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Michael Christian Oakes (born 30 October 1973 in Northwich) is an English former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper from 1991 until 2008.

Michael Oakes
Michael Oakes in 2008.JPG
Personal information
Full name Michael Christian Oakes
Date of birth (1973-10-30) 30 October 1973 (age 45)
Place of birth Northwich, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
19??–1991 Aston Villa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1999 Aston Villa 52 (0)
Bromsgrove Rovers (loan)
1992–1993Gloucester City (loan) 19 (0)
1993–1994Scarborough (loan) 1 (0)
1994Tranmere Rovers (loan) 0 (0)
1999–2007 Wolverhampton Wanderers 199 (0)
2007–2008 Cardiff City 11 (0)
Total 282 (0)
National team
1994 England U21 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

As a player Oakes notably played in the Premier League for Aston Villa and in the Football League for Scarborough, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City. Oakes is currently a league cricketer, appearing as a wicket-keeper and batsman for various Oldham clubs in the Saddleworth League, including Delph & Dobcross, Moorside and also East Lancashire Paper Mill in Radcliffe, Bury.

Contents

CareerEdit

Aston VillaEdit

Oakes began his career in Aston Villa's youth system. He played nineteen games for Gloucester City in 1992–93 and then had a loan spell at Scarborough in 1994 playing one league game. He finally got his chance to appear in Villa's first team at the start of the 1996–97 season. He made his debut on 17 August 1996 in a 2–1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, aged 22, deputising for the injured Mark Bosnich.

Bosnich's injury record, and speculation he would be leaving to join Manchester United, gave Oakes opportunities over the next three seasons and he amassed 60 appearances in total for the club. He also won seven England Under-21 caps during his spell at Villa Park. However, after the club recruited David James following Bosnich's departure in 1999, Oakes requested a move. He denied the request had anything to do with conceding a panenka penalty to an 8 year old wonder kid from Castle Bromwich but sources close to the goalkeeper said it haunted him for several years.

Wolverhampton WanderersEdit

Oakes made the short journey to First Division club Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1999 for £500,000, and soon ousted long-serving Mike Stowell as number one at Molineux. He remained as the first-team goalkeeper until September 2002, when he suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by rookie Matt Murray. Oakes was honoured with a medal during the 2003 Football League First Division playoff final/play-off success against Sheffield United at the Millennium Stadium in May 2003.

However, the fortunes of the two keepers turned in August 2003, when Murray sustained a back injury, and Oakes stepped into the breach for Wanderers' inaugural Premier League campaign. He performed admirably in what was a tough season, but was controversially replaced by new signing Paul Jones in January 2004.

Oakes regained his place in October 2004, post-relegation, but lost his place through injury in October 2005, to Stefan Postma. Although Postma was later released, Murray's return to fitness meant that Oakes continued as deputy in 2006–07. He was given a free transfer in May 2007 after 220 appearances in total. Upon his release, Oakes drew praise from his former colleague Murray, stating that "I learned a lot from him and he has always been very supportive of me. Whoever signs him is going to have a top keeper."[1]

Cardiff CityEdit

In July 2007, Oakes signed for Cardiff City on a one-year deal, linking up his former Wolves manager Dave Jones.[2] He began the season on the bench but moved into the starting XI after several errors from the on-loan Ross Turnbull. With Turnbull returning from loan back to Middlesbrough, Oakes found his only competition to be Irishman David Forde and continued in the number one spot.

However, Kasper Schmeichel was taken on loan from Manchester City in late October, which relegated Oakes to the bench, save one Football League Cup game at Liverpool. After Schmeichel returned to his parent club in early January, Oakes was called upon again by Cardiff, but Peter Enckelman was swiftly signed on loan from Blackburn Rovers for the rest of the season. Oakes chose to retire at the season's conclusion, his final involvement being as a substitute in their FA Cup Final game against Portsmouth.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

Oakes worked as goalkeeping coach for Wrexham between 2008 and 2015, and between 2017 and 2018.[4] After a year with Walsall, he returned to Wrexham in 2019.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

He is the son of former Manchester City footballer Alan Oakes.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Top Man". wolves.co.uk. 19 May 2007.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Cardiff capture goalkeeper Oakes". BBC Sport. 7 July 2007.
  3. ^ "Hasselbaink and Fowler could go". BBC Sport. 22 May 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Michael Oakes returns as Wrexham goalkeeper coach". BBC Sport. 23 June 2019.

External linksEdit