WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Remembering Oxford United’s 1967-68 Division Three champions
CYRIL BEAVON was Arthur Turner’s first signing for Headington United in January 1959 when they were a Southern League club. And a decade later, by the time that he left Oxford United as they were rebranded, he had won two Southern League titles and helped the club win promotion to the Second Division.
The former England youth international started his career at Wolves but his career stalled after doing his two years’ National Service in the RAF.
Beavon says that he jumped at the chance of joining Headington because he increased his Wolves wages by a pound a week to £18.
“It wasn’t a gamble joining Headington because I got more money,” he said. “In 1959, they had a maximum wage in the Football League but they didn’t in the Southern League.
“I think my third game for Headington was against Bath City and who should be playing for them but Stan Mortensen (who scored an FA Cup final hat-trick in 1953).
“They also had Charlie Fleming, the ex-Scottish international from Sunderland, and that was because they were on a lot more money.”
Beavon was an ever-present for the club in their first season in the Football League.
After three seasons, they were promoted in fourth place from Division Four and then, after another three seasons, were crowned champions of Division Three.
Beavon admits that Turner built a side on defence, which kept clean sheets in each of the last four games, while tactics were often changed during games by Ron Atkinson, showing early signs of his managerial promise.
“Arthur was a defender himself and we always said that he could pick the defenders but couldn’t pick the forwards,” he added. “He didn’t like us to play a lot of football, he liked to lump the ball forward.
“But we used to change the tactics ourselves in some games because we liked to play a bit of football. Ron was very much the leader in that respect.” 1. Colin Harrington: He lives in Middle Barton, Oxfordshire, and ran his own accountancy firm based in Chipping Norton. Also acted as a company secretary. 2. John Shuker: United’s record appearance holder settled in Oxfordshire and was a publican in Bampton as well as managing Clanfield and Witney Academy. 3. Rod Smithson: Joined Arsenal as a groundsman and managed Witney Town. Lives in Headington, Oxford, and was general secretary of Rover Sports and Social Club in Cowley for over 30 years. 4. Jim Barron: Managed IA in Iceland and Cheltenham Town. He has coached at Birmingham, Wolves and Northampton. Now scouts for Everton. 5. Colin Clarke: Youth team coach at Charlton and Aston Villa before moving to the United States, holding a variety of different coaching posts. His last job before retiring was at the University of Tulsa. 6. John Lloyd: Is now retired and living in the Essex area after finishing his career in semi-professional football in Kent. 7. Maurice Kyle: Worked as an electrician and managed Wantage, Oxford City and Witney Town. Lived in Oxford until his death from cancer in January 1981. 8. Cyril Beavon: Cyril lives in Headington, Oxford. Was a milk tanker delivery driver and managed Bicester Town. His son Stuart played for Reading for a decade while his grandson, also Stuart, currently plays for Burton Albion. 9. Ken Fish: South African international spent more than 20 years on the coaching staff at the Manor Ground. He died in Stoke-on-Trent in August 2005, aged 91. 10. Arthur Turner: Went on to become U’s general manager and then scouted for Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday. He died in Sheffield in January 1994, aged 84. 11. Graham Atkinson: The club record scorer and brother of Ron ran Milton Park Stores near Didcot but now lives in retirement in Rosson-Wye. 12. Ken Skeen: Ran Alu-Fab in Cheltenham, then took the job of secretary-manager at Lilley Brook Golf Club in Charlton Kings before becoming a painter and decorator. 13. Ron Atkinson: Universally known as ‘Big Ron’, he has worked in management and as a television pundit. The former Manchester United manager is now living in Warwickshire. 14. Mickey Bullock: After managing Halifax Town, Goole Town and Ossett Town, he scouted for a number of clubs and worked as an insurance consultant. 15. David Sloan: Former Northern Ireland winger was caretaker of Burton-upon-Stather Primary School in Scunthorpe for nearly 25 years until retirement. 16. Barry Thornley: Worked in insurance for Liverpool Victoria in Broadstairs, Kent, but is now living in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. 17. Ken McCluskey: The club secretary was living in Banbury, Oxfordshire, until his death in April 2013, aged 82. NOT PICTURED George Kerr: Managed Lincoln City (twice), Grimsby Town, Rotherham United and Boston United prior to becoming an expert summariser on BBC Radio Humberside. Peter Hatch: Settled in the Exeter area and is one of many former players who is earning his living working as a postman. Ken Hale: After becoming playermanager of Darlington and managing Hartlepool, he ran a Sunderland newsagents and worked for the local health authority. Ken died in January 2015, aged 75. Brian Sherratt: Is now retired and living in Thame. At one time worked at the Oxford Ice Rink. Tony Buck: After settling in Northampton, he became service manager for a Ford dealership and then service controller at Axux (UK). John Evanson: He went into the pub and food trade for over 30 years and is running The Black Horse in Cherhill, Wiltshire. Peter Higgins: Is now living in his native Nottinghamshire in retirement after returning to the area when he hung up his boots. Tony Jones: Was an HGV driver based in Litchfield, Staffordshire, until his death in April 1990, aged 52. Dick Lucas: He lives in Witney and is a director of electrical wholesalers, Lucas & Busby.