – 1973 and then from 1978 – 2003 as Director of the School of Education based at the St.Lukes Campus.

On his death at the age of 67 in 2005, he was described in the national press as the ‘most popular educationist in Britain’ and a ‘true teachers’ champion’

Exeter University footballers however remember him as their greatest supporter and a football fanatic. Ted must have watched close to a thousand games during his 30 plus years at Exeter. He was a constant on the touchline – often appearing as if by magic at an away UAU game in Liverpool or Warwick,  normally having arranged to see someone’ important’ in the morning somewhere close to the match venue in order to be able to complete  the more important task of supporting the 1st XI!

Many generations of students came into contact with Ted and will have their own powerful memories some unique to them and some which will be recognised by many others. This may include for example

  • Ted’s low key presence for a pint every Saturday at approx. 6pm in the Black Horse to discuss the afternoon’s games
  • His befriending of and support for the club captains and discussions about strategy and selection
  • His legendary after-dinner speeches at the annual club dinner (for many years at the Langstone Cliff Hotel in Dawlish) when the club captain and guest speaker knew they were very much the inferior supporting acts
  • Finding out that Ted in one of his first teaching jobs had unsurprisingly introduced football to his fiercely rugby playing school
  • Finding out that Ted regularly wrote to Sheffield Wednesday manager Jack Charlton to discuss tactics and possible improvements!

This section invites football alumni to share their Ted Wragg memories. Please send to


My memories of Ted Wragg – John Gilbert 1969-72

I first came across Ted Wragg during the 1969-70 season when Ted took football club training and  got to know him very well over the subsequent two seasons, especially during my year as 1st X1 captain.  I enjoyed Ted’s dry views on the game and on players as well as his very considered views on the state of the game and on a broader range of issues.

An early memory was in pre-season 1970-71, we had a warm-up match against local side St David’s resulting in a 5-3 win. On this occasion the local referee had not turned up and Ted volunteered to referee.  Ted’s refereeing did not find favour with an irate linesman from St David’s who flung his flag down in disgust following Ted allowing a University goal to stand causing a long delay and the linesman resigning.  I know Ted ran the line on many occasions but I am not sure that he refereed subsequently after this controversy!

1970-71 was on paper a very promising year for University football with some very talented freshers combining with second and third year players under the captaincy of Martin Oakes to provide Ted with great hopes for the season. Sadly one of the key forwards Phil Fitzpatrick suffered a long-lasting pre-season injury and although we had in Dave Whitney and Terry Phillips two excellent strikers the bogey of losing to Reading again narrowly prevented any UAU run and we were unable to satisfy the hopes Ted had for us.

Ted and I got much closer during my year as Captain in 1971-72 with regular discussions about upcoming games and team strategy. Not everyone bought into Ted’s football philosophy and we had decided pre-season to engage a top local coach whose robust insistence on fitness and a high intensive pressing game was very different to the more orderly training we had under Ted. Certainly the start to season 1971-72 saw strong hopes as the pressing game suited our style and Ted’s training was geared more to working on a higher level of fitness which began to see results on field….until we came to play Reading and lost narrowly again.

1972 was a memorable year as Ted had mentioned to me about a contact he had made in the US who was very involved with US College football and who invited us to play in a pre-season tournament as well as 5-match tour to New York State colleges.  We decided that we would accept and thanks to Ted’s guidance we undertook a tour where we played some great football of which he would have been very impressed.

In subsequent years Ted & I kept in touch and such was Ted’s great after-dinner speaking that he was guest of honour at the 1992 Sports Reunion Ball at The Hurlingham Club, London and amused everyone with his stories.  Ted also regularly came along to our Alumni reunion matches, the final one being in 2001. A lasting memory was of him sitting in the dressing room delighted to have been once again with a group of players who took him back to past times.

