This season Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity of The
Football League. To celebrate, we've asked bloggers from each of
the 72 clubs to count down their top five strikers to have worn the
No9 shirt, in recognition of the fact that prostate cancer
affects one in nine men.
Built like an ox: United's super sub Paul Moody. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Here blogger Scott Walkinshaw, of oxblogger.blogspot.com,
selects Oxford's five best No9s… and one to forget!
5. Billy Hamilton
John Aldridge wasn't a No9 and Jeremy Charles wore No9 when we won
the Milk Cup, but it was Billy Hamilton who was the iconic No9 of
the club's mid-80s glory years. He was also the greatest Oxford
player ever to have his own board game - Billy Hamilton's Football
Academy. A veteran of Northern Ireland's famous 1982 World Cup
squad, he often looked like he was still feeling the cramps he
suffered during their famous win over hosts Spain in Valencia. At
Oxford he destroyed defences and helped Aldridge to a bag of goals.
Persistent injuries meant that he only played 41 times in two years
scoring 20 goals, but it was a hell of a two years.
4. James Constable
Constable scored the goals that got us to the Conference play-off
final in 2010, then he scored one of the Wembley goals that got us
promoted back to the Football League, then he turned down the
opportunity move to our greatest rivals, Swindon, and THEN he
scored the goals that beat them away from home for the first time
in 40 years. There is so much to love about James Constable.
3. Paul Moody (1994-97 &
When Ian Wright reinvented goal celebrations in the mid-90s he
couldn't have envisaged the impact it would have on Oxford's Paul
Moody. Joining at the tail end of the 1994 relegation season, Moody
was normally content to celebrate goals by standing still and
letting munchkin-like wingers hang off him. When, in 1996, we went
on a breathtaking run to promotion he was converted to a super sub
and introduced late on in games to batter tired defences. His goals
flooded in and, at this point, Moody decided to introduce some
razzmatazz to his game with the most awkward handstand you've ever
seen. Graceful it wasn't - like dropping planks of wood down the
stairs. Moody was up on his hands while journeyman winger Stuart
Massey hung from the crossbar as they celebrated Moody's goal in a
3-0 derby-day destruction at Wycombe.
2. Keith Cassells
"He's played at Wembley over 100 times," guffawed Jimmy Greaves
during a profile of Keith Cassells on the Saint And Greavsie show.
It was true: Cassells played for Wembley FC before joining Oxford.
In what was a fairly average time for the club, he scored 13 goals
in 45 games. But more than that, he was the first No9 I remember
seeing as a child. And you always remember your first. I thought he
was the best striker in England and wasn't surprised when he was
snapped up by a star-studded Southampton side that included Kevin
Keegan, Peter Shilton, Alan Ball and Mick Channon. I thought he'd
fit right in. But, if there's anything I've learnt about football,
it's that you shouldn't trust the judgement of an eight year old.
Cassells never got going at the Dell and went on to play for
Brentford where, it is rumoured, he once hit a floodlight with a
shot at goal.
1. Bud Houghton
Some strikers are targetmen, others are goal poachers; Bud
Houghton was just a big show-off. He holds the club record for
goals in a season, once scoring nine goals in a week and is one of
only two Oxford players ever to score five goals in a game. He was
a goalscoring dynamo who helped propel the club into the Football
League in 1963. Houghton also had a close-season window-cleaning
business with Big Ron Atkinson, who was a wing-half at the club
around the same time. Rumours that their early morning discount
scheme provided the origin of the famous Ronglish phrase "Early
doors reducer" remain unconfirmed.
And the worst…
They called him 'the Bus' - probably because there are
Routemasters servicing the Blackbird Leys estate with better
goalscoring records. Steve Anthrobus scored one goal every 1,552
minutes in an Oxford shirt. If you kicked off at 3pm on Saturday
and kept playing, he'd score his first goal at Sunday teatime. He
arrived, via Crewe and Shrewsbury, from Wimbledon, where he'd been
an understudy to John Fashanu. In fact all that prevented him from
becoming the next Fash the Bash was goals and an ill-advised
"Awooga!" catchphrase on Gladiators. In 2007 Anthrobus was fined
for having a vigorous romantic indulgence with a married woman in a
park. He was warned by the judge never to do it again. The judge
needn't have worried; with his record there was never any danger of
him scoring like that again. He scored four goals in 69 games and
was so bad, I actually started to like him.
Follow Scott on Twitter @OxTweeter