Tolstoy Cup

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The Tolstoy Cup
Contested by
Peace Studies
University of Bradford
War Studies
King's College London
First cup match1992
Current championWar Studies FC (King's College London)
TrophyThe Tolstoy Cup
(a framed copy of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace)

The Tolstoy Cup is an annual football match played between the students of the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford and the Department of War Studies at King's College London since 2007, though the match was first played in 1992. [1] The competition is named after War and Peace , the 1869 novel written by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy.



The rivalry between "Peace Studies" and "War Studies" is one of the great sporting rivalries, being featured at number four on the Financial Times list of "Great college sports rivalries". [1] Although it does not match the history or tradition of university rivalries such as the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, the competition is still often covered by the national media including the BBC, [2] [3] The Independent and Bradford's Telegraph and Argus . [4] The second leg of the 2007 match played at Bradford City's Valley Parade attracted over 200 spectators. [3] King's College London itself has a longer standing rivalry with UCL, particularly involving rugby union.


Symbolically, War Studies adopt a red and black stripe, while Peace Studies typically play in light blue colours. Rather than their own, both sides have at times played with the names of notable figures related to their studied disciplines on their shirts: 'D. Lama', 'M. L. King' and 'Gandhi' for Peace and 'Nelson', 'Caesar' and 'Clausewitz' for War. [1] [5]


The "trophy" for the Tolstoy Cup has in prior years constituted a framed copy of Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace. The trophy first came into use in 2007. It is kept by the department of the current winners. The Department of War Studies at King's College London currently hold the trophy.

The book used since 2007 was last used following the 2011 match due to its fragile state after 5 years of use and was replaced with a newer copy. It has since been superseded by a conventional trophy. The original trophy is now permanently displayed in Weickartshain, Germany.


No.DateWinnerScoreVenueTotal wins
11992Peace Studies2-1Bradford01
21994Peace Studies15–0Bradford02
32007Peace Studies0–1, 0–1, 1–1 agg (4–3 on penalties)London (1st leg) Bradford (2nd leg)03
42008Peace Studies1–1 (2–4 on penalties)London04
52009Peace Studies3–1Bradford05
62010War Studies2–1London15
72011Peace Studies5–0Bradford16
82012Peace Studies1–2London17
92014Peace Studies3–0Bradford18
102015War Studies4–1London28
112016Peace Studies5–1Bradford29
122018War Studies5–2London39

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  1. 1 2 3 Scott, Izabella (25 March 2011). "The List: Five great college sports rivalries". Financial Times. London.
  2. Coughan, Sean (1 May 2007). "War versus peace in football game". BBC News.
  3. 1 2 "Peace Defeats War in Soccer Clash". BBC News. 7 May 2007.
  4. Rush, James (26 April 2007). "It's War and Peace on the Pitch". Telegraph and Argus. Bradford.
  5. Series of photos on YouTube showing War Studies support.