Since World War 2, 1882 has been the date given in the Club's programmes for its formation, though programmes from the early 1900s state that the Club was "...established in 1885 and reorganised in 1893". An Oxford City side whose matches were occasionally reported on in the local press before 1884 only appears to have played Rugby - this may be the source for the earlier claimed date for formation.
In fact, the earliest match for which records have been found took place in November 1884, when, following the 'Corinthian model' of a representative club, the City sides were made up with players from other teams from within the city, including Oxford Cygnets, Oxford United College Servants and Oxford Wanderers. Friendly matches were played against other local sides, but gradually more prestigious clubs were added to the fixture list.
For a number of reasons the representative model had proved unworkable by 1896, and the club was restructured and relaunched in its present form at the beginning of the 1897 season.
In 1906 Oxford City won the Amateur Cup and the following year entered the Isthmian League. Since their formation, City have won the Oxfordshire Senior Cup on more than 30 occasions, the Oxfordshire Benevolent Cup 18 times and the Oxford Charity Cup 9 times.
In 1979 the club became a limited company for the first time and in the following year Bobby Moore was appointed manager with Harry Redknap as his assistant but unfortunately the club was relegated for only the second time in their history. Oxford City remained in Division One of the Isthmian League until forced to resign from the league in 1988 when Brasenose College, owners of the White House Ground, terminated City's lease due to a contravention of the terms, and sold the site for housing.Determined to revive the club, loyal supporters continued to hold regular meetings after the directors had resigned, even though no Oxford City teams played until 1989 when City entered a side in the Oxfordshire Youth League. For the 1990/91 season, an Oxford City senior side was elected into the South Midlands League, playing in the First Division. Gratefully sponsored by Unipart Group, the club utilised temporary facilities in Cutteslowe Park and finished third in the league winning promotion to the Premier Division. After securing the use of the larger Pressed Steel Ground at Roman Way in Cowley, it took two more seasons for the City to gain further success, this time winning the League Championship (a first for the club other than the war years).
The progress of the club meant that a new ground was urgently needed to realise the ambition of a return to the Isthmian League after having been forced to resign in 1988. With great help from the local council and numerous other contributors a site for a new stadium was made available at Court Place Farm. The opening game was played against neighbours Oxford United in front of a crowd of 1800 spectators, with City winning by three goals to one.Season 1994-95 was very successful with the club making history by reaching Wembley Stadium for the first time in the FA Vase final, unfortunately losing 2-1 to Arlesley Town. Further success was achieved that season with promotion to Division One of the league followed by more joy in 1995-96 as City won an Isthmian League Championship for the first time in the club's history with the top spot in Division One and promotion to the Premier where they remained for two seasons before returning to establish Division One status.
FA Cup history was again made eight seasons ago as City battled to the 1st Round Proper for the first time since 1970. After two exciting draws against Wycombe Wanderers, the full-time professionals finally overcame City at the third attempt with a narrow 1-0 victory at Oxford United's Manor ground in front of more than 4000 spectators. This was the last FA Cup tie to be decided after two replays.
Following the pyramid re-structure Oxford City joined the Southern League in season 2004-5 but were unfortunate to be relegated to the Spartan South Midlands in 2005. However, major success on the field immediately returned in 2006 with City securing the Spartan South Midland League Championship and Cup double. Oxford City now provide a high standard of competitive football with men's teams in both the British Gas Business Football League and the Sport Italia Hellenic Football League. A Veteran's team has been added in 2007 and the structure of the club has been transformed with yet more Oxford City Colts, Ladies and Girls teams with continued focus on the community. The emphasis internally is on development of both players and volunteers which is clearly demonstrated by the innovative formal educational partnership with Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. In 2006 the club achieved the prestigious FA Charter Standard Community Club status and in 2007 was awarded Community Club Regional Winner for the South East by the FA. With twenty teams the club structure is bigger than at any time in it's history with further participation growth and improved facilities planned. The club are also ambitious on the pitch and manager Justin Merritt and assistant Mike Ford have worked hard to assemble a very strong squad including players with experience at a higher level. Blended with the excellent young prospects coming through from within the structure of the club it is clear that further success is anticipated.