Brookes teams up with Oxford United ahead of Wembley final

Friday, 31 March 2017

Oxford United Wembley mascot

Oxford Brookes University and Oxford United have teamed up to make Wembley a day that Zayn Khan will never forget.

Zayn, age 13, who lives in Botley, will lead the team out at Wembley on Sunday 2 April when Oxford United takes on Coventry City at the Checkatrade Trophy Final.

Zayn plays for the Cumnor Minors under 13s, who train on the sports ground at Oxford Brookes University’s Harcourt Hill Campus. One of the reasons Zayn was chosen was because he fractured his foot earlier this season and has missed the chance to play football since.

We have enjoyed working with Brookes and a number of students have been given the opportunity to work in professional football alongside our staff over the last few years. We look forward to the partnership continuing to grow.

Darryl Eales, Chairman of Oxford United

Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr Anne Gwinnett said: “We are extremely proud to be sponsoring Oxford United’s mascot for the final at Wembley for the second year running and, in doing so, supporting the great work of the club’s Community Trust. We hope Zayn and his family with have a fantastic experience on a day I’m sure they will never forget.

“Oxford Brookes University and Oxford United’s Community Trust share the common goal of helping people to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. At Brookes we are fully committed to supporting our local community, and partnerships such as this play an important role in enabling us to do that.

“We wish Oxford United all the best for Sunday.”

Oxford Brookes University is building on an established relationship with Oxford United, and last year the university’s sponsorship went towards helping to fund The Manor Club, a monthly lunch club for senior Yellows and other East Oxford residents to meet and socialise. 

Zayn and Chey DunkleyNamed after Oxford United’s previous home ground in Headington, the volunteer-run Club meets at the Cowley Workers’ Social Club to enjoy a talk about Oxford United by an ex-player or one of its historians.

Oxford United Chairman Darryl Eales said: “We are very proud to be linking up with Brookes again. It is a partnership that works very well for both of us. Young Zayn is going to have an unbelievable day leading out the team at a Wembley final in front of 75,000 people. The players are really looking forward to meeting him and sharing their day with him.

“We have enjoyed working with Brookes and a number of students have been given the opportunity to work in professional football alongside our staff over the last few years. We look forward to the partnership continuing to grow.”

The University has also contributed to the club’s success this year as the partnership between Brookes and Oxford United has meant the club has been able to access Premier League-level GPS technology to track players’ performance during games.

The data collected from fitted tracking devices can then be used to analyse fitness levels and potentially identify injuries which may be hampering a player’s performance, whilst giving students invaluable work experience and real data both of which enhances their studies. 

Oxford United’s Video Analyst Dan Bond and First Team Sports Scientist Liam McWhirter are both graduates from Brookes and have also both coached the University’s football team.

Pictured: 1. Mascot Zayn (second from left) with Cumnor Minors team mates Ollie Deacon, Patrick Hull and Alex Howes with Ollie the Ox. 2. Zayn with his favourite Oxford United player Chey Dunkley.