Posted by Kenilworth the cat on 30/5/2023, 19:32:48
It's now Tuesday. I've re-watched Saturday's game, analysed the penalties and looked through my (mostly) terribly blurred Wembley photos more times than any sane person should. And, no I still can't believe it - the unfashionable, little old Hatters are in the bloody Premier League! |
Confession time: as a glory hunting 12 year old in 1984, I started to 'support' treble winning Everton, despite not knowing where Everton was, I could and still can name the entire squad. The Toffees played Luton away at the end of the 84/85 season and I walked from Round Green, down through Pope's Meadow, Wardown, and into Bury Park. Up Kenilworth, down Beech Path and paid £2 to enter the Oak Rd. I don't remember much of the game, aside from gripping onto the fence at the front of the terrace and witnessing Luton win 2-0.
That was all it took. One visit. One visit to Kenilworth Rd. Everton were soon forgotten and Luton became my team. I saw all the 'big teams', and players who now are considered legends of the game. As kids we bought crap, oh so much crap from the club shop on the corner; we annoyed Cherry from the ticket office, and we hounded players, desperate to get signatures in my Luton Town autograph book, or a little ruffle of your hair as you leaned over the wall by the tunnel.
In the late eighties Luton fans were spoiled. Wembley became a second home, silverware was obtained. The early 90s bought bucket hats, great music, and memorable nights out in the clubs of Luton (Mirage RIP), but 1992 also bought despair. I'll never forget the numbness felt on the boiling hot terrace at Notts County (A). Grown men sobbing, bereft and sitting in shock. And it got worse, with a raft of seemingly unfit and improper persons desperate to take all they could from us. We had years of the ####s (see also the FA and the Football League).
Jock Stein famously said 'without fans, football is nothing'. Nothing truer could be said about Luton Town. Essentially saved from extinction by the action of supporter-led groups, trusts and the members 20/20. Anyway, you know this, and I ramble.
Saturday 27th May. I was in my seat unfashionably early...the weeks nerves had reached a crescendo. Sorry colleagues, I did nothing useful last week, I'll make it up to you. Then with the first notes of the national anthem a few tears leaked out, not because of any sense of loyalty to the jug-eared adulterer, but because our rip-roaring Hatters were finally here again! Even the sight of Happy Harry set me off again.
Luton love to put us through the wringer, so of course, on the hottest day of the year so far it went to extra time and pens. Watching again now, I want to give Dabo a hug..it's a shit way to end a match of such enormity. At the time, bedlam erupted. I was sobbing, dirty big ugly snotty sobs on the shoulders of strangers, on my family, and on friends. Hugging to the point of physical pain, smashing your legs on plastic chairs, lobbing much needed liquids in the air.
To those who unfortunately could not be here.
Luton Town, a Premier League club. ####.