sport news Oxford City keen to pay tribute to Colin Taylor in FA Cup

The FA Cup. Minnows, giants. Tales of cleaning toilets. It all makes for a nice cliche. But football, like life, is not that simple. For Oxford City, Saturday's game against Notts County is a chance to step into the light after a dark year and a half.

They are heavy underdogs. But stranger things have happened than a win for the National League South side. And City carry a unique motivation with them, a desire to pay tribute to a man known as 'Mr Oxford City'.

It is less than 18 months since managing director Colin Taylor's body was found in the stands at the club's Marsh Lane stadium.

Mark Jones, the Oxford City boss, is preparing his team for FA Cup clash with Notts County

Mark Jones, the Oxford City boss, is preparing his team for FA Cup clash with Notts County

Taylor was the heart and soul of the club. Manager Mark Jones, who was speaking on behalf of sponsor William Hill, told Sportsmail: 'When Colin passed away, we were unsure whether we could keep playing at that level. But we wanted to. A lot of hard work has been put in behind the scenes, new people have got involved.

'We've done remarkably well to stabilise our position as a National League South club. This cup run has been a godsend.

'He was Mr Oxford City. He put his whole life and soul into Oxford City. It was a tragedy what happened at the end. We would love to get through in Colin's memory. I'm sure his family would like to see us do it too.'

Taylor's two daughters will be in attendance on Saturday as Oxford — 19th in the league — look to achieve something they never have before.

It is less than 18 months since the club's managing director Colin Taylor passed away 

It is less than 18 months since the club's managing director Colin Taylor passed away 

The win against Colchester in the first round was the only time the club have ever beaten a Football League side. The last time they reached the second round was the 1969-70 season. To even be competing at Meadow Lane on Saturday goes against precedent.

This run has come as a huge boost to a club that have, frankly, been struggling behind the scenes. Taylor's death was combined with the issue of former director Thomas Guerriero being jailed for seven years in Florida for his part in a $6.6million (£4.8m) investment fraud.

'We've managed to pick up a fair bit of prize money for what we've achieved so far, and the live TV game is tremendous for us,' Jones added. 'People may look at that and think we can sign new players. That money is being used to service the current debt and keep us going.

'I've got a lot of respect for the managers at the top level but I think some of the better ones might struggle to deal with some of the things we have to deal with.

The Oxford City squad pose for a team line-up picture ahead of their second-round encounter

The Oxford City squad pose for a team line-up picture ahead of their second-round encounter

'I've rolled the pitch when we had a grass pitch by hand, pushing a heavy roller to make it better for the players. I've cleaned the toilets. That's what you have to do at our level.'

And should the club pull off a shock, somehow

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