AN Oxford United stalwart who made more than 500 appearances with the football club has died aged 80.

Cyril Beavon, who was a defender at the U's for 10 years passed away yesterday after battling a short illness the club said today. 

The club paid tribute to his life in a statement and called him 'one of our greatest ever servants.'

The club said: "Knowledgable, great company and always a welcome guest at the club. 

"Cyril was part of a football dynasty with both his son and grandson also playing in the Football League.

"He died yesterday, aged 80, after a short illness.

"The thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family."

Born in Barnsley, he joined the U's in 1959 from Wolverhampton Wanderers and made more than 500 appearances for the club over the next decade.

He was also an England youth international having become Arthur Turner's first signing as the U's started to rise through the leagues.

Cyril was part of the famous defensive trio alongside Ron Atkinson and Maurice Kyle.

He went on to join Banbury United in 1969 before retiring due to injury.

His son and grandson Stuart Beavon, senior and junior, both followed in his footsteps and the latter now plays for Coventry City FC.