Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – Brian Lewis

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In the latest in our ongoing ‘Legends’ series, I’ve chosen, at the request of Peter Scott, to focus on a player who was only with Luton for a brief period of time.

Following on from those already covered – John MooreDavid Preece and Mal Donaghy – this article will cover the career of Brian Lewis.

Lewis, an inside forward, joined the Hatters back in 1968, the year after I’d first been taken to Kenilworth Road, by my late father.

He was something of a maverick and most definitely a crowd pleaser who was prepared to play in any position but always willing to please the crowd.

An early memory of Brian revolves around a rosette I proudly wore during my visits to the Bobbers Stand. Stood down the front, due to my age and height, I used to peer through the railings cheering on those in black and white. One day I recall looking down and seeing my rosette on the pitch. It had obviously come adrift due to me jumping up and down with excitement. The next I knew was when Brian, inadvertently, stood on it and it became stuck to his boot. At a break in play, he unhooked it and to the cheers of the crowd, gave it back to me, I was, being up so close to a hero of mine, speechless.

After signing for Luton, in 1968, from Portsmouth, Brian was only to make 43 league appearances for Luton Town before leaving to join Oxford United. But, in those 43 league appearances, Brian scored a staggering 22 goals, the equivalent of better than one every two games, a wonderful return for someone who was not an out and out striker.

But what always impressed me about Brian was the way he wasn’t afraid to take the opposition players on, using his silky skills to outwit them and often entice them into making rash tackles winning Luton free kicks in useful positions.

Like many of my heroes, when they were sold, I shed a young tear or two and awaited for another new signing to arrive to bring a smile back to my face.

However, after he left Kenilworth Road, Brian was different to the others, I followed is career and watched on in amazement as, later in is career, he played a key role in the huge FA Cup upset when the mighty Leeds United were humbled by Colchester United of the old Division 4:

Apologies for the pictures being less than 100% but it was back in 1971.

Sadly, Brian passed away, whilst living in Bournemouth, on 14-December-1998, aged just 55, but he left us all with some wonderful memories.

Brian Lewis – Mini Fact File

Name – Brian Lewis

Date of Birth – 26-January-1943

Place of Birth – Woking, England

Position – Midfielder/Forward

Youth Career – Crystal Palace

Career – Crystal Palace, Portsmouth, Coventry City, Luton Town, Oxford United, Colchester United, Portsmouth, Hastings United

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts on the Hatters career of Brian, 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 – Bruce Rioch suggested by Chris Winter


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – We’ve Only Gone And Won It

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  • Chris winter says:

    I’m sure a few on here will remember Brian going in goal once at the oak Rd end and making 3 brilliant saves one low down sneaking into the right post. The oak Rd went ballistic he could have replaced Tony read permanently 😂😂😂

  • jimbo says:

    i was at that game,getting crushed by the barriers, sweaty, fag smoke, but watching a great exhibition. lewis was a tricky dribbler, who could score goals. luke berry reminds me of him, a poacher!. good team and good memories.COYH.

  • Ken Stanford says:

    I remember ( I think ) Brian playing for us at Swindon in the FA Cup, and winning a dubious penalty from a foul outside the area which ended up well inside. He got up and scored. We win 3-1 I think. Old age doesn’t help.

  • Mark says:

    Saw Brian Lewis several times. A very fine and influential inside forward as evidenced by the Leeds cup defeat . One moment made a huge impression on me. I was .in the main stand looking along the 18 yard line. Lewis was blocking the keeper making a quick throw out. There was a full yard between Lewis and the keeper when Lewis fell to the floor as though he had been punched. He hadn’t been touched but the ref gave a penalty. We won the match. My view of professional football changed forever. Not a memory I cherish but that was the way I saw it. I’d love to hear from soneone else at that match who could categorically say I was mistaken.

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