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Club News

Conference champions 10 years on | Scott Griffiths

29 November 2023

Club News

Conference champions 10 years on | Scott Griffiths

29 November 2023

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Non-league to Premier League in the space of a decade?

Yeahthat’s us. We’re proud of our story since 1885 but the past ten years have been special. 

This season we’re celebrating the first of our four promotions with the first – and probably most important – one: the 2013/14 season when, ten years ago, a team led by a lovable London boy got back to the Football League. 

In this series we talk to those heroes who made it all happen.

Watch past episodes:

Alex Lawless | Paul Benson | Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

P1197 Scott Griffiths putting pressure on.jpg

Left-back Scott Griffiths says he had a love-hate relationship with manager John Still but reveals there was no man better suited to helping the Hatters return to the Premier League.

It’s always the left backs that are unsung heroes. And Scott Griffiths was no different. An ever-present in the Town team that ten years ago won the Conference, the defender went about his business at full-back quietly and confidently. He even scored once: in the 6-0 win over Kidderminster Harriers.

John Still missed that goal. He was in bed with the sniffles. But as Scott says, it was the manager’s influence off the field that really helped change the Hatters’ fortunes.

“He didn’t mess about. We played in the right areas. John puts something in place to build a winning squad which takes time. That’s something you can’t do these days,” says Griffiths, now 37.

“It surprises me how Premier League clubs work, considering managers come and go so quickly; nobody has time to settle and build a rapport.

“But under John we did. It sounds kind of arrogant but I got the feeling we would win the league. The players we had, the players we brought in.

“Pre-season said it all. He ran us into the ground. If you can’t keep up in pre-season you had no chance, especially in the heat of the Portuguese sun. When the season started we then used to run teams into the ground. We played football when we could but after 80-85 minutes nobody was keeping up with us.”


Griffiths’ career at Kenilworth Road came after having already won promotion with Still at Dagenham & Redbridge. So when the manager came calling towards the end of the 2012/13 season, there was only one answer.

“John brought me through to one club, sold me to another then brought me back. I’m paraphrasing but he spoke to me and said, ‘do you fancy winning another league and I was like “yes”’. But no, I knew what was going to happen: With John’s method I knew it wouldn’t be long before this club were top of the table.

“I know it’s not very modest but I saw what could happen, even on a poor budget like it was at Dagenham, with the right group of players who come together, worked hard for each other. John knew how to create a close knit team of players. One of his sayings was ‘my 11 best not my best 11’ I knew that special players were coming in and that Luton already had a few already, so I knew it was a way to go for success.

“He doesn’t necessary go out to get the best players. Don’t get me wrong, he attracted some very good players. But I saw him recruit players that would die for you, run through bricks walls for you. He’d mould them from a young age. He also took advantage of me as my two-figure weekly wage showed! When I was 18 at Dagenham I needed to supplement my wage by delivering pizzas! But John wanted hungry players with no egos. You wanted to play for someone like that.”

With Griffiths quietly and effectively going about his business the Town were soon where he envisaged before a ball had been kicked that season.

Once the Hatters had seen off the challenge of Cambridge – including a memorable 1-1 draw thanks to a last-minute equaliser by Mark Cullen – the title and a long-awaited return to the Football League, after years of frustration on and off the pitch, became reality.

P1197 Scott Griffiths and P1177 Andre Gray celebrate the latter's goal.jpg

Griffiths was – and still is – not that big a football fan. It wasn’t until his former kit sponsor Mick Donohue explained to him the ups and downs of the Hatters’ recent history.

“As someone who plays no attention to football at all – I barely followed the team I was playing for at the time – I didn’t know at the time the Luton Town story,” he says.

“But I did my research; the 30-point deduction and the years of hurt and how a lot of it was unjustified. There was a lot of passion. Mick, my sponsor, talked me through what had happened and how desperate they were to get back to the League.

“The end of the season was incredible. I was on the pitch with my wife and to see so much joy from the fan and John Still lifting the trophy…There were no words. No matter how many times you win promotion it’s still amazing.”

Griffths was in the away end at Aston Park last week, watching the Hatters for the first time since winning promotion to the Premier League.

MAIN PHOTO P1197 Scott Griffiths moments after scoring.jpg

Clearly itching to return to the pitch himself – “the nearest I get to football these days is playing five-a-side with my bad knees on a Sunday night,” he says – he watched on proudly despite the result.

He also afforded a cheeky, proud smile when those Hatters fans around him broke into a chant of “Conference champions, you’ll never sing that” to the Villa fans.

“Kenilworth Road might not say Premier League but the atmosphere and the fans and the attitude of the club does. It doesn’t say relegation battle either – they deserve to be there,” says Griffiths on the club’s current position.

“I wanted to finish my career at Luton and would have happily stayed there. I have such good memories of good people.”

Griffiths now lives a stone’s throw from Forest Green’s New Lawn Ground, is a qualified plasterer and is training for the Cotswolds Way Challenge, a 100k race, next June.

“I’m self-employed now. I’ve tried a few different things. I’m a qualified plasterer, have my own company S&J Maintenance. It’s going well.

“The Cotswolds challenge is the only keeping me fit to be honest! I’ve always hate the gym but it keeps me fit – as well as my son, he’s a little whirlwind.”



Coming in December: Jake Howells, Matt Robinson and Mark Tyler.

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