Just One Look – Cambridge United

Jul 12, 2022 | News

Cambridge United

Formed in 1912 as Abbey United, the club competed in local leagues and played their home matches on a number of different grounds before settling at the Abbey Stadium (current capacity 8,127) in 1932.

In 1949 the club turned professional and changed its name to Cambridge United and competed in the Eastern Counties League and the Southern League before being elected to the Football League in 1970 when they replaced Bradford Park Avenue.

Since then supporters have celebrated seven promotions and suffered seven relegations. One of those relegations, in 2004/05, saw them return to non league football and they spent nine seasons in The Conference before being promoted back to the Football League in 2013/14.

It wasn’t until 1973/74 that Rovers and Cambridge United met in the league and since then they have played each other on 30 occasions, with Rovers winning 15, Cambridge seven and eight games have ended all square.

Rovers came out on top in the only FA Cup encounter, winning 3-0 at Eastville in January 1972, and they have also won the two Trophy encounters, 1-0 in December 1997and 4-1 in August 2017.

The first ever league meeting saw Rovers win 1-0 at Eastville on September 29th 1973, while the sides shared four goals at the Abbey Stadium on December 22nd that year.

We’ve not met in the league since 2015/16 when Rovers completed the double over Cambridge, winning 2-1 at the Abbey Stadium on October 30th 2015 and 3-0 at the Mem on March 25th 2016.

Players who have turned out for both clubs include Victor Adeboyejo, Wayne Andrews, Kevin Austin, Nathan Blissett, Hiram Boateng, David Byrne, Jermaine Easter, Ian Davies, Rory Gaffney, Jake Gosling, Matt Harrold, Reggie Lambe, Jeff Hughes, Scott Howie, Scott McGleish, Scott Rendell, Harry Pell, Adam Smith, Matt Somner, John Taylor, Ciaran Toner, Robbie Turner, Robert Wolleaston, Callum Willock, George Williams, Devon White, Elliott Ward and John Vaughan.

As well as playing for Cambridge and managing them, Ian Atkins also had a spell in charge of Rovers. Brian Dutton, who worked as a coach under Darrell Clarke both with Rovers and Walsall, and who is now back at the Mem, appeared in three first team games for Cambridge.

The following players made their Rovers league debuts against Cambridge; Shaun Penny (1979/80), Gareth Taylor (1991/92), Sonny Parker (2002/03) and Shane Hobbs (2003/04).

Cambridge visit the Memorial Stadium on 8th October, while Rovers travel to the Abbey Stadium on 7th January 2023.

To the Abbey Stadium from the Memorial Stadium is a round trip of 340 miles via the M4, M25 and A1 (M).

Cambridge United FC

The Abbey Stadium

Newmarket Road



Keith Brookman

(all images courtesy of Neil Brookman)