Bizarre history of Oxford United
OFF THE PITCH!
Formed as Headington in 1893, United lost the lease on their home at the Manor Ground as fans, irked by dubious decisions in a match, invaded the pitch. The U’s were banned from hosting games within three miles until being allowed back in 1910.
BLACK AND GOLD
By the ’60s, under new name Oxford United, the club had replaced their blue and orange kits with gold and black – trying to match Wolves’ success – and in ’62 they got elected to the Football League.
SMOKE ’EM OUT
When a smoke bomb was chucked onto the County Ground pitch in a May 1982 league derby with A420 rivals Swindon, the referee – who was later pelted with coins by Oxford fans – waved play on and the Robins scored to secure a 3-2 victory.
I DON’T WANT IT!
After beating QPR 3-0 to lift the League Cup in 1986, United’s boss Maurice Evans ordered Oxford physio Ken Fish to scale the Wembley steps to receive – and keep – the manager’s medal as a reward for his 22 years of service at the club.
In 1988, U’s chairman Robert Maxwell (below) sold Dean Saunders to Derby – a team he also owned – behind gaffer Mark Lawrenson’s back. Five years earlier, Bob’s attempt to merge the Yellows with Reading as ‘Thames Valley Royals’ had failed.