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Played for Both: Michael Duberry

Dubes looks back at his time at Oxford and Wycombe

25 October 2023

Club News

Played for Both: Michael Duberry

Dubes looks back at his time at Oxford and Wycombe

25 October 2023

Oxford United welcome Wycombe Wanderers to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday as rivalries are renewed in Sky Bet League 1.

30 players have played for both clubs over the years including one of United’s great characters in recent seasons, centre-back Michael Duberry

'Dubes’ signed for Chelsea at 13 and spent 10 years at Stamford Bridge before joining Leeds United and starring in their Champions League campaign.


“We were just one step away from doing big things, but it didn’t happen" he told us. "We got close to getting the Champions League but then the club just turned. Players left and the club struggled. After they were relegated, they didn’t really recover for many years; it was a very quick demise.

“Tony Pulis took me to Stoke, which was a good place to play then Steve Coppell took me to Reading to give me another chance to play in the Premier League. Steve was a good manager and they had good players there, but the club took their eyes off the prize and that’s what led them to be relegated.

"When my contract there came to an end I was released because the club wanted to go in a different direction. That was an eye-opener as it was the first time I was without a club. Then I received a call from Peter Taylor who asked me to come down to Wycombe. They had a young team and I thought it would go well, but it didn’t last long.

“Taylor got sacked and they brought Gary Waddock in and things just changed for me. For whatever reason he just didn’t fancy me and I got left out. It wasn’t a nice period for me, training with the youth team or on my own. I’d started well enough and been made captain but at that level clubs just need consistency and to put a few results together and that didn’t happen. I remember we played Huddersfield in a televised game and got battered 6-0 and in the team talk after the game it felt like the blame was put on me.

“My good friend Jody Morris was playing for St Johnstone and he suggested that I come up to Scotland. I went up there on my own, without my family, and it was a great experience. I had a lovely time up there, but after about 18 months I started to get homesick, and that’s when Oxford came along.”

“Chris Wilder got in touch and I came down to Oxford. He and Mels [Andy Melville] showed me around. I remember thinking ‘When are they going to finish that stand’! I liked what I saw though, but my agent told me that they only wanted to offer me a one-year deal because of my age. I said, ‘Don’t worry about that, I can still play’ and eventually they gave me a two-year deal.


“I loved my time at Oxford and have so many happy memories there, including doing the double over Swindon. I remember seeing a photo from the win at Swindon showing the backs of some players celebrating a goal with all the fans going mad behind them, then some Swindon fans broke into the ground and burnt their initials into the grass and Di Canio’s mind games, but we beat them again at home.

“Oxford and Wycombe were two very different clubs. It worked great for me at Oxford and the fans were brilliant. I have no animosity towards Wycombe, but I’m not sure their fans will remember me for any particular impact I had on them. But if it wasn’t for Wycombe, I’d never have got to play in Scotland. I’ve no regrets though and I had a very happy career.”

Read the full interview, with some great stories about Michael’s career in Saturday’s Match programme.

Tickets are still available for Saturday, Click HERE to order online or call 01865 337533

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