50 years of Roses sporting clashes

A Roses rugby match.

A Roses rugby match.

Lancaster University’s annual Roses sporting competition against York University takes place over the May Day bank holiday weekend and this year forms part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The current score is York 25 – Lancaster 23, with 1 draw in 1974, with students fighting it out for the Carter James Trophy.

The tournament takes its title from the 15th century civil war, The War of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

The Wars of the Roses were a series of wars fought between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England. The final battle was won by a Lancastrian, Henry Tudor, who defeated the last king of York, Richard III, and married Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth of York to unite the two houses.

The first Roses tournament took place in 1965 when the Vice Chanceller of York University suggested a boat race between the two universities, and they haven’t looked back since.

Roses has continued to grow since it originated, with new fixtures being added over the years; from women’s cricket to university challenge, ballroom dancing to debating.




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