 Such a sentiment was reflected in a letter Ted sent to my wife for a surprise 50th birthday- book: “It’s funny how certain groups of students stick in your mind. One that sticks in my mind is the very good crowd who played for the University in the late 60s/early 70s. Not only was it a very good team but there were some real characters and some memorable club dinners”. One player, “all six feet plus in his socks , never known to pass a ball to anyone even in the dressing room  after the match” provided Ted with much material; in 2000 Ted even suggested a number of us come back to do PhDs which the 2001 result supported!

 I will always cherish a photo following graduation in 1972 with Ted discussing even then the prospects for the forthcoming US Tour and the size and strength of the squad!

John Gilbert

1st X1 Captain 1971-72


My Memories of Ted Wragg – John Palmer 1979-83

 Ted Wragg was a great influence on me and basically became a personal friend and mentor during my 4 years and beyond. Below are some memories of the legend: 

  • Meeting Ted for the first time  on pre-season training and having no idea for weeks that he was in fact ultimately in charge of my whole degree as Director of Education and actually a pretty important guy not only  at Exeter  but with a national and international reputation
  • Being a permanent presence on touchlines [often in 1960s tracksuit] across Devon and beyond – he appeared in Liverpool for example for a UAU semi final in 1980
  • Being a permanent presence in the Black Horse on a Saturday 5 pm to approx. 6.30.
  • Making the best after dinner speeches I have ever heard and totally outperforming the efforts of the guest speaker and club captain at all 4 football dinners I attended [and one of those guest speakers was an elderly Sir Stanley Rous – former FIFA president and ex-St Lukes student] One of the club captains he outshone was me – not a great night having to speak alongside Ted. Each year he spoke with a few notes written just prior to the speech on the paper napkins provided!  [How come he always told us when teaching to be fully prepared in advance!]
  • St Lukes common room  - as a long term 1st X1 player / captain / club captain Ted  would seek me out in the common room to review previous games, discuss team selection, strategy etc. My PE peers always referred to Ted as my ‘Uncle Ted’ and genuinely thought that I would get my degree regardless of whether I went to any lectures! Concentrating on my Ted discussions with the PE boys making gestures behind Ted was at times tricky
  • As a PE student I can probably recite word for word the dressing down all 4 year groups got at the same time. All lectures were cancelled one morning  and all PE students ordered to the lecture hall.  Ted had been reprimanded by the vice chancellor for a  second time  due to the behaviour of PE students- the final straw  being the 2 topiary animal heads  [that had taken 50 years to develop] and that had appeared overnight Saturday / Sunday on the St Lukes quad and also on the front page of the Express and Echo.  This was a master class in feedback via the  ‘Shit sandwich’. He built us all up at the start , delivered the dressing down memorably   [‘I can guarantee that the very next incident will be rewarded with a one way ticket out of St Lukes’] This phrase became regularly used whenever a student from that day on  student breached in even a very minor way. He then built us up again at the end  and we all walked out knowing we had just heard and a seen a  master at work – and very well aware that he was serious about the situation. It was not by the way a footballer that beheaded the topiary animals.  I think Ted knew that!
  • I had played in every 1st X1 game for 4 years – league and UAU and in May of the 4th year, with the 1st X1 not able to win the league but still able to come in top 4. I had a final exam the day after an evening game in Barnstaple and for once in my life I thought I should put academics first [as a goalkeeper there was obviously some  chance of injury and sods law said it could be that day]   If we could win the league I would have definitely played. I got the impression Ted still thought football should have come first - and on balance I wish I had played and had a 100% appearance record – again he was right
  • On leaving Exeter Ted agreed to be my referee for job applications and he continued to do this for a number of years post Exeter- and I always got the job. Each employer always mentioned the perceptiveness and entertainment of the references
  • In my first teaching job Ted agreed to attend the school’s awards night and to speak and give out awards. The headteacher was desperate to meet Ted and show off his work as a headteacher.  I was invited into a reception in the head’s office – where Ted pretty much ignored the head, governors and other staff and just discussed how the university team was developing that year! 
  • UAU final at Bath City Fc 1986 v Southampton . I knew several of the 1st X1 – they had been 1st years in my final year eg. Steve Eveleigh, Dave Monk, Mark Furness, Simon Bell  and as I worked in the South West was able to attend this UAU final. This was a great night for Ted and possibly [to be substantiated] ,   the only ever national title at 1st X1. It was good to be there with him and share a celebratory drink.
  • My final communication with Ted was when he phoned me in the USA in 1988  to encourage an application for a tutor role at Exeter . While very honoured for him to think of me I was at thesis writing stage of my current master’s degree - and a key  selling for the tutor role was a subsidized master’s degree so this didn’t quite work out. I do sometimes think ‘what if’  as I would have loved to work at Exeter.


