Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – David Preece

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For the second in our Legends series, following on from our article related to John Moore, I’ve selected David Preece.

Preece, a midfielder, joined the Hatters, from Walsall, in December 1984. He was to become a loyal servant of the club for eleven years and played a key part in the magnificent 1988 League Cup Final, when Arsenal were beaten in what just has to be one of the most dramatic games the old stadium was to witness.

During his circa 400 games for Luton Town, Preece, with his all-action style and silky skills quickly became a fans favourite. Small in physical nature, David had the ability to ghost past players and never shirked a tackle, creating numerous scoring opportunities for his team mates.

David spent the best part of his career with Luton Town and was granted a testimonial, against Manchester United, in 1995.

The biggest gripe I have with his time at Kenilworth Road is that he only received an England B cap, surely his talents were deserved of more!

After leaving Luton, in August 1995, David went on to play for several other clubs, as can be seen from the fact file in this article. But he never hit similar heights to that he achieved at Luton.

Sadly, Preece was to die, at the young age of 44, after being in remission from throat cancer, he died on 20-July-2007, after a short illness.

The club, in his honour, named the family stand, the newest section of our quaint old ground, the David Preece Stand in his honour, a fitting tribute to one of our legends.

Looking through the numerous You Tube clips, available to the public domain, is there a more poignant one than this one I stumbled upon?

In my opinion, David ranks as one of the best signings made by David Pleat, do you concur or do you disagree?

David Preece Mini Fact File

Full Name – David William Preece

Date of Birth – 28-May-1963

Place of Birth – Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England

Height – 5 feet 5 inches

Position – Midfielder

Youth Career – Walsall

Career – Walsall, Luton Town, Derby County, Birmingham City (loan), Swindon Town (loan), Cambridge United, Torquay United, Enfield, Stevenage Borough, Enfield,

International Career – England B

Please feel free to remind us all of your favourite David Preece moment, in a Luton shirt, the more memories the better, simply drop your thoughts into 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 – Mal Donaghy, suggested by Chris Winter.


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – Time To Decide Whether This Transfer Window Fulfilled Its Purpose

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  • Chris winter says:

    Morning mh, preece was probably the most undervalued player of his time surpurb player will always be in my all time team. Loved watching him. To many great memories for me to pick from. Will never be forgotten by those of a certain age.

  • Peter Scott says:

    Preecy was a true legend – he had too many great moments to single out. Alan West was also a joy to watch. We just dont seem to be able to consistently get that quality of player these days.

  • Alan says:

    Mr preece total legend. Great player. ..just a quick one, 50 years ago today another legend, John Aston ripped Newcastle to bits in the fa cup….

  • Alan says:

    I was 12, one of my 1st away games….

    • Chris winter says:

      My family dad’s side came up for the weekend as they came from Bedlington I was in Alnwick at the time an we went to the game standing in the gallowgate end. Imagine the looks I got screaming for luton an dancing around lol

  • Steve Stuart says:

    Thank you for writing this piece. I enjoyed it a great deal.

    David Preece was my first ever favourite player as he was instrumental in the remarkable run of Walsall to the Milk Cup Semi Final in 83/84. He was brilliant in every game but particularly in an away win at Arsenal.

    Was gutted when he left. His debut for Luton I beleive was away at Villa and when the score at half time was announced – Luton leading 1-0 – they also announced the scorer and there was as loud a cheer as if he had scored for us.

    My Dad was a big fan as well, and he took me to see him play at Villa Park for you a year or so later.

    He was a late call up for those England B games but reportedly performed very well in every one, given the problems England had on the left over the years you do wonder why he never got a chance.

    The other memory I have for him though at Luton was his performances in the six a side competition that they used to show once a year or so on Sportsnight or somewhere. He was the stand out player in that environment, never gave the ball away.

    I remember having to write an obituary when he passed away. It was surreal writing about your first hero. I can’t remember what I wrote in the first 1000 words but I remember the last two lines.

    “If you ask someone for their memories of David Preece someone will mention his diminutive status.

    Don’t believe it for a second.

    The man was a giant.”

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