AN Oxford United supporter has written a debut book aged 74, detailing his emigration from Ireland and how he then fell in love with the U’s.

Peter Carton moved to Oxford with his parents and seven other siblings in November 1958, when he was aged 10.

The United season ticket holder’s book – Mary and Paddy: Joy Wrapped in Tears – narrates his family history, the lives of his parents and how his passion for the U’s began.

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He said: “I started going to games back in the late 1950s, when my father took me to the White House Ground at Oxford City.

“Stockport County away in April 1968 was my first Oxford United game, and helped us get promoted that season.

“We were attacked by hooligans and that’s also why I remember it well.

“An uncle of mine started taking me to games then, when I was 16.

“The thing about the Manor Ground was that it was superb and visiting teams didn’t know how to cope.

“You can’t replicate that atmosphere – you were so close to the players and the pitch. The atmosphere was unique.”

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Carton lived in Oxford until 1981, and while he now resides in Birmingham, he still makes the trip to the Kassam Stadium for every home game.

While the football references in the book are joyous and filled with happy memories, elsewhere the publication deals with traumatic moments in Carton’s family history, including a presence at a Dublin massacre, an ambush by the IRA and a startling revelation of two deceased twins.

“The book is a tribute to my parents, who moved over here from Ireland,” said Carton.

“It’s been in the pipeline for three or four years. I was on holiday in Tenerife and people were talking about a family history.

“I read a similar sort of book by Alan Johnson [former Home Secretary] and thought I could do that too.

“I set my targets and objectives, and spoke to as many people as I could, and got a lot of stories which are in the book.

“It includes my grandad who had his ankle blown off while he was in the army.

“It was quite interesting to do the research and I enjoyed it, even if it was a bit traumatic at times.

“I’m glad I did it and I feel it’s from the heart. People have said I’ve done a brilliant job in capturing the emotion of it and how the times were in the 1920s and 1930s.”

The book is available to purchase via Troubador Publishing, at:

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