• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Octoberfest for Oxford United during month of October


Sep 29, 2022

We are giving Oxford United fans the chance to share their views on the club every Thursday this season. This week, Andy McCormac reminisces on some memorable moments following the U’s during the month of October

I’VE got good reason to like the month of October whilst following the Yellows, having enjoyed many memorable matches across the month, over almost half a century of watching our wonderful club.

After our less than auspicious start to this season, I’m looking forward to October. I became an Oxford United supporter in the tenth month, in 1973. I was 10 years old. My dad told me that if I wanted to, he’d take me to an Oxford United game of my choice. I asked him to take me to the game against Crystal Palace.

Why Crystal Palace? They had just been relegated from the first division. They finished three off the bottom, making them the highest placed relegated team. That suggested to me that Palace had to be the best team in the second division. Wrong. Crystal Palace went on to be relegated for a second time in a row!

Not before I’d seen my first game though. We drew 1-1 with them on that October afternoon, Hugh Curran equalising a goal Palace scored in the first half, to give me my first Oxford United goal. And so, my love for the U’s was born.

Seven days later and my dad offered to take me to an away game. I had no idea of the significance of our opponents. We lost 1-0. At the County Ground. I was disappointed – and hooked – and I’m delighted to report that in spite of this result, Swindon Town, just like Crystal Palace, got relegated at the end of the season.

Over the years that have followed, Oxford United have often given me happy memories in October. As recently as last season we had the treat of James Henry’s stoppage time winner at Sheffield Wednesday. In 2019, we booked a place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, when we beat Sunderland in that penalty shoot-out. The one where Will Grigg’s penalty landed somewhere near Wycombe.

On October 31, 2009, Halloween saw us beat Altrincham 1-0 thanks to a goal by Damien Batt. This was my son’s first ever Oxford United game. He was so spooked that he went on to support Shrewsbury Town.

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October 1978 saw the best goal I ever saw an opposition player score at The Manor. Brian Clough brought a star-studded Nottingham Forest team to play against us in the League Cup. Forest ran out as 5-0 winners. Viv Anderson scored a wonder goal. We may have lost, but it was a joy to watch.

And 1981. On October 24, I travelled to a game at Southend. Before the days of the M25, this was quite a trek. We arrived with two minutes to spare and witnessed what must be one of Oxford United’s quickest ever goals. Straight from kick-off, the ball reached a teenage Andy Thomas 35 yards from goal. He turned and slammed the ball into the Southend net. Most Oxford supporters travelling by coach never saw it. They’d been stuck in the same traffic as us.

That’s just a few memorable October moments. How much would we give for some this season? Victories at Charlton, Portsmouth and Bolton perhaps? Thumping home wins over Wycombe and Peterborough?

Come on you Yellows!