Founded in 2013 and inspired by the Ivory Coast national team, Ivory Toast compete in Wales in the intramural Aberystwyth University Digs League. The amateur side has been represented by over seventy players from all over the world playing football at its simplest, and arguably, at its best. The badge is a parody of the badge used by the Ivory Coast national side, replacing the football featured on their crest with two pieces of toast. Given its edible nature, I think a hungry elephant would be far more interested in the toast anyway.
Whilst Leicester’s fairytale season has captured the imagination of football fans around the world, the story of Ivory Toast is one that encapsulates all that has made Leicester’s story so special. A tale of friendship, passion, adversity, success and most of all the beauty of football.
Set up by a group of friends, some who had never kicked a football in their life, the team replaced a poorly named (and poorly performing) six-a-side team, Steaua Needarest. The team in orange had a baptism of fire in their first full season as an 11-a-side team. The low point of the season came in a 22-0 loss to heavyweights FC Hammer, which had followed on from previous heavy losses to We Hate Ben (18-0) and Prestige (21-0).
Toast went into their final game of the season, having not won a single game or picked up a single point. Confident nonetheless, they faced rivals Borussia Teeth who were also winless, and Toast had beaten them 8-5 in a friendly fixture earlier in the year.
Twelve added minutes, eleven yellow cards, ten bad decisions, nine glancing headers, eight goals, seven pulled shirts, six pitch invasions, five toilet rolls, four dirty fouls, three Chinese players, two Borussia Teeth fans and a controversial penalty later and both teams picked up their first points of the season in a 4-4 draw in front of a 70+ crowd. While it was controversial, it kick-started a tense and memorable rivalry between two groups of players at Aberystwyth University that continues to this day.
Over the summer a Borussia Teeth player, Thai Pham, sadly passed away. In remembrance, the league set up a Memorial Shield competition to be held in a rematch between the two sides. In memory of their team-mate Teeth overcame Toast in another eight goal affair, winning 6-2, on a day where football was the real winner.
Another eight goal thriller took place between Ivory Toast and Borussia Teeth a week later with Teeth scraping past Toast in the first round of the Aberystwyth Town Cup on penalties after drawing 4-4 in normal time.
The elusive first victory continued to trouble Toast until late into their second season. Despite leading 6-1 against Ajax Trees Down and looking to get their hands on their first victory, the game got called in the 60th minute when a hailstorm hit the seaside town. So the team had to wait a few more weeks until they faced Ajax Trees Down again and prevailed with a 9-3 victory. Toast continued their upward trend and went onto win a play-off competition, The Bowl, beating Obi Wan Kenobi Nil (6-4) and Aberzaijan (2-2, 4-2 on pens).
This year has seen a complete transformation, with the team remaining unbeaten from 27th April last year to 14th February this year, a run of 293 days unbeaten on their road to redemption. The team have only lost one game this season, on Valentine’s Day against old rivals We Hate Ben, currently sit second in the league and have also reached the quarter finals of the Aberystwyth Town Cup.
Off the pitch, the team created a pint cocktail named after the team, Ivory Toast. It can be bought at The Cambrian pub in Aberystwyth, or you can make it yourself with vodka, tropical vs, orange juice and grenadine.