We are excited to announce that Cauley Woodrow has come home to Luton Town after more than a decade away, with the striker returning for an undisclosed fee from Barnsley.
The 27-year-old forward will wear the number 10 shirt on his return to Kenilworth Road, with manager Nathan Jones hailing his acquisition as a “marquee signing” for the Hatters.
Woodrow started his career at Luton Town, joining the academy as a 14-year-old and winning a prestigious European five-a-side tournament with the Under-16s before making his first team debut 12 days after his 16th birthday away at Welling United in the FA Trophy.
That introduction to senior football in December 2010 continued with two further appearances in the Trophy, in victories over Uxbridge and Gloucester City, before the Hemel Hempstead-born youngster became the first the first Non-League player to be capped at youth level for England since the 1970s when he was selected for the Under-17s in February 2011.
He then made a permanent switch to Premier League Fulham in March 2011 for a six-figure fee, and spent eight years at Craven Cottage, making 66 appearances for the Cottagers as well as earning further international recognition at Under-20 and 21 level.
Woodrow also enjoyed loan spells with Southend United, Burton Albion, Bristol City and finally Barnsley – whom he later joined on a permanent basis in January 2019.
He helped the Tykes to League One promotion alongside the Hatters in 2018-19, scoring 12 times in 24 appearances, before netting 15 goals in both of their first two campaigns back in the Championship, helping the Yorkshire side reach the play-offs in 2020-21.
Woodrow leaves Barnsley following their relegation last term, with a total of 53 goals from 156 appearances in all competitions, to return home to the Kenny and he said: “I’m a bit emotional to be back at Luton Town. This is where I started my journey as a professional footballer and Gary Sweet always said that I’d come back and play one day, and today is the day.
“I’m delighted to be here. I’m a local boy and me and my family are really delighted for me to be so close to home. To be playing my football back where it all started, it is great for me.”
Manager Jones was equally happy, telling lutontown.co.uk: “I asked the board and Gary this year to be bold. If we want to improve on last year’s position, we had to improve significantly, so we gave them a list of signings.
“Cauley is a real standout signing for us – a marquee signing. I’ve worked with him briefly before with England U21s and he’s a player we know really well from his Barnsley days, plus he’s a local lad as well.
“It’s a fantastic signing and I thank the board for being bold, brave and for backing me on this. We are sure that Cauley has the quality to make us better.
“He'll be desperate to do well because he’s that type of character. He’s a player with real good technical ability, he gives us good options in the attacking area and he’s a type of player that we haven’t got, a really clever player.
“It is a position that we wanted to strengthen because we know we have pace, power and athleticism. What we needed to add now was real quality, and Cauley brings that.”
Town CEO Sweet added: “For us to bring back a player who was always destined to play Premier League football demonstrates how far we’ve come since the Cauley left, but also how we are now perceived.
“For Cauley to be so enthusiastic about returning speaks volumes. He’s a model pro and we’re delighted his signing makes this poignant mark.
“Like all our supporters, we now can’t wait to see him back out there at the Kenny in the Luton Town number ten shirt after all these years away.”