Richards and McCormick sign while Marsh goes out on loan
Oxford United concluded three pieces of business on transfer deadline day.
The U's have signed goalkeeper Luke McCormick and striker Justin Richards until the end of the season, with young striker Tyrone Marsh going out on loan to Staines Town in order to play regular competitive games with a view to greater prominence next season.
29-year-old goalkeeper McCormick will add competition and cover for player/coach Wayne Brown and youngster Max Crocombe following Ryan Clarke's recent shoulder operation. McCormick made well over 100 appearances for Plymouth Argyle, setting a club record of seven consecutive clean sheets in the 2003/4 season.
However in 2008 he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and sent to prison. He was released in June 2012 and has been playing for Truro City this season.
Manager Chris Wilder said:
"We are very mindful of the past and the situation. Luke is very contrite and sorry about what happened. He was sentenced and went to prison and during that time had the opportunity to reflect on what he had done.
"It is hard to separate the two, but purely from a football perspective he is an experienced goalkeeper who has played most of his games in League One and the Championship. We have a situation here where our number one goalkeeper is out for the foreseeable future with a shoulder injury and we could lose Max Crocombe to International duty next month. We are offering Luke a chance to play again.
"I have spoken to Luke at length and he knows that it will not be easy for him but he is very humble and wants to try and make the most of the opportunity."
The club are fully aware of Luke's history and Chairman Ian Lenagan issued the following statement:
"The tragic events in Luke's past will never go away and that is something he will have to bear for the rest of his days. He made the biggest mistake of his life and no amount of apologies will ever change what happened. He served his sentence and knows what he did was wrong.
"As a club we have thought long and hard about whether to employ a player with his background but his clear repentance and the opportunity to allow him to rehabilitate whilst meeting our unique goalkeeping situation within the Salary Cap - which we might otherwise not have been able to do - resulted in our decision to sign him".
Justin, 32, has been on loan at the Kassam Stadium from Burton Albion for the past month and will now stay on a permanent deal until the end of the season to provide strong promotion-chasing options up front with Constable, Craddock and Smalley.
Originally on the books at West Brom, he has made over 400 senior appearances and scored over 100 goals. The powerfully built forward missed Tuesday night's draw with his parent club but is eligible again for Saturday's game at Southend and is delighted to extend his stay with the U's:
"I'm pleased" he said. "I have really enjoyed my time at Oxford. It's the second time I have been here on loan and the players and fans have made me feel very welcome. It is a club that is moving in the right direction and I hope I can play a part in a successful second half of the season."
Meanwhile striker Tyrone Marsh has joined Staines Town on loan until the end of the season. The 19-year old forward has made five appearances for the U's this season, scoring his first senior goal against Southend United at home in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. He is likely to join Marcus Gayle's squad for the first time as they travel to Bath City on Saturday.