Chapter 3. Queen’s College, Oxford. “….of dreaming spires!”

Kenneth Hunt arrived at Queen's College, Oxford, the town of his birth, in the October of 1904. Records from the University described Hunt in the following manner:-

"... health good, 'played football and cricket, but cannot sing or play." 

Hunt's ambition to follow his father into the Anglican Ministry now became apparent as his declared aim upon entering University was "to enter Holy Orders, with schoolmastering at first." Hunt embarked upon an Honours Degree course in 'Moderations', (i.e. Classic Honour Mods), but at the end of the course in 1908 he only gained a pass Degree, which he converted to an M.A. two decades later in 1928. It is little wonder that Hunt's studies should have suffered during his time as an undergraduate. This was when he established himself as an outstanding University, Club and international footballer, gaining Olympic and domestic honours on the sports field, yet remaining an amateur true to his originally declared aim of eventually becoming a cleric and a teacher.

Queen's College, Oxford.

Hunt's first foray into the organised adult game was as a member of the Oxford University side that played in 'Varsity' matches against Cambridge. He played in four successive years in these matches, and so was awarded the rare honour of being a 'Blue' four times over. Hunt also became a member of the famous 'Corinthian' F.C.This was an exclusive club made up of Oxford and Cambridge University men, which had been formed by N.L. Jackson in 1883.
The purpose of the 'Corinthians' was to bring together the best amateur players of the day to compete with professional town sides, and so enhance the general standard of English football. It is difficult for followers of modern football to imagine how amateurs and professionals could compete equally, but in those days they certainly did. They drew 1-1 with the Welsh national side in 1893 and beat Bury in 1904 by 10 goals to 3. That the 'Corinthians' made such a mark on the game is put down to the fact that they had experienced organised football much earlier than their more working class town team counterparts. This was certainly the case with Kenneth Hunt who was a very experienced player by the time he went up to Oxford. It is probably also very significant that on the whole Hunt and his fellow Corinthians were better fed, clothed and housed than the average working man, and thus were likely to have been fitter and stronger. One final point to bear in mind is that at the turn of the century, class differences were very obvious and that "professionals were taught that to play against gentleman - amateurs was a privilege" .

Another view of the College.

They are likely to have been intimidated by the composition of teams such as the Corinthians, although it is unlikely that men of Kenneth Hunt's calibre would have been aware of this, and certainly would not have used either reputation or social position to gain advantage over an opponent.

A final view of the college.

Life at Oxford was not all football for Kenneth Hunt. Apart from his studies, (which suffered from sporting responsibilities in the same way that they had at school in Wolverhampton and Long Eaton) he took an active part in student life. Years later he enjoyed telling his friends of the time that he and half a dozen fellow undergraduates pushed a hand cart from John O'Groats to Land's End. This would not have been a fund raising activity of the sort that undergraduates might do today. Things like that just 'weren't done' in the early years of the century. 

Such a journey is likely to have been undertaken for adventure and excitement, as it would undoubtedly prove to be a challenge that Kenneth Hunt could not resist.

It Was whilst he was in his final years as an undergraduate at Oxford that Kenneth Hunt was selected to represent his country on the football field. It was also at this time that he became a member of Wolverhampton Wanderers, with whom he was to gain great honour and a fame that has lasted well beyond his lifetime.

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