Whitwell, Derbyshire born outside right Cyril Oxley played for his village team Whitwell Old Boys and for Whitwell Colliery in 1922 before signing amateur terms with Chesterfield as an 18 year old in October 1925. Turning professional two months later, Oxley made his Football League debut at Grimsby Town in January 1924. Early in the 1925-26 season, First Division club Liverpool came to watch Chesterfield’s goalscoring machine Jimmy Cookson but left more impressed by Oxley whose skills set up a number of chances for his centre forward, signing Oxley for £2,000 in October 1925 after 4 goals in 31 appearances for The Spireites.
He went straight into the first team at Liverpool and scored six goals in 34 appearances during the rest of the 1925-26 season, but he lost his place with the arrival of Dick Edmed in the summer of 1926 and didn’t make any further first team appearances before leaving the club to join Southend United in September 1928. He scored 6 goals in 16 appearances for The Shrimpers before joining non league Kettering Town in 1929, playing for Morecambe later the same year before re-joining Southend United in 1931. However he failed to make any further appearances for Southend before finishing with professional football.
Oxley was the older brother of footballer Bernard, who played for among others Chesterfield, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle, Stockport County and Scunthorpe United.