ONE of Oxford United’s most famous fans says he is not deserting the club for a rival team.

Radio presenter and TV celebrity Timmy Mallett started supporting the U’s back in the early 1980s and has been a regular at the Manor Ground and Kassam Stadium ever since.

But recently the I’m A Celebrity star has been spotted supporting another club – non-league Maidenhead United who play in the Blue Square South division.

Following Maidenhead’s FA Cup first round game against Aldershot Town, he said: “I only live three miles from the ground and have been following Maidenhead for a few years.

“It is a proper football club.”

But Mr Mallett said yesterday no sleight was intended against Oxford United and added that the U’s would always be first in his heart.

He said: “It’s definitely Oxford first and Maidenhead second but I only live a few miles away from Maidenhead’s ground and I might go there when Oxford are not playing at home, or there is a U’s away game that doesn’t fit in with my schedule.

“I go to more Oxford games than I do Maidenhead games – the last time I was at the Kassam Stadium was for the Port Vale game and I was in a box with Ant McPartland from Ant and Dec and singer Jonathan Wilkes.

“My son Billy, who is 18, is a U’s fan, and he did ask me about my support for Maidenhead the other day, but I want to reassure all Oxford fans that I am not about to switch my allegiance.

“I think it’s acceptable to pick up a new club as you go through life and then add it to your list of favourites but Oxford United will always be my first club. Even though Oxford got beaten by Sheffield United in the FA Cup, I think the team is playing very well at the moment.”

The kids’ TV legend added that he enjoyed the atmosphere at Maidenhead’s York Road ground.

He said: “You can have some funny moments in the lower leagues – if Maidenhead are 4-3 down, then the fans will sing ‘we’re going to win 5-4’.”

Mark Sennett, chairman of supporters’ group OxVox, said Mr Mallett had recently become a life member of the group.

He added: “Timmy is still clearly a big U’s supporter and we hope to see him at as many games as possible.

“It’s good to see him supporting his local club Maidenhead but I’m confident that Oxford United will always be his first club.”