|The History of UCL Academicals
University College London (UCL) in sited just south of Camden Town, an area with a rich history.
It was in the first millennium that the Catalonian King Wilfred came upon a site by a water crossing, where he laid down the foundations for of a
new city which was to become the envy of the Holy Roman Empire. With its ancient covered market, Romanesque brick towers inlaid with fine enamelled tiles, a Baroque Cathedral and a Summer Palace, housing the finest collection of Renaissance artworks in Northern Europe, there are few things finer
than to spend an afternoon browsing amidst its remarkable Gothic splendour: a legacy owed to that Great King Wilfred of Catalonia. What a pity he never visited Camden Town.
UCL was founded in 1826 by Jeremy Bentham as a non-denominational rival to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which at that time were
restricted to Church of England students. Upon his death, the founder, Jeremy Bentham by his own request was stuffed and mounted in a glass cabinet in the college cloisters. To this day the Academicals commemorate his memory by regularly getting stuffed on a Saturday afternoon. UCL today is a
fascinating mixture of new and old buildings due to the large number of bombs dropped on it during the last War.
UCL Academicals FC was founded in 1961 by college old boys. Even today the club still requires all members to have attended
UCL, or know someone
who did, or to have said they’d play “if you’re really short” the previous evening in the pub. Until the early 1980s the club played seasons of friendlies with the likes of the Russian Embassy and The Chelsea Pensioners (a team organised by football journalist Brian Glanville). They also
played informal league football on Sunday mornings.
In 1984, encouraged by UCL and the Students Union, the club joined the AFA and the following year entered the Southern Olympian League. Since
then the club has grown from two to six SOL teams.
In line with this growth “The Accies” have picked up a number of SOL league titles and cups but the
2000-2001 season was their best to date, retaining the A.F.A. Senior Cup and
winning the Southern Olympian League. Their
excellent facilities at London Colney, until recently Arsenal’s training ground and now used by Watford, are a significant factor in the club’s success. The 1999-2000 season also saw the emergence of the Accies vets team (“The Optimists”) who have shown no cause for optimism at all, and are now rumoured to be
trying to arrange games against the REAL Chelsea Pensioners.