OXFORD United’s marksman from the club’s previous FA Youth Cup record run hopes the current crop of talent can break into the first team.

Rob Simpson scored five goals as United made it to a fourth round replay against Luton Town in the 1982/83 season.

After getting past Barking, Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic – all at the Manor Ground – the young U’s were beaten 3-0 at home to Luton.

Bicester Advertiser: Click here to sign up to the Oxford United newsletter Click here to sign up to the Oxford United newsletter (Image: Newsquest)

Simpson, who never made a first team appearance, hopes to see members of this season’s record-breaking side again go a step further than him and stamp their authority in the professional game.

He told the Oxford Mail: “I was with the club for two and a half seasons and joined when it was probably the most successful period.

“I’ve got a lot of good memories, particularly with the club’s run.

“The way the club was evolving though, we never got that opportunity in the first team whereas the team we lost to in Luton Town went on to have good players.

“Apart from one or two who had debuts in the Football League, we didn’t get the opportunity.

“I have such great memories and had the opportunity to join Swindon.

“We played them and I scored. Don Rogers came to my home and offered me an apprenticeship but I decided to stay.

“I enjoyed playing with the group of lads I’d been with even though some of my friends had joined Swindon and had first team opportunities because the club was struggling financially – but I don’t regret staying at Oxford.

“One game, we came up against Tony Adams and Martin Keown for Arsenal – they didn’t give me a sniff.

“Martin did a number on me, which left me with an ankle ligament injury and out for two months.

“In a game against Swansea, we played against Ray Kennedy and I was a Liverpool supporter growing up so that was very special.”

With Jim Smith about to guide United on the most fruitful spell in the club’s history, chances at first team level were sparse and Simpson was released.

“I was six months short of my 19th birthday and my contract was running up,” he said.

“Oxford had just got promoted and Jim Smith felt I wasn’t good enough.

“The club released me and I had spells in non-league with Wycombe Wanderers and Forest Green.”

On this season’s side, beaten by Manchester City in the Youth Cup quarter finals, Simpson said: “They’ve got a really good bunch of young lads there and I hope they get the opportunities in the first team that maybe we didn’t get.

“It’s wonderful to see Gatlin O’Donkor get the opportunities he’s had this year.

“If he works hard, he’s a real prospect. I really like Josh Johnson too in the midfield, he looks like a real prospect.”