England cricketer throws his support behind new stadium
England cricketer Monty Panesar was at Kenilworth Road this afternoon to send Luton Borough Council his email of support for Power Court – a stadium he believes will be “the centre for Luton in the 21st century”.
The 34-year-old Northamptonshire spin bowler, who began his career playing for Luton Town & Indians in Wardown Park, spent time looking at the models of the new stadium and mixed-use development proposed for the land by Junction 10 of the M1, Newlands Park.
Then, after firing off his email to the council to register his support, the England international urged all other Lutonians and anyone with his home town in their hearts to do the same.
Sitting in the Main Stand at Kenilworth Road, Panesar told lutontown.co.uk: “If Luton could get this stadium it would bring so much more revenue to the town and to the economy of the local people, it would create more jobs.
“We’ve already got great transport links in Luton, so I think hopefully by 2020 we’ll have a new stadium up and running, and – like we have Luton Airport and Vauxhall back in the day – this new football stadium will be the centre for Luton in the 21st century.
“I would encourage everyone in the town to get behind this, because we’ve been waiting for so many years to get a new stadium.
“Kenilworth Road has huge history, there is character to the stadium. But I think now is the time that the whole town gets behind Luton Town Football Club and we can get this new stadium up and running.
“Firstly, it’ll be great for football. I’m sure with the new stadium, the level of football will go up and we’ll get promoted to other divisions, because that’s just the nature of sport; when you get better facilities, you get better stadiums, the quality of the football goes up a level. And also there’ll be more jobs and more revenue, and I think that’s great for the town.”
Monty has graced the turf at Kenilworth Road when playing in a charity match a few years ago, and he was keen to share his visit today with pals – sharing a video of himself on the pitch on social media.
He knows what having a state-of-the-art new stadium would mean for aspiring footballers around Luton, although he has a different role in mind for himself to run out at Power Court.
He said: “We’ve always seen that Luton, as a town, produces really good athletes in the athletics department. Football has always been very strong, and cricket, obviously somehow I used to bowl so many overs in a local park and made it as a cricketer.
“But I think when you have local people from Luton, you want to promote the next generation of sport coming through, and this is the first stepping stone of hopefully getting a new stadium.
“I plead to everyone, let’s get behind this campaign. Let’s get this new stadium up and running and hopefully when it’s 2020, I may just appear in the new stadium as the Hatters' mascot!”
Please follow Monty’s lead, visit www.2020developments.co.uk/application and follow a link to the Council’s website to view the supporting plans and documentations.
Then write your own views by registering and completing the form on the website, or send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Development Control, Luton Borough Council, Luton, LU1 2BQ.
And if you’ve already done this, please encourage your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to comment too. As Monty says, it’ll be “great for the town”!