Places still available for the 96 reunion dinner on 9th December
It is 20 years since United last won promotion from the third tier and on Friday 9th December Oxford United is holding a reunion dinner to celebrate that achievement. With 17 members of that promotion squad already confirmed, including manager Denis Smith, plus Paul Moody, Matt Elliott, Joey Beauchamp and Philip Whitehead, it promises to be a great evening at the Oxford Academy. Tickets cost £30 for adults and £20 for under-18s and include a two-course buffet. They are available from www.oufctickets.co.uk
Also attending the reunion dinner is the guest of honour for tomorrow night's game against Gillingham, former Oxford defender Les Robinson. Les spent ten years at the Manor, joining from Doncaster Rovers in March 1990 and making 458 appearances before leaving for Mansfield Town in the summer of 2000.
His most memorable time, however, was the 1995/96 promotion season and speaking in tomorrow's programme, Les says:
“I’m really looking forward to the reunion. It will be nice to catch up with all the boys and see how old they look and how fat!
“My outstanding memory of that season was when we played Blackpool at home and they were second and we were quite a few points behind but on a really good run. We beat them 1-0 with a great strike from Joey Beauchamp and at the end of the game Phil Brown, who played for them, came over and shook my hand and said ‘Good luck in the play-offs’. At the end of the season we went to Crewe and won and Blackpool lost 1-0 at home to Walsall so we went above them into second.
“Then course we had to wait a week before we played Peterborough. Even though it was 0-0 at half-time we knew Blackpool were winning and we could have been overtaken, so we went out in the second half and smashed four past them. But I think it was always going to happen, it was just a question of waiting for that first goal. The celebrations were fantastic: Rushy with his shake of the corner flag after he scored and Martin Gray with his ginger wig! We had a great night out afterwards."
Come along on 9th December to hear Les and the rest of the squad reminiscing about that memorable season for what is sure to be an excellent evening.