This was one of three Oxford Boys’ football teams which brought glory to the city.

The under-15s pictured here battled their way to the final of the English Schools’ Trophy competition in 1972.

Although they were finally defeated, they won plenty of admiration on the way.

It was the second time in six years that the team representing the city had reached the final.

The 1972 side had battled hard to overcome opponents in previous rounds.

Read again: Great roar filled the crowd

The season had begun with a 2-0 victory over Mid-Hants, followed by a 2-0 victory in a replay at home to High Wycombe and a 2-1 home win over Bournemouth.

After two draws with Slough, Oxford triumphed 2-1 away in the second replay, beat Blackheath 2-0 and then Manchester 1-0 at home in a replay.

The semi-final was an epic battle between Oxford and Southampton, Oxford winning the third replay at home 1-0 after 2-2, 0-0 and 1-1 draws.

In the first leg of the final at Chelmsford, Oxford suffered a 4-1 defeat, giving them a mountain to climb in the second leg.

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The White House ground, Oxford City’s former ground off Abingdon Road, was packed for the second game.

Oxford Mail:

Programme for game against Chelmsford

Oxford fought hard, but Chelmsford scored twice to take the trophy 6-1 on aggregate.

In 1966, Oxford beat Luton 2-1 in the semi-final before a crowd of 6,062 at the White House ground.

Oxford Mail:

The crowd at the White House ground in 1966

Everything looked lost when Luton broke away to take the lead early in the second half, but a calmly-taken penalty by skipper Tony Tompkins signalled Oxford’s comeback.

It was the first time Oxford had reached the final since 1908.

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The first leg of the final at the Manor Ground, Oxford United’s former ground at Headington, attracted 9,000 spectators.

But opponents East London proved too powerful, winning the first game 3-2 and the return leg at Millwall 2-1.

The crowd was even bigger when Oxford made their third appearance in the final in eight years.

In 1974, nearly 14,000 packed into the Manor Ground to see Oxford take on Manchester.

The first leg at Maine Road, Manchester City’s ground, had ended with Oxford trailing 2-1.

With home advantage and huge support, there were high hopes that Oxford could succeed this time. However, Manchester proved to be formidable opponents and the match ended in a 2-2 draw, with the Northerners taking the trophy 4-3 on aggregate. Oxford reached all three finals under the guidance of manager Michael Hammett.

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He was a qualified FA coach, who taught at Wheatley Park School and later became head of English at Northway School at Headington. Do you have memories of Oxford Boys’ appearances? Let me know.