FOOTBALL: City defender Willmott to bow out

Oxford City defender Chris Willmott is retiring from football after today's game against Bradford PA

Oxford City defender Chris Willmott is retiring from football after today's game against Bradford PA

First published in Non League

Oxford City defender Chris Willmott will retire following today’s final match of the season at home to Bradford Park Avenue.

The former Oxford United centre back will join teammate and ex-U’s striker Steve Basham, 36, who announced he was calling it a day earlier this week.

Willmott, also 36, made his City debut at Bashley before going on to make a further 106 appearances, scoring ten goals.

He started his career at Luton Town, before making the switch to the then Premier League side Wimbledon.

After returning to the Hatters on loan, he was all set to re-join on a Bosman transfer in the summer of 2003, only for him to sign for Northampton Town after a permanent deal fell through following a takeover at Kenilworth Road.

After 81 appearances and one goal for the Cobblers he joined Oxford United in the summer of 2005 on a free transfer and went on to make 98 appearances, netting four times.

Following his release by United in 2008, Willmott signed for Brackley Town where he spent two seasons, before being snapped up by City boss Mike Ford in 2011.

He headed the winner in City’s play-off final win against Cambridge City which saw them promoted to the Southern League Premier Division and was part of the side that went up to Skrill North via the play-offs after beating AFC Totton 4-2 in the final.

Willmott scored the winner for City in a shock success at Eastleigh in the FA Cup and a netted a vital late equaliser at Stalybridge Celtic.

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