A505 – Trunk Road to the Nidge

3 10 2014

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got history with Luton.  Back in 1982, when I was following my “real team”, I came within an inch of getting my head kicked in and my Pringle jumper stolen by the MIGs on my walk from the bus station to Kenilworth Road, cos they obviously thought a 14 year old to be a valid target for their petty violence/love of second hand designer golf jumpers.  Fear not dear reader, I escaped with my Scottish knitwear and proudly wore it for a further 3 months before it fell out of fashion as swiftly as it came in.  Then, in 1988, clutching my bucket hat to my chest and with tears welling up, I was present at Wembley at the Gus Caesar Final; an occasion that caused deeper emotional scars than one might expect.  Sandwiched between these traumatic experiences, I also managed to get kicked off a degree course at Luton College of Higher Education, mainly because I was so depressed by my daily surroundings in the heart of Bedfordshire, which had the feel, optimism and aesthetics of communist Russia.

“Wait,” you say. “He’s off into Nick Hornby territory again.  A couple more paragraphs and he’ll be eulogising about the Terry Neill team of 1979.”  And yes, that first paragraph does make me out to be a bit of a smug wanker, self-absorbed with my own trivial memories of events that probably didn’t happen.  But, in my own words, I’m a pretentious elitist.  I’ll be the first to admit that I love the rock band Parquet Courts not so much because they remind me of Pavement during their Slanted and Enchanted era, but more because I’m never sure how you’re supposed to pronounce their name.  And surely there’s nothing more pretentious than writing a blog about Stevenage Football Club that makes no reference to Stevenage Football Club until now.

The point I’m trying to get to is that I really am not all that fussed about Luton Town. I refuse to join the hordes of fans who have decided to hate Luton on the basis of a non-existent history between us.  Whatever floats their boat, I suppose, but these would be the same people who take pleasure in the X Factor, trying to inject some meaning in their vacuous lives through lowest common denominator exploitative television.  (I fucking told you I was pretentious).

Whilst I spent more time than is healthy as a teenager calling Steve Foster a fucking wanker, and whilst I delighted in every seedy pitfall of David Pleat, Luton Town were just another inconvenience to my “real club” in achieving success. Similarly now, there’s not a great deal that winds me up about Luton.  I understand the need for fans of football teams to build up rivalries to get the adrenaline going but, other than the fact that geography ensures that over 2,000 away supporters will be in our stadium tomorrow, are Luton fans that bothered about us?  I for one have more of an issue with other clubs in League 2.  Cambridge Utd for instance, who I’ve had an issue with for an awful long time.  And Accrington fucking Stanley; a team I had no issue with at all until our inaugural season in League 2, but a club and manager that now makes me want to beat up 14 year old kids and steal their jumpers (I joke: please do not inform the authorities).

Sure, Luton has a small number of nob heads amongst its support. But so do we.  Not least the idiots behind me who thought it clever to ironically cheer Sam Beasant whenever he caught the ball in our victory over Shrewsbury.

So, in an ill-thought out and rushed summary, let’s just enjoy tomorrow, wear flowers in our hair and cheer on our lads to victory. As a wise man once said, “I fucking love you Gumbo.”

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