Puncture puts stop to unbroken match sequence for U's superfan

Puncture puts stop to unbroken match sequence for U's superfan

Andy James

Richard Hill outjumps John Wark to score in the first U’s 1-1 draw against Ipswich Town at the Manor Ground in 1989. It was the start of an amazing 23-year unbroken sequence of matches for Andy

First published in News

NOTHING can usually stop die-hard Oxford United fan Andy James from supporting his beloved team home or away.

The 59-year-old has religiously travelled up and down the country following the U’s and had not missed a league or cup game since 1989 – until Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Burton Albion.

The BMW he was travelling in suffered a puncture on the way and brought his amazing 23-year run of more than 1,200 games to an end.

Mr James, known to fellow fans as ‘Womble’ after watching Wimbledon a couple of times in the 1970s, said: “I am gutted. I didn’t expect to miss one so close to home.”

He was travelling with friends Steve Edmunds and Will Willmot for the game at Burton Albion and they were only 20 miles away from the ground when the car got two punctures on the motorway.

Mr James, from Cowley, said: “We hoped to get there just after kick-off – but we were taken to a garage about 3.30pm and it was 5pm by the time we got away from there.

“There was nothing we could do. We were all disappointed.”

The first match in Mr James’ sequence of games was at home to Ipswich Town on February 25, 1989 – the year the Berlin Wall was pulled down.

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He counts that he has seen 1,253 consecutive games, although statistics site Soccerbase.com lists it as 1,226.

Mr James, who works as a driver for Mayfield Press in Blackbird Leys, said: “I am really pleased with my run. I knew it was going to end sometime, and I expected it to be a breakdown – it wouldn’t have been intentional!

“Hopefully I can start again at Cheltenham tonight!”

Mr James, who served as an amateur referee for 25 years, watched his first U’s match when he was five.

He said: “I’m Oxford born and bred and Oxford United will always be my team.”

VITAL STATISTICS

Andy’s 23-year U’s record includes:
Won...........................................................439
Drawn.........................................................325
Lost............................................................462
Goals for.................................................1,563
Goals against.........................................1,569
Number of managers.................................14
Source: Soccerbase.com

MEMORABLE GAMES

  • Getting back into the Football League with a 3-1 win over York City in the Conference play-off final at Wembley.
  • Oxford United’s extra-time win at Leeds in the 93-94 FA Cup season.
  • Oxford United’s 3-1 win at Chelsea in the FA Cup in 1991.
  • Any victory over Swindon.

Comments (3)

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9:28am Thu 20 Sep 12

bigchet says...

andy was a familiar face at the manor and in the supporters club before the move to the kassam ,and his record his really amazing, long may it continue.
andy was a familiar face at the manor and in the supporters club before the move to the kassam ,and his record his really amazing, long may it continue. bigchet
  • Score: 4

11:31am Thu 20 Sep 12

Bobby.Lashley says...

How many pints of Newcastle brown ale was consummed during that !!!!!!
How many pints of Newcastle brown ale was consummed during that !!!!!! Bobby.Lashley
  • Score: 2

5:02pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Beau champ mummy says...

Only word to say really. Mug
Only word to say really. Mug Beau champ mummy
  • Score: -6

Comments are closed on this article.

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