The captain is the only player still at Oxford who featured for the club in the Conference, where they wallowed for four years until 2010. Keighley-born but a Burnley fan, the centre-half is preparing to confront Rovers at the Kassam Stadium.
Jake Wright is proud Oxford have stuck to their own style in toppling teams from higher divisions.
Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images
Blackburn should be the enemy. After all, Jake Wright grew up as a Burnley supporter, running out as a mascot at Turf Moor aged five and in among the 35,000 Clarets at the Second Division play-off final against Stockport in 1994. Wright had watched from the disabled section at Wembley that day, an eight-year-old confined to a wheelchair by osteomyelitis. He was fortunate not to have lost his legs.
The fact he has gone on to enjoy an 11-year professional career, taking in almost 400 senior games at five clubs from Bradford to Brighton, is remarkable. “I’ve come a long way since I was sat in that wheelchair,” he says. “I was lucky enough that Steve Bollen, a knee specialist who deals with a lot of clubs up north, was in on the day I went to hospital with the condition and he ending up operating on me on the NHS. After a year or so he had me back up and playing again and I went from my village team – basically me and my mates, my sister too, losing every week and using our front room as a changing room – to Long Lee and then eventually into the professional game.