John Oster

Last updated : 21 May 2013 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

8th December 1978 - BOSTON


Transfers to and from Burnley

from SUNDERLAND - 29th January 2005

released - 9th May 2005


First and Last Burnley Games

BOURNEMOUTH (h) - 29th January 2005


PLYMOUTH ARGYLE (h) - 30th April 2005

sub: replaced Dean Bowditch


Other Clubs







Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
2004/05 12(3) 1 2(1) - - - - - 14(4) 1
Total 12(3) 1 2(1) - - - - - 14(4) 1


Profile by Tony Scholes


John Morgan Oster, to give him his full name, was the worst kept secret in Burnley as we prepared for the visit of Bournemouth in the FA Cup in January 2005.

Oster was still a Sunderland player, although his career on Wearside was hanging by a thread after a number of off field misdemeanours, when rumour spread that he was training with the Clarets down at Gawthorpe.

For once the rumours were true, and during that week Oster had his Sunderland contract terminated. For whatever reason I was receiving frantic calls from the club not to publicise it until an hour before the cup tie kicked off on the Saturday when he was to make his debut.

Oster, from Boston (Lincolnshire, not Massachusetts) had started his career with Grimsby Town and was soon attracting the attention of Premiership clubs. Newcastle and Everton were both keen to sign him but he opted to join Howard Kendall's Everton in a £1.5 million deal.

It never quite happened for him at Goodison Park, he was in and out of the side in Kendall's side and it was very much the same in his second season when Walter Smith came in as manager. The one real positive was early in his Everton career he made his international debut for Wales.

After two years in the North West it was time to move on, and with Kendall and Heath now assisting Peter Reid at Sunderland he pitched up at the Stadium of Light for a £1 million fee. He was officially a Sunderland player for just short of six years but again he was never able to establish himself in the side.

In the 2001/02 season he joined Barnsley on loan. His debut for them was in a 3-3 draw against us at the Turf, but he made only one more appearance before returning to Sunderland. In the following season there were two separate loans to his first club Grimsby and it was thought he might make the return a permanent one.

He didn't but in November 2004 he signed for Leeds on loan with a view to it being made permanent. His time at Elland Road was successful, on the field at least. He showed the sort of form that had persuaded Kendall to spend that money on him over seven years earlier.

However, a Christmas party incident didn't just put Leeds off signing him, they just about sacked him and sent him straight back to Sunderland where he was also facing disciplinary measures for a night club incident.

Sunderland's decision was to terminate his contract and that's where we came in. He made a less than impressive debut against Bournemouth but went on to turn in some good performances for the Clarets.

Some Burnley players prove to be popular with the fans, some don't, but in Oster's case it was very much a case of mixed opinions. Some rated him, others didn't. There's no doubt that he was more than capable of playing well for at our level and his performance at Coventry, where he scored his only Burnley goal was an excellent one.

He'd only signed until the end of the season, a wise move given his recent off field shenanigans, but Steve Cotterill was keen to extend his stay at Turf Moor. News came out that negotiations weren't going well and Oster found himself out of the side for the last few games.

Unable to agree a deal with the Clarets he was released and for a time it looked as though he'd made a big mistake. He was turned down by a number of clubs and then discarded by Millwall after a trial. Then, just as the season was about to get underway, he pitched up at Reading on a one year deal.

He's since signed a further deal until the end of the 2007/08 season, but as was the case at other clubs he has failed to win a regular place and around 70% of his appearances have been as a substitute.

On the 24th February 2007 he scored for Reading in their 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, it was Oster's first Premiership goal since he'd netted for Everton in a 4-1 home win over Barnsley in September 1997, almost ten years.

His international career also come to an abrupt halt and he's not been selected for any squad since Mark Hughes relinquished the manager's role to be replaced by John Toshack. Oster is one of a number of Welsh players to have since spoken out strongly against Toshack.

Oster was released by Reading at the end of the 2007/08 and after turning down Derby County he signed for Crystal Palace on 11th August on a short term deal until January. That was extended until the end of the 2008/09 season but, despite playing 33 games for Palace, he was released on 6th May 2009.

That led to a move to Doncaster Rovers where Oster played for three years before being released at the end of the 2011/12 season when they were relegated. He had played 120 league and cup games for them. He remained without a club when the summer transfer window closed but on 7th September 2012 he signed a one year deal with League Two club Barnet. It proved to be a difficult season with Barnet, at the end of their time at Underhill, suffering relegation out of the Football League. One 13th May 2013 Oster was released.



Oster signs for Palace (11/08/08)

Another former Claret leaves his club (06/05/09)

Oster joins the Bees (07/09/12)

Harley goes home twice but no deal for Oster (13/05/13)