A private hospital in Oxford will be named after Oxford United's former home -- not after Lord Nuffield -- because of fears that another Nuffield hospital would cause confusion.

The Nuffield Hospitals Group has reversed its decision to call its 83-bed development in London Road, Headington, the Nuffield Hospital Oxford, after the Oxford Mail highlighted confusion it would create with the nearby Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Instead, it will be called the Manor Hospital -- reflecting the site's past connections as Oxford United's former home, the Manor Ground.

Residents, football fans and NHS managers have welcomed the announcement.

NOC chief executive Ed Macalister-Smith said: "Congratulations to the Oxford Mail. We were quietly discussing the problem with Nuffield Hospitals, but this has really been achieved with the involvement of local people and the paper.

"It's a sensible outcome given the confusion it could have caused."

Headington residents' associations had backed the NOC's protests and welcomed the new name.

Tony Joyce, chairman of the co-ordinating committee of the Headington residents' associations, said: "Thank you very much for all the paper's support to make it clear to Nuffield Hospitals that they were going along the wrong road.

"People in Headington will be delighted that it's not going to be called the Nuffield, and that it's going to keep its links with Oxford United."

Readers bombarded the Oxford Mail with alternative names after the Nuffield Hospitals Group admitted it wanted to use car manufacturer Lord Nuffield's title for its new centre.

People who proposed the Manor Hospital are delighted it has been adopted.

Oxford United fan Terry Pratley, of School Road, Finstock, near Woodstock, said: "This is brilliant news. I'm really pleased.

"This name commemorates the name of the Manor Ground and I think it will be a fantastic memorial to the site, as well as solving the problem of too many hospitals with the same name."

Geoffrey Richardson, of Alpha Avenue, Garsington, said: "When you talk about the Manor, everyone knows where you mean.

"It seems most appropriate that the hospital should hold on to some of its past."

As beneficiaries of Lord Nuffield, both the NOC and the Nuffield Hospitals Group hold claim to his name.

The private healthcare group, which also owns the Acland Hospital, in Banbury Road, Oxford, uses the name in the title of most of its 44 hospitals.

Acland business development manager Mel Maclean admitted that although the original choice of name would have fitted in with the organisation's national branding, it would have caused confusion.

She said: "We have taken people's views into consideration and the new name focuses on the history of the site."