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Mick Harford's programme notes

29 November 2021

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As first seen in the Cardiff City edition of 'Our Town'...

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you’re all safe and well and looking forward to our game this afternoon against a team that will always make it difficult to play against.

One thing for certain is that Nathan and the staff will have the boys prepared mentally, physically and tactically for any eventuality that is thrown at us over the 90 minutes today. Congratulations also to Nathan on managing the club for the 250th time at Nottingham Forest in midweek.

We welcome Cardiff City and especially James Collins, who left to join the Welsh club in the summer. Collo was a great professional in his time with us and was a huge part of our rise from League Two to establishing us in the Championship, becoming an international striker as a Luton Town player. I know you’ll offer him the reception his achievements deserve this afternoon, and we all thank him for his service to this Club over four memorable years.

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Earlier in the month I was part of a Zoom, listening only, when the supporters had the opportunity to Meet The Manager. Over a two-hour call, I thought the questions from those in the Eric Morecambe Lounge were excellent and very thoughtful. The responses from Nathan and Gary Sweet were very positive and informative, to give our supporters a really good insight to where we believe our Club can be in the future, without putting any timescales on the process.

As we sit here now, I believe the Club is in a real good place both on and off the football pitch. The camaraderie, spirit and togetherness amongst everyone at the Club is a special feeling. At the training ground and the stadium, there is a great atmosphere, with everyone looking to support each other in any way we can. In the Kenny, the support, and the noise and the way you all get behind the team is as special as it gets, and I can say the from my experience.

Power Court is on its way, and what an achievement by Gary and 2020 to get us in a position that we will be playing in a new stadium in the near future, which opens up different avenues for us as a club.

One day we will leave Kenilworth Road, and it will be a sad day for all of us. The memories, the good times and the bad, come flooding back. I vividly remember my first game at Kenilworth Road – 17th January 1981. It was Luton v Newcastle and I was playing for the opposition this time. It was fierce, the Oak Road was full and loud, and Luton had a team that out-played us on the day with some fast, flowing football. I was fortunate enough to score my first goal at Kenilworth Road that day and we got away with a 1-0 win.

My second game at Kenilworth Road was on 18th December 1984 on a Tuesday night under the floodlights. After a good 2-2 draw at Leicester on the Saturday, with goals from myself and Brian Stein, against West Brom we unfortunately went down to a 2-1 defeat that evening.

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Through my playing career I had lots ups and downs, but being part of a great LTFC squad in the 1980s is the highlight of my career. It was the best team I was part of throughout the whole of my career and was full of internationals – Steve Foster, Mal Donaghy, Ashley Grimes, Brian Stein, Ricky Hill, Mitchell Thomas, Tim Breacker, Danny Wilson and Kingsley Black. We gelled, the spirit, camaraderie and belief shone thorough, especially from our leader Steve Foster.

The team was blessed with immense talent and had a real desire to work hard for the football club, and playing at Kenilworth Road was special for me and my team-mates. Many a time, you got us over the line in vital games with that intimidating noise and such glorious backing.

As November comes to an end, I was to say a big thank you and congratulate all my colleagues, friends, and many people I do not know, for taking up the Prostate United challenge. I have watched the effort, pain and hurt a lot of you guys have put yourself through for myself and Prostate Cancer UK, and as a Club are proud to wear the charity’s logo on the front of our shirts for today’s game.

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Please let me tell you I am, and will always be grateful, for the support shown to myself and others. There has been some tough times over the last 11 months or so, but I’ve been able to draw on your loyalty, support and best wishes to get me through this.

One thing I have learnt on my journey is that I am not alone, so as I am still trying to beat this illness, I want to say a special thank you to my family, Gary Sweet and the 2020 board, Nathan and all the staff at the football club, and a special thank you to you, the supporters., I am totally indebted to all of you for the support you have shown me.

I am so proud of my football club, LTFC. To be part of this club is a great honour. The memories will live with me forever. The honesty and the integrity in the way the club works, and is run, is paramount to all its employees. This comes from the 2020 board filtering down. Their belief, work ethic, spirit and togetherness, which is vitally important to us all.

AND WITHOUT YOU, THE FANS, WE ARE NOBODY. COYH.


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