£500k former Preston North End star becomes free agent at 32

Billy Bodin has announced his departure from Oxford United. He is leaving despite winning the League One playoffs. (Image: Getty Images)Billy Bodin has announced his departure from Oxford United. He is leaving despite winning the League One playoffs. (Image: Getty Images)
Billy Bodin has announced his departure from Oxford United. He is leaving despite winning the League One playoffs. (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images
A former Preston North End forward is leaving a Championship rival - despite celebrating promotion.

Former Preston North End attacker Billy Bodin has announced his departure from play-off winners Oxford United.

The U's won promotion to the Championship via the League One play-offs on Saturday, but Bodin will not be joining them in the second tier. He is leaving the Kassam Stadium with his contract expiring in the summer, and the departure has been confirmed by the player.

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He said in a social media post on Monday: "My time at @OUFCOfficial has come to an end. After such a great start to the season on a personal level it was hard finding myself out the team for the back end of the season but that’s football. And to end up with 9 goals and a promotion was all worth it.

"A big thank you to all my team mates and a big thank you to the fans for your support over the last 3 years. 25 goals and a promotion later, all the best next season."

The 32-year-old scored five times in 36 games this season however 17 of those appearances came off the bench. He played in the first leg tie against Peterborough United but didn't appear for the London Road clash or the game at Wembley Stadium.

Bodin, a one time Wales international, made 106 appearances for Oxford, registering 25 goals and 14 assists in 106 games. He joined from Preston North End on a free transfer in June 2021. The Swindon-born winger was at Deepdale from January 2018 to the summer of 2021 - after joining for a reported £500,000 from Bristol Rovers.

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He made 44 appearances for the Lilywhites, recording five assists and four goals. The other clubs in his career include Swindon Town, Torquay United, Crewe Alexandra and Northampton Town. He was most prolific during his time at Bristol Rovers, where three times he reached double figures.

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