Club mourns loss of its first professional player
Everybody at Oxford United was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Jack Casley, who passed away this weekend aged 88. Jack was one of the great servants to football in Oxford, helping both Oxford United and Oxford City during close to 60 years in the game.
Jack was the first professional footballer at Headington United, joining the club in 1949 after playing for home town club Torquay United. He played his first game in goal but then showed his versatility by scoring a hat-trick as centre forward in his third game.
Jack played for Headington until 1951 and retained his links with the club while also serving on the committee at Oxford City. He became chief scout at The Manor and was instrumental in bringing local youngsters such as Kevin Brock and Andy Thomas to the club. He would also travel thousands of miles looking at senior players with Maurice Evans and Ray Graydon and identifying talents such as John Aldridge who would go on to star for The U’s.
Jack stepped down as Chief Scout in 2002 after 53 years helping his beloved Oxford United and Peter Rhoades-Brown paid tribute to Jack on behalf of the club:
“Jack was a big part of the club for over 50 years. He had such a knowledge of the game and liked nothing better than to sit and talk football with us. Most weekends he was out there watching junior games in the morning and then off to another game in the afternoon. He never tired of it or lost his enthusiasm.
“He has fought bravely against illness in the last couple of years and will be missed by us all.”
Our thoughts are with Jack’s wife Vi and his family.