Good afternoon everyone and it’s great to see you all here for our final home League game of the season – of course we still have one more home game to come in the play-offs!
More on that shortly, but first a warm welcome goes to all our visitors today from Morecambe, and Jim Bentley and his staff and players. They have made a long trip for their last game of the season after finishing just below mid-table. However, after a poor run of results that saw them slip down the table, the Shrimps have only lost one in five so, as ever, there is no easy game in this league and I’m sure we’ll see a great contest.
Elsewhere in the league it’s sure to be a fascinating afternoon. Seven clubs are contesting just two final play-off places so it is almost certain that the league table will change regularly during these late kick-off games. The contests include head-toheads where fans could see a winner- takes-all scenario, and many will be listening to radios and watching videprinters for last gasp goals – just as Guiseley proved last week, it’s not over till it’s over!
Meanwhile, congratulations to Lincoln City for regaining their League status from what we know is a very difficult league – they have had quite a fairytale season.
We wish all the ex-Hatters involved in the play-offs the best of luck, although many will play each other! In true Brucie style, I have to say the Daggers are ‘my favourite’ for obvious reasons – sorry Macca….
At this stage we do not know who we will be playing in our own play-offs out of the teams where the maths makes it a possibility. It could be against a near neighbour, or a long journey across the country. For that reason we do not know what the arrangements will be so please keep your eye on our website – lutontown.co.uk – for the latest ticket news for both the away leg and the home leg. We’ll need all the support you are able to give!
Unfortunately I am the bearer of sad news again, and I know that there are many Lutonians and Luton fans that will be heartbroken at the news of the sudden loss, within a week of his 57th birthday, of a dear friend and Hatter, Kevin Catlin. Know to many by many names – Son, Dad, Brother, Grandad, Kevin, Eric O(lthwaite), KC, Tiddles, The WonderCat – but unknown to the vast majority for what he did. Our thoughts are with his mother, sister, daughter, grandchildren, and family and friends.
Instantly recognisable with his woolly hat, chaotic appearance, and mass of curly black hair, this short, chubby man was not to be taken at face value. He was a genius whose brain was much admired, with quick and incisive wit. He could unearth things, deduce things, suggest things that would not only amaze, but also be used solely for the benefit of others, never himself. He was considerate and caring, and was always more interested in how you were than talking about himself. He fought for justice and he fought no matter your background or needs. He did not give his trust easily, but when he did you knew you had been granted something special. His uniqueness, kindness, eccentricities, and inspiration will be so sadly missed.
The outpouring of disbelief and respect has come from across the world, and from many people that were last actively involved back in the struggles of 2007/8 with the ousting of Jayten. Kevin is still bringing old friends back together.
Precisely because of his modesty and desire for being firmly in the background, most will have no idea of what he did, for who, or when. I know that directly and via social media Kevin’s family have received hundreds of messages of condolences that show the depth of our feelings. I have to say I blubbed immediately Jeff Stelling gave his tribute last Saturday.
‘Toodle pip’ old chum, you leave a chasm, but immense love.
Unfortunately we have lost too many great Hatters in recent times. My last programme notes sadly spoke about another dear friend, Jack Sapsworth. Again, a wonderful person who did so much to help the Club and also his town. Again, another caring, humble, and unassuming man who would always praise others rather than seek plaudits himself. Another who helped those less able, or those young and inexperienced, to achieve their dreams.
‘Director’, ‘CEO’, ‘Chairman’, ‘Manager’, ‘Player’ are titles and roles that are there for all to see – our heads are above the parapet. But they are not above the parapet because we have done this alone or deserve all the credit. No. We are there because we are standing on the shoulders of others hidden behind the walls and, without their support, we would fall. Inside and outside the Club, so many unsung heroes. We are a lucky Club.
So, what should we do now? Wallow in the hole that such people leave? That’s not our style.
We will not honour anyone’s memory if we don’t stand up, raise our heads high, be counted, and get this job done! We want to play football at a higher level. We want our new stadium. We want the future everyone has worked for. Together with our absent friends we have come so far, and with memories in our hearts and fire in our bellies, let’s pick up their baton and go for it!
We will make them proud if we finish the key job we started this season and get promoted. What will make them smile is the rest of us singing louder to make up for their voices. Pulling together, let’s ensure the world and our opponents know we will only accept victory. As dear ones leave us, young ones come in so let’s show our newest additions to our circle of friends what this Club means and infect them with our lifelong passion. Be loud and proud and let the players feel the positive energy blasting from every seat, from every mouth. Every time the players get a lift from us, the opposition takes a hit.
We will have two tough games before we can even think of the ultimate prize so our support for the team can make every difference. An atmosphere like the last ten on a Tuesday night taking a corner from the Kenny is what we need from kick off! From the stands, the noise we can create is worth a goal, and gives every single player a boost and the belief that they can be heroes.
We must do our best on this journey and give it every ounce of passion we have. Sing giving every last decibel you can raise. Cheer until you are hoarse, leave nothing. Three games, 270 minutes; make every second count and let’s make the Kenny rock!
COME ON YOU HATTERS!!!!!