Oxford United striker Kitson calls time on career

Dave Kitson

Dave Kitson

First published in Sport
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

DAVE Kitson has called time on his career after agreeing to leave Oxford United by mutual consent.

The legal loose ends were tied up last night to confirm the final season of the 34-year-old’s contract would be scrapped.

It brought an end to 13 years as a professional, clocking up almost 500 appearances and close to 150 goals.

While the decision was not a surprise after Kitson openly wondered if last season would turn out to be his last, the timing - three weeks into pre-season - was unexpected.

The forward featured in the U’s first two games, but finally reached a conclusion last week and missed the 1-0 win at Didcot Town on Saturday.

Head coach Michael Appleton said at the time the veteran had been given the weekend off to recover from a tough week’s training, but has now paid tribute to United’s No 8.

He said: “Dave came to me on Friday and told me that he would like to retire.

“I asked him to take the weekend to think it over.

“It is a massive decision for any player and I felt he deserved a little time to weigh it all up.

“He came back to us over the weekend and told us that his mind was made up, and so we respect that decision and wish Dave all the best for the future.”

Retirement marks the end of a career which peaked with a five-year spell at Reading, where Kitson’s goals helped them into the Premier League.

His signing last summer was a coup for United, but halfway through the campaign he began to hint about not seeing out the full two-year contract.

Following the 2-0 win at Plymouth in April, which included the last of his 143 career goals, he said: “You have to look at the future.

“There are plenty of footballers I know that struggle to get out of bed in the morning and I don’t really want to be like that.”

There appeared to be a change of heart after the final day defeat at Northampton, when Kitson suggested he was leaning towards coming back.

But he also said: “I don’t want to be the old player on the pitch who is costing us.”

Kitson was unavailable for comment last night, but a desire to stay healthy would appear to be the reason behind the decision.

There was no doubt on his day last season the player who Stoke paid £5.5million for in 2008 was a huge asset to United.

But after an excellent start to life in League Two, the second half of his campaign was disrupted by persistent injuries and suspension.

While he returned after the summer break, the physical demands of pre-season followed by another nine months of grind may have been the final straw for someone with little to prove.

Although United will miss his class, if Kitson’s ability to play regularly was going to diminish this season, ending the contract a year early could prove beneficial for all parties.

It frees up a significant wage for Appleton to reinvest and bolstering a forward line which looks very light will now be his top priority.

Dave Kitson career statistics Hitchin Town (98-00) Arlesey Town (00-01) Cambridge Utd (01-03): 123 apps, 47 goals Reading (03-08): 147, 60 Stoke City (08-10): 40, 5 Reading (loan 09): 12, 2 Middlesbrough (loan 09-10): 6, 3 Portsmouth (10-12): 72, 12 Sheffield Utd (12-13): 37, 12 Oxford Utd (13-14): 36, 4 Total: 473 apps, 145 goals Latest United news:

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Comments (10)

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8:14am Tue 22 Jul 14

wayoutwest says...

Class player, intelligence to bring others into the game often to his own detriment with some fans seeing him as a 'lazy' player. Interesting words from young Roberts in pre-season how a man of his experience can pass on his wisdom to young players. It's no 'SECRET' that we'll miss his input in the dressing room. Best of luck Dave in wherever things take you

http://www.thesecret
footballer.com/artic
les/the-secret-footb
aller/20587/sands-of
-time-running-out/
Class player, intelligence to bring others into the game often to his own detriment with some fans seeing him as a 'lazy' player. Interesting words from young Roberts in pre-season how a man of his experience can pass on his wisdom to young players. It's no 'SECRET' that we'll miss his input in the dressing room. Best of luck Dave in wherever things take you http://www.thesecret footballer.com/artic les/the-secret-footb aller/20587/sands-of -time-running-out/ wayoutwest
  • Score: 17

8:16am Tue 22 Jul 14

wayoutwest says...

Class player, intelligence to bring others into the game often to his own detriment with some fans seeing him as a 'lazy' player. Interesting words from young Roberts in pre-season how a man of his experience can pass on his wisdom to young players. It's no 'SECRET' that we'll miss his input in the dressing room. Best of luck Dave in wherever things take you!

http://www.thesecret
footballer.com/artic
les/the-secret-footb
aller/20587/sands-of
-time-running-out/
Class player, intelligence to bring others into the game often to his own detriment with some fans seeing him as a 'lazy' player. Interesting words from young Roberts in pre-season how a man of his experience can pass on his wisdom to young players. It's no 'SECRET' that we'll miss his input in the dressing room. Best of luck Dave in wherever things take you! http://www.thesecret footballer.com/artic les/the-secret-footb aller/20587/sands-of -time-running-out/ wayoutwest
  • Score: 5

9:04am Tue 22 Jul 14

South Upper 87 says...

