Students compete on the pitch

Gary Madine meets fans at the Owls in the Park 2012
Gary Madine meets fans at the Owls in the Park 2012
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Thousands of students descended on Hillsborough Stadium for the finals of the annual Varsity challenge.

Students from The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University battled it out for glory in a host of different sports at the tournament.

The event is now in its 17th year - and this year students took part in 60 fixtures involving 40 different sports at 23 venues in Sheffield.

The match climaxed with the men’s football final at Hillsborough - and the game was won 1-0 by Sheffield Hallam University.

But it was The University of Sheffield who took home the Varsity trophy for the first time in a decade after winning the overall competition, on aggregate, by just two points.

A crowd of 3,500 students turned out to support the rival universities.

Spencer Taylor, from Sheffield Wednesday FC, said he was delighted the club had been able to host the final for the fourth year running.

He said: “We’re extremely pleased to have been selected to host this year’s Varsity final which proved a huge success with thousands of students creating a wonderful atmosphere.

“The event enhances the links between Sheffield Wednesday and both universities.”

Sheffield University Students’ Union sports officer Luke MacWilliam said: “We have been waiting a long time to bring the Varsity trophy back to The University of Sheffield.

“After 10 years of trying we’ve finally done it!”

He added: ”This year I think we had the mental edge over Hallam, with a real belief among our competitors that this would be our year.”