We are delighted to welcome back two Manor Ground heroes on Saturday when Colin Booth and John Shuker will be our guests for the Sky Bet League 1 game against Doncaster Rovers.
Colin was a formidable striker who scored 23 goals in just 52 appearances for the U’s, having previously netted 57 times in 88 games for our visitors Doncaster.
John meanwhile holds the club’s all-time appearance record, with 534 games under his belt after making his debut in August 1962 in Oxford’s first home game in the Football League, against Lincoln City at the Manor.
Both will be presented to the crowd at half time. Sadly, John, 77, has been diagnosed with dementia, an ongoing decline of brain functioning. His son, Johnny, told us
“He’s alright within himself but it’s his dementia. When he sees you it’s okay, but to have a conversation with him is quite hard.”
John’s wife Lynn takes up the story: “John was officially diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimers in June 2017. Over the first year his decline was gradual, and we were still able to socialise and lead fairly normal lives. Since then, however, he has had weeks when the decline has been rapid and then levels off for a while. The past three months though has seen a huge change. It is impossible for John to go anywhere without one of the family being with him and his confusion day to day is very upsetting to see.
“He still asks how Oxford United have done on a Saturday, although will then again ask five minutes later.”
Johnny and Lynn both asked us to tell fans about John’s condition in advance. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will have increased to around one million.
For further reading or to help people suffering with dementia, visit www.dementiauk.org
Meanwhile please make our two Manor heroes welcome when they come back to Oxford United on Saturday.