She was the youngest and the most glamorous director of any football club in the land.

That was how Ghislaine Maxwell was described when, aged 22, she became a director of Oxford United in 1984.

She had become a familiar figure at matches sitting alongside her father, club chairman Robert Maxwell, in the directors’ box, sporting a yellow and blue United scarf and cheering on the team.

In an interview with our sister paper, The Oxford Times, she revealed that she had started a United supporters’ club at Balliol College, where she was studying modern history with languages.

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She had already attracted 160 members and had arranged a discount for them to attend United matches.

Her interest in football was recognised by her father, who invited her to become a director.

Oxford Mail:

The national press immediately dubbed her “the most attractive director in the league”, a tag she didn’t dispute. “At least they’re being nice about me,” she said.

She told the interviewer that successful supporters held the key to a successful football club.

“There’s more to football than watching a match. When you have a good crowd atmosphere, there is nothing better – it’s electric.

“If you are enthusiastic and you can get that enthusiasm across, it acts by osmosis. You feel it. The players feel it.

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“There are hundreds of families out there – a huge, untapped market for supporters. There are a lot of people for whom football is the core of their life. I’d like to make the club as successful as I can for their sake.”

She had played football herself in midfield for the girls’ team, The Grannies, while in the sixth form at Marlborough College public school, one of four schools she attended.

She had been born in France and spent her first years of schooling at Oxford High School for Girls in North Oxford.

At the age of nine, she went to Edgarley Hall boarding school in Somerset, but she was back in Oxford at 13 to attend Headington Girls’ School, where she was “very sporty at tennis, hockey and athletics”.

After her A-Levels at Marlborough, she joined her father’s Pergamon Press at Headington, “doing anything from typing to managing congresses”.

But after nine months, her father sent her alone to Spain – to fend for herself and sell books.

“He said go and do a useful job and come back fluent. I wouldn’t say I did a brilliant job, but I did sell some books and came back fluent.”

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Her father made another important decision – sending her to Oxford University – and her life looked promising as she collected her degree in 1985 and later moved to New York.

But as we all know, the Maxwell empire crumbled when it was revealed after Robert’s death in 1991 that he had plundered pension funds to stay afloat.

Now, as we have all been reading, the Maxwell family is back in the news, with Ghislaine’s arrest in the United States following the death of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

By John Chipperfield

We’re really excited to launch We Grew Up in Oxford, a new online community for everyone who loves our great city. In our new Facebook group, we’ll be delving into the archives - both recent and older - to bring you memories of what it was like growing up and living here through the years.

We hope you’ll join us and get involved in the project, and remember to let us know what memories from your glory days you want to see in the group. We Grew Up in Oxford, so now it’s time to celebrate that. See you there!