Colours and Awards

Exeter has a history of excellence in sport. We are currently compiling a database of all of our University Colours winners. You can search through of all of our University Colours winners dating back as far as 1947 using the database below. There are a few gaps in our records so if you have any information that you think may be of use to us, please do let us know.

Award winners are presented with a certificate signed by the Vice Chancellor and Athletic Union President, as well as an exclusive University of Exeter Sport tie (for males) or silk scarf (for females). If your certificate has seen better days or your tie or scarf is looking a little threadbare you may re-order these items anytime. We ask that you consider making a suggested donation of £15 for each item to cover the costs of reproduction and postage.

For further information contact us at

View all the awards since 1968




Award Categories


Colin Appleby

Full University Colours


S. Perkins

Team Colours


Neil Cornick / Ian Cornick / Rich Hughes / D. Mills / J. Balks

Chris Rose / Pete Kubicki

Club Award


Club Colours


Phil Greenfield / Tony Bristow

Chris Chisholm / Kev Gilbert

Club Award

Club Colours


Phil Cooke / Ian Felton / Rob Holder/ Kim Parsley

 Viv Thomas / Denis Clark

Club Award

Club Colours


Ian Nash / John Hicks

John Palmer

Club Award

Club Colours


Ian Walters / I. Parry

Club Award


None awarded



Roger Cantello/ Neil Burlison

 Club Award


D. Mont / G. Mott


A. McLeod / J. Rodes / S. Whitfield

Club Award

Club Colours



Club Colours


G.King / A.Souter


J.Amill /M.Backhouse

Club Award

 Club Colours



 D.Scott/G.Ap Sion

 G.Taylor / K.Tolfrey

Club Award

Club Colours

Half Colours






Club Award

 Club Colours

Half Colours


O.Hansard / K.Ashcroft / S.Rees C.Yarnwood


Club Award

Club Colours

Half colours


A.Bennett / J.Hughes


J.Williams / P.Relf / D.Gunn / L.Thomas

Club Award

Club Colours

Half Colours


M.Liddell /C. Staples


Club Award


Full University Colours


J.Deadman / J.Catchpole

Full University Colours



A.Chainey/N.Richards / D.Turner/ V.Hart / K.Copley / R.Curtis

Club Award

Half Colours


J.Deadman / V.Hart  

H.Gubbins / R.Sanchez

Club Award

Half Colours


B.Scott / H.Gubbins

 S.Bloxham / C.Porter / M.Sellar / A Cambell/J.Darlison / J.Parish


Club Award



Club Colours



P.Fuggle / J.Bannister / L.Pike / S.Godbeer

Club Award

Club Colours


S.Bloxham / P.Fuggle

G.Beckley / N.Connor / L.Kirby / C.Warwick



Club Award

Club Colours


Full University Colours




Club Colours

Full University Colours


S.Hayward / D.Williams / G.Watts

Club Award




Club Award

 Full University Colours


A. Farnell

C.Hall / D.Graffagino


Club Award

Club Colours

Full University Colours


D.Mahoney / A.Farnell

Club Award


P.Craske / N.Boyle

Club Award



Club Award


M.Griffin / R.Lewis / A. Oldershaw / M.Wilmott

Club Award


R.Forbes / D.Evans / A.Pritchett / T. Ralph

N.Robbins / C.Barker / H. Kukor

Club Award

Club Colours


T.Murray / C.Thorpe / K.Mercer


Club Award

Club Colours


T.Dobson / S.Tang / M.Brookland

Club Award


None awarded



T.Clifton-Moore / M.Slater

R.Williams [Paralympic Football]

