As Oxford United wait to see when the fixture list can resume, we look back on times they have been left kicking their heels...

TOMORROW marks two weeks since Oxford United roared back to win 3-2 at Shrewsbury Town.

That already makes it the longest gap between fixtures this season, which had stood at 11 days – due to November’s meeting with Ipswich Town being postponed by international call-ups.

It is just over two years since United went a fortnight during a season without a game.

On that occasion the home clash with Fleetwood Town succumbed to the sub-zero temperatures brought by the Beast from the East.

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It was the last time the fixture list was so heavily affected, with just six games going ahead in League One, League Two and the National League combined.

When it comes to a more prolonged disruption you have to go back to 2010, when Chris Wilder’s side did not play between December 4 and 28.

The freezing weather was helpful for one player – Jake Wright missed just one game despite breaking a bone in his foot just before the icy weather hit.

It was the longest gap in fixtures for United during a season for a quarter of a century.

Back then, Jim Smith’s men had to put their Division Two title charge on hold for 25 days.

They did not play between the FA Cup third and fourth round fixtures in January 1985 and by the time they returned to league action the U’s had up to four games in hand on their promotion rivals.

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But since the club entered the Southern League in 1949, one season stands out for having the two longest gaps between fixtures.

The winter of 1962/63 became known as the Big Freeze.

After Graham Atkinson’s double secured a 2-1 win at Hartlepools United on December 22, the entire country was plunged into chaos.

Arthur Turner’s side played just once in the next 11 weeks – a third round trip to Highbury coming right in the middle.

Given the circumstances, the U’s could have been forgiven for being caught cold as they went down 5-1 to Arsenal, who were managed by Billy Wright.

Things got so desperate the club even drafted in a flame-thrower to help with thick ice at the London Road end to get the pitch ready for the game against Crewe Alexandra on March 2.

U’s secretary Ken McCluskey said: “The match will definitely be on, because where the ice does not clear completely we will sand heavily to make the pitch safe.”

After the game was called off the following day, Turner said: “I’m terribly disappointed, I’ve had 35 years of experience in soccer and I thought the game would definitely be on.”

They returned to their maiden Football League campaign on March 9, where John Shuker scored a consolation in a 2-1 defeat at Chester City.

It was the start of a frenetic period which saw United play 21 games in less than seven weeks.

But even the disruption caused by the Big Freeze will be overtaken by the present crisis, which yesterday saw the suspension extended until April 30.

That means at least a 54-day gap between matches, making this United’s longest wait for a game since they turned professional in 1949.