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A varsity hockey swap saw two Oxbridge students wiped out after a chair was thrown off a balcony in Wetherspoons on Sunday 18th.

The post-match swap took a violent turn after a student from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, picked up a chair and launched it from the upper floor, injuring a Cambridge and an Oxford student below.

An Oxford Men’s 4s player had to be taken to A&E after being struck in the head by the chair, receiving stitches for the injury. A Cambridge Women’s 4s player also suffered minor injuries to her face.

The incident occurred at around 10pm at the Four Candles Wetherspoons in Oxford following a day of matches between the 2nd’s, 3rd’s and 4th’s Cambridge and Oxford Hockey Teams.

It was supposed to be a day of frivolity, an evening swap after the so-called ‘BDoTY’ (Best Day of the Year) for the collegiate athletes, which saw 100s of Oxbridge students flock to Wetherspoons to celebrate the day.

But the mood shifted after eyewitnesses reported seeing an Oxford student dressed as a traffic cone unexpectedly pick up a chair and hurl it over the balcony to the bottom floor.

Customers reported being ‘shocked and confused’ after hearing the crash of something breaking. Most of the swap attendees were seated on the upstairs section overlooking the bottom floor when the incident happened.

Venue staff intervened and attempted to identify what had happened but the other members of the Oxford Men’s team were reported to have “closed ranks,” according to eye witnesses. The managers eventually ordered everyone to leave.

A student told Varsity that Oxford players were overheard discussing that the incident would make “great chat.”

One student told Varsity that they were “all just drinking really and I don’t know why but one of them picked up a chair and chucked it over to the bottom floor.”

“Everyone was just quite confused”, reported another Cambridge student. “There was just a lot of smashed glass all over the floor and the chair.”

Security later identified and singled out the individual believed to have thrown the chair and followed him down the road, until they disappeared from sight. However, it is claimed that the suspect was allegedly seen later that evening at the club night, at Spirit Bar in Oxford.

In response to the incident, the culprit has been suspended pending an ongoing internal investigation by Oxford University Hockey Club.

Cambridge University Hockey Club are also in the process of deciding the outcome of their internal investigation, with an emphasis on the affected parties’ decision.

This isn’t the first time that a swap with Oxford has taken a turn for the worse, however. Just last month, Varsity reported that John’s sports teams amassed over 130 hours of community service for their conduct at a sports day swap with Oxford, which allegedly included instances of verbal abuse, and urine and beer spills.

In January 2022, Clare College’s drinking society avoided punishment for setting a fresher on fire during an initiation. A first-year student, assigned the challenge of extinguishing a lit toilet roll tucked into his shorts by running into the wind, caught fire after being covered in flammable liquid. The victim suffered burns on his inner thighs and was consequently taken to hospital


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When contacted for comment, The Four Candles Wetherspoons branch said: “Wetherspoon are aware of the incident. Members of hockey teams from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities were using the Four Candles at the time after what we believe was a hockey tournament earlier in the day.

“The individual who threw the chair was identified from the pub’s CCTV coverage. We understand that he was from Oxford University and that his name is now known by the university authorities so the appropriate action can be taken,” the branch said.

“It was extremely fortunate that no one was injured as a consequence of the individual’s reckless act,” the pub concluded.