A thank you to James Henry for the goals, assists and seven years of loyalty

It has been a remarkably enjoyable extension to our season, with memories made which will last a lifetime.

Usually by now, I am trawling through all of the free transfer possibilities, the young loans we could approach, and studying which young non-league players may be worth a punt.

At the same time, it’s about digesting the retained player list, who is staying on and who is moving on? Where do we need strengthening?

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We had already heard from Billy Bodin that he is seeking pastures new, and with the formal release of the retained list, with details of options triggered, and ongoing discussions which may extend contracts, it’s clear there’ll be a substantial turnover of players at the club this summer.

It’s exciting to think of the new standard of players we’ll see but also sad to think we’ll not see some of our favourites in yellow again.

All of that got me thinking about one player in particular. James Henry.

The first thing people will think of is ‘he should have shot at Wembley’ but I believe he deserves so much more than that.

Signed in 2017, Jamo quickly established himself as an important first teamer with key goals and numerous assists.

The late goals at Doncaster and Sheffield Wednesday will be a vivid memory for most, as will his partnership with Matty Taylor, but I think it’s fair to say that his performances over the first two years were vital in keeping Oxford United in League One.

Witney Gazette: James Henry celebrates at Doncaster Rovers in April 2018James Henry celebrates at Doncaster Rovers in April 2018 (Image: Richard Parkes)

Witney Gazette: James Henry applauds the away support at Sheffield Wednesday in October 2021James Henry applauds the away support at Sheffield Wednesday in October 2021 (Image: Richard Parkes)

It’s a shame the last two seasons have been blighted by injury, but 57 goals and 42 assists from 260 appearances stacks up against most midfielders and strikers we’ve had.

Whilst different players, to compare against Cameron Brannagan’s 290 appearances, 54 goals and 31 assists, Henry stacks up very well.

I’m fairly sure that Jamo will be moving on this summer, and as a fan who saw and enjoyed pretty much every one of his games in yellow, I felt it only right to say thank you. Thank you for the goals, the assists and loyalty over the last seven years.

A near perfect ending with a new Wembley memory made. All the best for the future.

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