Thousands of Luton fans have celebrated the Hatters’ fairytale rise into the Premier League at a civic parade in the town.
Luton won promotion to the top flight of English football on Saturday by beating Coventry in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final, just nine years after playing in the National League.
Rob Edwards’ side – who won 6-5 on penalties at Wembley after the game had been drawn 1-1 – will next season welcome champions Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United to their modest 10,356-capacity Kenilworth Road home.
“It means everything,” said head coach Rob Edwards before launching into a rendition of Bon Jovi’s ‘Always’ and holding aloft the play-off trophy on the Luton Town Hall balcony.
“It’s for you (the fans), the Luton Town people, for the town, these players who deserve it, for the backroom staff who work so hard, the board. We’ve got to enjoy this moment.”
Some Luton fans had waited nearly four hours to see players and staff make their way onto a specially-constructed stage in the town’s St George’s Square.
Highlights of the season and the play-off final were shown on a big screen before two open-top buses arrived following a short ride from Kenilworth Road.
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet told fans: “The impact of being in the Premier League will be massive for this town.
“This could be a life-changing opportunity for us, but from a character point of view, don’t change.
“Let’s still be us, still grounded. Let’s keep humble.”
🏟 Old School - Newly promoted Luton Town's away end entrance at their Kenilworth Road Stadium
— Gabriel (@Doozy_45) May 28, 2023
If you plan on making the trip to Kenilworth Road as an away supporter next season, you can experience a unique sight in the modern game.
Located between a collection of residential terraced houses, the away end entrance transports the supporter back to a footballing time of old.
Residents must move their cars off the road on matchday to accommodate the team bus while the 120-year-old stadium fills with its loyal contingent.
It is a breathtaking sight and will attract ample attention in the top tier of English football.
Written by PA Sport Staff & Shaun Connolly, Beat
Keep up to date with all the latest sports news on our website beat102103.com.