THE brother of an Oxford United backroom staff member is one of the many U’s supporters making mammoth journeys in the hope of seeing the team clinch promotion.

George Taylor, the brother of Luke, United’s head of athletic performance, is flying in from Seattle, landing tomorrow morning, and heading back on Sunday.

Now a dual citizen, having lived in the United States for 13 years, Taylor is looking forward to not just the Sky Bet League One play-off final, but a family reunion too.

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He told the Oxford Mail: “The club means a lot to our family. My brothers and I all played football growing up and as we got older, we fell in love with our local club, Oxford United.

“When Des [Buckingham] was appointed and brought on Luke, it was like a dream come true. I watch all of the games on iFollow, and as soon as the full-time whistle blew last Wednesday, I booked my flight right away.

“All of my family, cousins, aunties and uncles will be there. I knew I couldn’t miss it.”

Herald Series: Taylor quartet George, Dale, Luke and WilliamTaylor quartet George, Dale, Luke and William (Image: George Taylor)

Herald Series: Oxford United head of athletic performance Luke TaylorOxford United head of athletic performance Luke Taylor (Image: Oxford United head of athletic performance Luke Taylor)

Also coming from Seattle will be Manny Diaz Jr, who is staying with his friend Gary Hudson in Peterborough. Hudson said: “After the semi-final, I stopped getting messages from my Posh friends.”

Dunstan Allison-Hope is also making the trip from the USA, having moved to San Fransisco in 2004.

He also made the journey for the 2010 Conference play-off final, and said: “I grew up in Oxford in the 1980s and 1990s, which was probably the best childhood possible from a football perspective.

“I saw the great Jim Smith teams at the Manor, and celebrated at Wembley in 1986. I watch most Oxford games on iFollow, typically at 7am on a Saturday morning, and travelled back for the 2010 final at Wembley.”

Herald Series: Dunstan Allison-Hope at Wembley in 2010Dunstan Allison-Hope at Wembley in 2010 (Image: Dunstan Allison-Hope)

Season ticket holder Zoe Cox is cutting short a family holiday in Denmark, to make it to Wembley.

She said: “I booked an extra ticket back to the UK just in case. Luckily this paid off, however then I had the issue of how to get from Stansted Airport to Wembley. Three trains and a flight are booked, and hopefully I’m going to make it for kick-off.

“I’m making this journey with my granddad and dad, attending nearly every game together. They often talk about the incredible atmosphere of the 2010 Conference play-off final, and I want to experience that excitement first-hand.”

Herald Series: Zoe Cox (right) is flying in from DenmarkZoe Cox (right) is flying in from Denmark (Image: Zoe Cox)

Cowley-born James Metcalfe is flying in from Sydney. He said: “Being a lifelong Oxford United fan, watching Oxford at Wembley is a great experience and such an exciting prospect to get back into the Championship after so many years.

“I get to see my mum, friends and enjoy a great day out. The atmosphere that the Oxford fans create is second to none and it’s going to be a great afternoon.”

George French is making the trip from Melbourne, and said: “I was a season ticket holder for the 2022/23 season and had to endure the pain of that.

“I migrated to Melbourne in September, so have missed what could have been the best season we have had in a while, so decided to come back for the game.”

Jetting in from Malaysia is Luke White, who said: “I've supported us since the 1997/98 season. I went regularly through the relegations down to non-league, and then I was at the play-offs against York, at the promotion game against Wycombe, and I just couldn't not go to this one.”

Herald Series: Luke White with his daughter, at her first game earlier this seasonLuke White with his daughter, at her first game earlier this season (Image: Luke White)

Niall Pritchard arrives from Abu Dhabi on the morning of the game. He said: “I moved to Abu Dhabi in January 2023. Before that, I had a season ticket in the south stand upper for most years since we moved to the Kassam.

“I haven’t made a game since I moved to Abu Dhabi, but always said if we have a chance of promotion, I would come back.”

Mark Underwood, originally from Abingdon, and now living in Dubai, said: “I’ve followed the mighty U’s since the early 1980s and have continued that lifelong faith since moving to the UAE in 2004.

“I will be travelling with my lucky mascot, known as Dubai Bear, and will be meeting up with family and friends at Wembley for this huge match.”

Belgian supporter Nicolas Lucas lives in the city of Namur, and the 46-year-old will be part of a Belgian contingent at Wembley.

He said: “I’ve followed Oxford since the Milk Cup final. I saw the game on the Belgian TV and I fell in love.

“This season, I’ve attended 14 games, and the last two away games in Exeter and Peterborough. I’ll be at Wembley with 10 other Belgians.”

Herald Series: Belgian supporter Nicolas LucasBelgian supporter Nicolas Lucas (Image: Nicolas Lucas)

Tina Ketenci said: “I am travelling from Turkey to watch the Yellows at Wembley. I promised my grandsons Logan and Lucas I would take them to Wembley if Oxford got there, so I am flying back for four days. They don’t know I am coming back, they are just so excited to be going to Wembley.”

Meanwhile, Amanda Wheatley’s husband Nick is leaving a golf weekend in Turkey, flying on the morning of the play-off final, and going back after the game.

Herald Series: Nick Wheatley with his granddaughter Ruby-RoseNick Wheatley with his granddaughter Ruby-Rose (Image: Amanda Wheatley)

Jenni Day said: “I am flying over from Lanzarote, attending with my youngest son and family, and daughter and her family.

“We moved to Lanzarote 16 years ago, and continued to follow the Yellows from here. I would love to see them win not only for me, but for my son and my grandchildren, to say we were there.”

Karl Shorter said: “Me and my girlfriend are heading from Gothenburg to Wembley. It will be a super weekend and the first time at Wembley will be epic.”

And closer to home, Luke Sellwood is making the trip from Wakefield in Yorkshire. He said: “Me and my family are Oxford through and through. My brother is a season ticket holder and goes home and away week in and week out. He lives in Liverpool but never misses a game. 

“Living in Wakefield doesn’t stop me. Oxford just isn’t a team to support, it’s a way of life. It’s a relationship, it’s an emotion.”