It’s a story thats been picked up by newspapers across the country, that FA Cup viewers from overseas will be astounded by and a result that will be looked back on for many years to come. It’s been 24 years since a non-league side toppled one of the top tiers big guns and it was glorious to watch. Luton Town are in the draw for the 5th round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1994.
This team is my hometown club, something that I’m extremely proud to say. The club has been through a lot of ups and downs, but this is a side who have had more of the lions share of bad omens. I was there to see them lift the League 1 trophy with a victory against Brentford, I’ve travelled to Anfield after the Hatters held one of Europe’s elite to a draw at Kenilworth road. I’ve got many positive memories of Luton Town but they are all from yesteryear, nowadays its a different story.
A lot is said about the financial side of football, with the top clubs splashing the cash left, right and centre while others struggle to break even. Luton are a side that has, in simple terms, been ruined by the money in the modern game. When Roy Keane took over at rock-bottom Sunderland, Luton were top of the Championship. The tides turned and relegation followed. The top players left to seek pastures new and the club was left in a vicious circle.
Luton soon found themselves in League 2, where a extremely harsh 30 point deduction sealed their fate and sent them crashing into non-league football. The FA made an example of Luton and for what merit? Has there really been such change since? I don’t think so. The Football Association will never be forgiven by Luton fans, ever. The club has pushed forward, trying to break into league football again but it’s difficult. Twice they’ve fallen at the final hurdle, losing consecutive play-off finals at the Etihad and Wembley- both of which I was there to see.
Through thick and thin the fans have stood by the club. Whether it be Norwich away or Nuneaton at home, the stands are always packed with passionate fans who want their club back. Who want to be in league football once more and who want the taste of victory.
Today’s result puts the club back on the map, but for how long? The country will be following Luton’s progress in the FA Cup but will they forget afterwards? Perhaps not. Luton Town are a club with a brilliant history, which the FA managed to etch their names into with their decision years ago.
This could be the stepping stone back into league football for the Hatters. Morale will be sky high, the team will be closer than ever and the fans are on top of the world- thats a fact, I can see it for myself. The FA Cup run can perhaps create something at Kenilworth Road. There won’t be an influx of big name stars but the players are making a name for themselves.
The FA Cup gives a chance to the lower teams to present their stories and there is none as unique as Luton Town’s. The players are hitting the big time, would the Daily Mail be interviewing players like Scott Rendell and JJ O’Donell usually? Obviously not. Now they are, suddenly the aura around the club is altering. That’s the true magic of the FA Cup.
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