About the Blue

History of the Blue


The man who began the Varsity match tradition was Charles Wordsworth of Christ Church College Oxford, who  arranged a two-day cricket match against Cambridge at Lords in June 1827.

The first Boat Race between the two universities was in 1829, and was rowed over 2 and a quarter miles between Hambleden Lock and Henley Bridge. The second Boat Race was not until 1836 which was rowed over more than double the distance, from Westminster Bridge upstream to Putney Bridge. It was in this race that one of the Cambridge oarsmen tied a light blue ribbon to the bows of the Cambridge boat (the colours of his school, Eton College).

The colour dark blue was then ascribed to Oxford because it is the colour of Christchurch College, and the Oxford crew sported white jerseys with dark blue stripes during the race.

These colours have remained over the years, and now anyone who has represented Oxford in a Varsity match against Cambridge in a Full Blue sport is entitled to wear a dark blue "Blues Blazer". These blazers typically have embroidery on the breast pocket indicating which sport it was earned for.