DES Buckingham was hit with a ‘wave of emotion’ after returning to his former primary school for a special promotion assembly.

Oxford United’s head coach, a former pupil at Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Primary School, paid a surprise visit at the Cowley school yesterday afternoon.

Pupils raised the roof when Buckingham walked into the main hall, clutching the Sky Bet League One play-off final trophy.

The children then gave Buckingham a rendition of their version of Que Sera, Sera, before he took questions from pupils, and was then given mementos made by the children.

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United’s boss then took part in a football match on the outside MUGA pitch, and even got himself on the scoresheet.

He said: “I forgot how chaotic playground football can be, but I really enjoyed myself. I wasn’t going through a game of football without grabbing myself a goal.

“Walking into that assembly hall, it was a surprise to the kids, but it hit me. I hadn’t been in that hall for a long, long time.

“To be welcomed with that wave of emotion that hit me coming through the door, when the children saw the trophy, and they were singing that song, that was a very, very special moment for me.”

Our Lady’s headteacher Tara Davies, a U’s fan, was a pupil at the same time that Buckingham was there.

She told this newspaper: “I keep using the word amazing, but there’s no other word to describe it.

“A lot of the children bought tickets for Wembley, and I saw a couple of families there at the stadium after the match.

“They’d been to the club shop and bought merchandise, and they’ve invested in it so much.

“To then have Dessie come back to his old primary school has just been a day I don’t think any of us will ever forget.”

Herald Series: Pupils from Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Primary SchoolPupils from Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Primary School (Image: Liam Rice)

Herald Series:

Buckingham isn’t the only former Our Lady’s pupil with a strong sporting background, with the likes of Martin Keown, plus ex-United player Jordan Obita, and boxer Jordan Flynn, all on the school’s wall of fame.

Davies said: “We’ve got our sports hall of fame, and Des’ picture will be going up on that now.

“There’s Princewill Ehibhatiomhan [Southampton forward] and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan [Reading forward], we’ve had Jordan Obita, and one of our current girls in Year 6, she’s one of the county tennis players, and is winning all the south England tournaments, so she’s doing really well.

“Martin Keown is another former pupil, and Jordan Flynn, the boxer. The school has historically always done really well in sport.

“Back in 2017, we won a southern England school tournament, so we played on the Wembley pitch, representing Oxford United, and last year, we won the Manor Cup.”