02 February 2013

Oxford defend decision to sign Truro City keeper McCormick

By Rhod Mitchell - This is Cornwall

Oxford United have defended their decision to sign keeper Luke McCormick from Truro City.

The 29-year-old former Plymouth Argyle No 1, who in 2008 was found guilty of causing the death of two young brothers by dangerous driving, has signed for the npower League 2 club until the end of the season after ten appearances for City.

He was released early from prison last year and his signing by Truro, when the club was in administration, caused a storm of national and local controversy and his arrival at the Kassam Stadium has already provoked an angry reaction from some Oxford fans.

But Oxford manager Chris Wilder told the club's website: "We are very mindful of the past and the situation. Luke is very contrite and sorry about what happened.
"He was sentenced and went to prison and during that time had the opportunity to reflect on what he had done. 
"It is hard to separate the two, but purely from a football perspective he is an experienced goalkeeper who has played most of his games in League One and the Championship.

"We have a situation here where our number one goalkeeper is out for the foreseeable future with a shoulder injury and we could lose Max Crocombe to International duty next month. We are offering Luke a chance to play again.

"I have spoken to Luke at length and he knows that it will not be easy for him but he is very humble and wants to try and make the most of the opportunity."

Club Chairman Ian Lenagan added: "The tragic events in Luke's past will never go away and that is something he will have to bear for the rest of his days. 
"He made the biggest mistake of his life and no amount of apologies will ever change what happened. He served his sentence and knows what he did was wrong. 
"As a club we have thought long and hard about whether to employ a player with his background but his clear repentance and the opportunity to allow him to rehabilitate whilst meeting our unique goalkeeping situation within the Salary Cap - which we might otherwise not have been able to do - resulted in our decision to sign him."

There has not yet been any announcement on a replacement for McCormick for City's game at promotion-chasing Dover Ath tomorrow. 
Oxford have agreed to play a pre-season friendly at Treyew Road next season after signing McCormick who was with the culb on on a non contract basis.

And Truro chairman Pete Masters said of the transfer this morning: ""At some point a chairman of a football club has to make a decision whereby you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

"This moment came for me whilst in a relegation battle 48hrs before playing one of the top teams chasing for promotion in the Conference South League.

"The decision to transfer Luke McCormick our 1st Team Goalkeeper of undoubted ability to Oxford United according to those in the know and I understand the majority of Truro City supporters was the right one for the future of the club, from my perspective. Only time will prove this one way or the other."


  1. In an interview with Rhod Mitchell, Pete Masters, our Chairman and saviour, was quoted as saying that the club did ok out of the deal with Oxford United but the terms of the deal were confidential. I recall the word 'transparent' was bandied about after the takeover..
    How 'ok' ? 'ok' enough to try to get Tim Sandercombe back ? Tim was excellent during his time with us and I believe his departure was down to cash-wrangling ( Correct me if I'm wrong.. )
    Good luck today City, we're due some ! !

  2. Being transparent doesn't imply that everyone has a right to know the ins and outs of every deal that goes on at Treyew Road. That's the PM's job. As long as fans are being kept informed, then that's good enough for most of us.

  3. Pete Masters has been as transparent as we could expect throughout many complicated negotiations to save the club, no one could ask for more.

    The Oxford United deal reflects the wishes of two clubs, in this case Oxford United's Salary Cap came into consideration, one out of place word at Truro City may jeapodize that and more to the point a nice money spinning pre season Jamboree at Treyew Road during July or August.

    In three months great things have happened at Truro let's look forward to Festival football next season without the need to question every decision vital to the clubs survival off the field. some attractive pre season friendlies could be what's needed to recreate the interest of the local population.

  4. Good grief some people are never happy - well done to Peter and Phillip for hauling us out of the scandalous mess Heaney and Webb left us in. It appears the club's hands were tied when Luke wanted to leave and PM seems to have got as good a deal as we could've hoped for.

    1. Sorry, I didn't mean it to sound as If I was unhappy - quite the opposite ! Just having a panic attack at the thought of going to Dover with no keeper !
      I concur, well done Pete and Phil and thanks..