Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes for the programme for Bolton Wanderers in Sky Bet League One
I’d like to thank you all for coming to today’s game against Bolton and I hope helping us make a little bit of history for the club.
I want to thank club historian Martin Brodetsky, who tells me that the last time Oxford United recorded three successive crowds of over 10,000 in the league was in 1987 when we played Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool in the top division. To hopefully do it again two divisions lower is incredible and really shows how this team is capturing the imagination of the whole of Oxfordshire.
They are doing that through bright, attacking football, which I hope is entertaining you all. Accrington away on Tuesday, in a rainstorm, was not the place to judge the team because I do not think any team would have been able to play their usual game in those conditions. But last Saturday when Nathan Holland scored the winner against Portsmouth was one of those special moments that people will talk about for years. I know my neighbours will because it was 4am in Thailand and I was screaming at my iFollow screen when that went in!
We are also doing it with fantastic values. Those three games I mentioned in 1988, Peter Rhoades-Brown was on the bench for the Liverpool game and is still here working so hard for the Commercial team. Oxford’s goal came from Tommy Caton, whose son Andy is on the medical team behind the scenes. Those connections with the past run all the way through the club: Sam Baldock made his debut at Accrington and used to be a season-ticket holder at the Manor as a boy. His brother James is now our club Doctor.
I am so proud to feel part of this giant Oxford United family and to have been welcomed by you all. It makes what we are building here feel even more special and our aim remains to be to share football in a higher division with you next season.
Losing on Tuesday hurt us but didn't change our league position or our ambitions. There is still one third of the season to go and we are going to have to overcome many more difficulties, but we are strong as a group, and we will face every challenge together.
One final point, though, is just a friendly reminder that those same family values run all the way through the club. The media has been looking in a lot of detail at behaviour at football games since lockdown ended, and I saw headlines last weekend about fans assaulting players on the pitch or facing life bans at other clubs. We do not want that here and we will work with our fans to makes matchdays exciting, colourful and noisy, but welcoming for all and safe for everyone. If we all do that, then those 10,000 crowds could become much more regular.
You can read the full programme at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc