Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – Alan West

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For the latest in our ongoing series covering those who have achieved legendary status among the support, we feature another former player who became a fans favourite.

Following on from those already covered – John Moore, David Preece, Mal Donaghy, Brian Lewis, Bruce Rioch, Fred Jardine, Brian Horton, Kevin Nicholls, Tony Read and Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton and Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson and Graham French

The latest Hatter to be featured is Alan West, as suggested by Alan R.

Born on 18-December-1951, in Hyde, Cheshire, Alan began his career at Burnley, making his way through the Turf Moor academy.

In 1973, having attracted the attention of several clubs, Alan looked set to join Sunderland, but, at the last minute, the move was called off.

Alan was, amazingly, advised by the medical staff at the north-east club that he a medical condition which would leave him crippled if he continued to play.

The news obviously fell on deaf ears as Alan continued to pursue his career and joined Luton Town in the same year.

The move to Kenilworth Road saw Alan flourish and he was to spend eight seasons with the Hatters going on to make 285 league appearances and scoring 16 league goals, incidentally, I’m led to believe he missed very few games related to Sunderland’s injury prognosis.

He was never a prolific scorer but was a midfielder who could pick a sublime pass out, graft for the team, and encourage others merely by doing his job in impeccable style.

His traits saw him captain the club and Alan was an ever-present in the 1974/1975 season when the Hatters made a brief return to top-flight football.

Alan left Luton, in 1976, to try his hand in the North American Soccer League with Minnesota Kicks.

A return to England came in 1981 when Alan joined Millwall before trying his hand as the manager of Hitchin Town.

A religious man, Alan returned to Kenilworth Road and spent a spell as Club Chaplain before retiring in 2017.
As a youngster, I can also recall Alan, whilst playing for Luton, living on the same estate as me, Limbury Mead, and he was the perfect gentleman always accepting autograph requests and never afraid to stop, for a few minutes, to have a chat.

The word consummate professional applied to Alan and his contribution to the Luton cause should never be forgotten.

Please feel free to view the excellent montage of Alan’s career, compiled by LUTON VIDS

Alan West – Mini Fact File

Name – Alan West

Date of Birth – 18-Dec-1951

Place of Birth – Hyde, Cheshire, England

Position – Midfielder

Career – Burnley, Luton Town, Minnesota Kicks, Millwall

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Alan West, please feel free to do so in the comment facility beneath this article.

If you can think of anyone who deserves nominating for coverage in this ongoing series, please drop their name into the comment facility beneath this article.

My thanks go to those who have already nominated faces from the past, they will all be covered, in time.

Next up in the series will be – David Moss suggested by Tony Byfield


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – Doubts About Filling Power Court Raised

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  • Andrew says:

    How about John Aston loved to watch him down the wing .

  • Dave Howard says:

    Another suggestion, for your consideration: Chris Coyne.

  • Matthew Walters says:

    I’d make a case for Paul Futcher, as possibly the best centre half we ever had, We bought him as a teenager from Chester for £100,000 plus £10,000 for his twin brother Ron in a buy one get two deal ! Paul looked like another Bobby Moore to me, always calm and controlled We sold him to Man City for a lot two or three years later. I was disappointed hie career never reached the heights. Ron wasn’t bad either. I remember his hatrick v Wolves one wet,dark December afternoon. And this was in the First Division 1974/5.

  • Jeff Buckle says:

    Different world for footballers back in the 70s, he lived as mention in Limbury meads and we would hang around the green in front of his house, he would always come over and have a kick about with us. Can’t see Haaland doing the same 😃

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