James Henry: Promotion is ‘icing on the cake’ after seven years with U’s

The 34-year-old midfielder is one of four out of contract players who will leave the U’s this summer, alongside Billy Bodin, Marcus Browne and Steve Seddon.

Henry’s exploits have written himself into modern United folklore, with his 58 goals ensuring only 10 players have scored more than him in the club’s history.

Those goals include the winner at Doncaster Rovers in April 2018, to help preserve Sky Bet League One safety, and his wonderful hat-trick at home to Lincoln City in August 2021.

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He told this newspaper: “Looking back, there has been a lot of ups and downs, but to finish on such a high is probably the icing on the cake.

“Even this season, there has been ups and downs, but to finish like it did at Wembley was fantastic for the football club and everyone involved.”

Henry progressed through the academy at Reading, where he had loan spells at Nottingham Forest, AFC Bournemouth, Norwich City, and Millwall, before then signing permanently for the latter in July 2010.

He then joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2014, following a successful loan stint, before switching to the U’s in July 2017, after spending the 2016/17 campaign on loan at Bolton Wanderers.

Henry said: “That Doncaster goal was huge for me, and then the hat-trick against Lincoln. It’s only been a few weeks since it ended, and I haven’t had a chance myself to look back on and reflect on that seven-year period.

“I’m sure over time I will, and not just that, but the amazing people I’ve been able to meet and work with in my time here.

“That’s probably been the best bit. Making all those brilliant connections throughout the years.

“My career has been four main clubs really. I started at Reading and was there for a long period, and then I moved to Millwall for a good period, and then Wolves, and then to Oxford.

“There were a few loans in between, but it certainly helps to be at one club for a longer period of time.

“It helps you become invested in the club, and I’ve certainly been invested in Oxford United.

“The clubs that you’ve been at while, you always tend to look back, and when you load up the Sky Sports app, they’re the first teams you look for. That’ll certainly be the case for Oxford United.”

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