Geoff Denial 1932-2020
It is with great sadness that Oxford United report the death of former player Geoff Denial.
Born in Sheffield on 3rd January 1932, Geoff joined Headington United from Sheffield United in 1955, but his debut was delayed after he was called up for service during the Suez Crisis. He eventually played his first game in September 1956 against Exeter Reserves in the Southern League.
The forward set several records in his time at United, becoming the first player since the club turned professional in 1949 to score three hat-tricks in a season during 1959/60, in which he was the club’s leading scorer with 32 goals, including scoring a club-record seven games in a row. He also set a club record of scoring in nine consecutive away games that season.
Geoff started as a goalkeeper for Sheffield Boys and at the age of 16 he played for Oaksfold, the nursery side of Sheffield Wednesday, and was selected to play for the county at centre-half.
He signed professional forms for Sheffield United at 17 and had played 16 games for the Blades before he arrived at Headington, for a modest fee, starting off as a left-back.
Geoff scored 51 goals in 199 appearances for the U’s, playing his final game against Workington in December 1962.
Ron Atkinson told us:
"I took over as captain from Geoff and he was one of my best mates as a player and then for the rest of his life. He was a quality player but also a fantastic personality and this is really sad news for all of us. Our thoughts are with his family."
All at the club echo Ron's sentiments and send our condolences to Geoff’s family and friends.