Oxford United Milk Cup hero Jeremy Charles says he owes a big debt to his uncle, the legendary John Charles, who died on Saturday.

Jeremy scored the third goal in United's stunning 3-0 victory over QPR in the 1986 Milk Cup final at Wembley.

"I was very fortunate to have had some little coaching sessions with him when I was young. He was a lovely man and a great player," Jeremy said.

"I've been in the company of many great players and every one of them says that John was one of the best there has ever been.

"And he was that in not just one position but two, at the back as well as centre forward. I also did that in my career, so I'm sure some of what he taught me rubbed off."

Jeremy, son of John's brother Mel, who starred for Arsenal and was also a famous Wales international, made his league debut for Swansea before his 17th birthday and was the second highest scorer in Division 4 in his debut season.

He was a regular member of the Swansea side which rose from Division 4 to Division 1 in four seasons. After a very brief move to QPR, he joined Oxford for £100,000 in February 1985 to pep up their faltering promotion campaign and went on to score 16 goals in 50 appearances for the U's.

As well as scoring against his former club at Wembley, Jeremy, who won 19 caps for Wales, scored the crucial second goal against Aston Villa at the Manor Ground which took Oxford to the final.

He also scored against Arsenal and Tottenham, and was on the mark in each of the games when United won three Division 1 away matches in a row at Chelsea, Manchester City and Luton.

But injury brought his career to a premature end. His last league match was at Highbury, where his father had been a hero, and he was controversially sent off. In contrast, John was never booked or sent off in his career.

John Charles scored 42 goals in 39 games for Leeds in 1953-54. He moved from Leeds to Juventus in 1957 and the Gentle Giant, as he was known, scored nearly a goal a game.

The 6ft 2in maestro was unbeatable in the air, unpassable on the ground and exuded an enormous presence.

In 1997 Charles was voted 'the greatest foreign player ever in Serie A', favoured above Diego Maradona, Michel Platini, Marco Van Basten and Zinedine Zidane.

"I remember him first and foremost as a great uncle," Jeremy said. "He had a very soft spot for my sister, so as a family we were quite close. And secondly, I remember him as a great footballer.

"At the Vetch Field, when I was one of the young lads and he was a coach, I remember a player smacking the ball straight at him and knocking out two of his teeth. We spent the rest of the training session looking for them!"