Simon Heslop joined us in summer 2013 on a free; Graham Westley taking advantage of Oxford United‘s decision to release him after the 2012-3 campaign. It let us swoop in and secure the services of the York-born midfielder. With us and Westley reunited a third time in 2013, there was a period of rebuilding after what can be seen as Boro’s worst season in a generation. Heslop’s determination and willingness to chip in with goals was no doubt seen as an effort and one that would go down well at the Lamex Stadium and among the home faithful.
Simon Heslop: Before Boro’
The Us was a club at which Heslop had spent three years and played for numerous times – reportedly more than 100. But it was at Barnsley that his pro career started back in 2005. In a five-year period during which he was on the books at Oakwell, opportunities were limited. It was a multitude of loan spells away from the club that Heslop gained his experience. Kidderminster Harriers, Tamworth, Northwich Victoria and Halifax Town were among the first clubs he joined on a short-term basis, albeit all at non-league level.
Oxford gave Heslop the chance to establish himself in League Two, however. And he took that chance as the Us sought to assert themselves after making their return to the Football League. He contributed a handful of goals, but they did become fewer in number as the seasons progressed.