Club Award

Full University Colours


M.Dale / J.Wilson / L.Carr / F.Deane / L. Pepper

R.Williams [Visual impairment]

Club Award


Full University Colours


J.Balshaw / O.Durose / J.Luc Esposito / R.Fellingham / I.Kunchev

J.Mines / J.Wilson

Club Award


J.Balshaw / P.Beadle / B.Miles

Club Award


T.Hutt / L.Bowers / A.Knight

Club Award


J.Kewley / J.Balshaw / T.Bateson / C.Bland

Club Award


J. Bartley / J.Home / C.Woodford / A. Clegg / L. Richards / D. Tarif

Club Award


M. James / M. Ayer / O. Jones / T. Wookey / J. Starling / R. Dumper

Club Award


New York State Revisited: Exeter University Football Tour 1972 

Steve Perkins (1970-1973) – with acknowledgement to John Gilbert’s archive.

When Ted Wragg (then an education lecturer at Exeter Uni and football-mad fan) met Francisco Marcos (who promoted college football (soccer) in New York State) during a US study tour they talked soccer. Ted learnt from Francisco that the annual Oneonta tournament was keen to host a UK university and so Ted enthusiastically mentioned this to John Gilbert (Captain 1st X1 1971-72).  Soon after, an invitation to take part in EUAFC’s most ambitious tour was accepted. The planning began.

On the 6 September 1972 the Oneonta Star carried a sporting news feature:

The summer is fast nearing a close: and without the slightest hesitation in the Oneonta sports scene, soccer and football will take up where baseball leaves off. First on the local scene will be a soccer tournament to be hosted by Oneonta United next Tuesday and Wednesday in Damaschke Field. The highlight of the four-team tourney will be the appearance of the University of Exeter both nights’.

In those planning days John Gilbert had put a squad together comprising current undergraduates and recent alumni covering the 7 years from 1966 - 1973 - ‘Youth & experience’.  On Monday September 11th 1972 the party flew out of Heathrow on the 15.15 BOAC flight to New York arriving safely 18.05 local time and staying overnight at the popular (with students) McAlpine Hotel. For many, this was a first visit to America, a country embroiled in the Vietnam war, in the midst of a presidential election campaign (incumbent Richard Nixon later defeating democrat George McGovern). Amongst a spate of plane hijackings, the ‘Munich massacre’ on September 5th at the Summer Olympics had placed nations on high alert. Sport was in deep mourning.

The stay in New York was brief with a Greyhound bus trip (another favourite of many students who travelled across the US in their summer vacation) beckoning to play in the four team Oneonta ‘tourney’ with Exeter ‘squaring off’ at 8 pm in their semi-final.  On route the bus passed near Woodstock and memories of the great music festival of 1969 surfaced. Dave Whitney, however, nearly lost his famed trademark Afghan coat at a Bus station as a woman took a fancy to the coat (not Dave; well, we think not Dave!), and casually tried to pick it up from his bag at the Bus Station. 1969 may have been the recent summer of free love, but 1972 was not to be the summer of free coats!

And so to Oneonta where the team were greeted by host Francisco Marcos and introduced to families who they would be spending the 2-night stay with at the beginning and end of tour. For many being in American’s homes was something of a revelation as a new lifestyle unfolded, of size and gadgets. This included enormous breakfasts and being introduced to the nightlife of Oneonta. Was this American hospitality at its finest or all part of a cunning plan?

John Gilbert and I found ourselves residing on the outskirts of, well, Gilbert Lake! Where else?



For a moment I wondered if John knew something I didn’t!

The local media wanted to hear about the University and its players. In the afternoon Ian Murray gave a local radio interview. In the press the Oneonta Star gave Exeter some leeway if their performance was not as expected. “The first game with Oneonta Utd will be their first game in a while as they are just coming off their summer vacation” A good call as fatigue took its toll in the opening game. 

Read the full details of the tour and the matches it involved here: The Exeter Uni Tour to the States 1972