Hear more about John Aldridge's extraordinary achievements at Oxford United:
Jim Smith signed John Aldridge from Newport County for £78,000 in March 1984. By the time he joined Liverpool in 1987, for almost ten times that amount, he had secured his place in Oxford United folklore. In less than three seasons at the Manor Ground, Aldridge had become the club’s joint all-time leading goalscorer and had set a new club record for the number of goals scored in one season.
Aldridge was part of what was probably the best team in the history of the club. Alongside the likes of Ray Houghton, Billy Hamilton and Peter Rhodes-Brown, he helped fire the club into the top tier of English football as champions of both the Second and Third Divisions and played a crucial role in Oxford’s League Cup victory at Wembley in 1986. Aldridge’s 90 goals for Oxford in just 141 appearances made him one of the most highly rated strikers of the time, and in January 1987 he joined Liverpool, the club he had supported since he was a boy, for three-quarters of a million pounds.
After leaving Oxford, Aldridge won both the FA Cup and English Championship with Liverpool. In 1989 he became the first non-Basque player ever to sign for the Spanish side Real Sociedad. As a Republic of Ireland international he scored nineteen goals in 69 appearances and helped his adopted country reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Italy 1990. Aldridge ended his career at Tranmere Rovers where he became player-manager.