He was a class player, trouble is with his injuries and yellow cards he was a luxury we could not afford. Will be good to get someone in prepared to player over Christmas and the New Year !.
He was a class player, trouble is with his injuries and yellow cards he was a luxury we could not afford. Will be good to get someone in prepared to player over Christmas and the New Year !. South Upper 87
  • Score: -4

12:16pm Tue 22 Jul 14

London_Ox says...

Thanks for your effort last season Kits..

I think this is the right decision and now with that freed up wage, lets bring in somebody like Simon Gillett or another higher level player around the late 20s mark to add steel to the middle of the park and then at least that person can comfortably play and do a consistent job for us for another 5-6 years!
Thanks for your effort last season Kits.. I think this is the right decision and now with that freed up wage, lets bring in somebody like Simon Gillett or another higher level player around the late 20s mark to add steel to the middle of the park and then at least that person can comfortably play and do a consistent job for us for another 5-6 years! London_Ox
  • Score: 6

12:47pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Doctor69 says...

Is it only me who is really concerned we don't have any forwards?
I know we signed Hylton, but his track record is poor. We need at least 2 decent centre forwards for the season ahead.
Is it only me who is really concerned we don't have any forwards? I know we signed Hylton, but his track record is poor. We need at least 2 decent centre forwards for the season ahead. Doctor69
  • Score: 5

1:12pm Tue 22 Jul 14

RocketMan says...

Sure, wish Kitson well for the future. A quality player. Something, with or without Constable, United are desparately short of up front, bearing in we struggled to turn the screw and get goals last season.

Big money required to bring in quality players who can cut it no just in league 2, but in league one as well. Need at least two or three, as injuries will happen in the course of a season. Need power in midfield and at least clever skillful striking duo up front who have pace to get behind defenders.
Sure, wish Kitson well for the future. A quality player. Something, with or without Constable, United are desparately short of up front, bearing in we struggled to turn the screw and get goals last season. Big money required to bring in quality players who can cut it no just in league 2, but in league one as well. Need at least two or three, as injuries will happen in the course of a season. Need power in midfield and at least clever skillful striking duo up front who have pace to get behind defenders. RocketMan
  • Score: 9

1:52pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Bumble08 says...

I'd also like to thank Kitson for last season, he was when on it a league above the rest of the players and this a lot of the time showed him in a bad light to uneducated fans.

That said it has freed up around £4k a week in wages, if we now give Appleton the time and not demand signings for the sake of numbers I belive he will bring in the right players.

Really excited by next season and feeling abut of pride coming back in and around oxford. DF is a major coup! Coyys
I'd also like to thank Kitson for last season, he was when on it a league above the rest of the players and this a lot of the time showed him in a bad light to uneducated fans. That said it has freed up around £4k a week in wages, if we now give Appleton the time and not demand signings for the sake of numbers I belive he will bring in the right players. Really excited by next season and feeling abut of pride coming back in and around oxford. DF is a major coup! Coyys Bumble08
  • Score: 11

4:51pm Tue 22 Jul 14

dovepe says...

Thanks Dave Kitson.
Thanks Dave Kitson. dovepe
  • Score: 1

6:46am Wed 23 Jul 14

Franco81 says...

Doctor69 wrote:
Is it only me who is really concerned we don't have any forwards?
I know we signed Hylton, but his track record is poor. We need at least 2 decent centre forwards for the season ahead.
No not just you. Even with Kitson I still wanted at least 2 more strikers coming in. Appleton has mentioned that he was looking for forwards as far as I understood in Saturday's interview. I am very grateful for his service to the club. He was a great player for the club, he will be missed.
[quote][p][bold]Doctor69[/bold] wrote: Is it only me who is really concerned we don't have any forwards? I know we signed Hylton, but his track record is poor. We need at least 2 decent centre forwards for the season ahead.[/p][/quote]No not just you. Even with Kitson I still wanted at least 2 more strikers coming in. Appleton has mentioned that he was looking for forwards as far as I understood in Saturday's interview. I am very grateful for his service to the club. He was a great player for the club, he will be missed. Franco81
  • Score: -1

10:33am Wed 23 Jul 14

help123 says...

Someone explain please if Oxford are short of CFs why they are potentially going to send Marsh out on Loan and are planning to do the same with one of the 2nd year scholars?
Someone explain please if Oxford are short of CFs why they are potentially going to send Marsh out on Loan and are planning to do the same with one of the 2nd year scholars? help123
  • Score: -1

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