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Luton – The Legends Series – Don Givens

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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 Luton figure 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, Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton, Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson, Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston, Paul Futcher, John Ryan, Syd Owen, Marvin Johnson, Malcolm MacDonald, Bob Hatton, Steve Buckley,Chris Coyne, Ron Baynham, John Still, Jack Bannister, Ricky Hill, Chris Nicholl and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

In the latest of our ongoing legends series, we’re taking a look at the career of Don Givens, as suggested by Ant Gallow.

Back in the 1970’s, the Hatters had a few transfer dealings with Manchester United, these dealings saw the likes of John Aston, Jimmy Ryan and Don Givens become Luton Town players.

As a pre-teen youngster, I was delighted that Luton Town could attract such players and I can even recall one of them, John Aston, playing in the 1968 European Cup Final for Manchester United and performing so well he collected the man-of-the-match award.

Don Givens joined the Hatters in 1970, after making just 8 appearances for Manchester United, but given a chance to play regular first team football, the Irishman excelled at Kenilworth Road.

When signing Don, the then Luton boss, Harry Haslam, must have known just how much of a formidable partnership he’d make with the free-scoring Malcolm MacDonald.

Although described as a forward, my memories are of Don drifting wide of a central position and using his silky skills to provide the chances for MacDonald to net.

During his spell with Luton, Don was to make just 83 league appearances scoring just 19 goals, but I’d just love to know how many assists he provided. Did they monitor such data back in those days?

After making such an impression at Kenilworth Road, it was no surprise that other clubs had aspirations of signing the player and Queens Park Rangers, in 1972, were the club that won the battle to secure his services.

At Loftus Road, Don’s career moved up another level and we can only wonder just how he’d have fared if he had stayed with a Luton side who, a not soon after, gate-crashed the top-flight of English football.

Clips of Don, in action for the Hatters, are scarce but, courtesy of LUTON VIDS

We have traced some footage of Don in action, back in January 1972, against Queens Park Rangers, the very team he was to leave Luton Town for the following summer:

Don Givens – Mini Fact File

Name – Daniel Joseph Givens

Date of Birth – 09-August-1949

Place of Birth – Limerick, Ireland

Height – 5 feet 11 inches

Position – Forward

Youth Career – Manchester United

Playing Career – Manchester United, Luton Town, Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City (loan), Sheffield United, Neuchatel Xamax

International Career – Republic of Ireland

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Don Givens, 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 – Gordon Turner as suggested by Geoff Wilson


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – The Bobbers Stand Rebuild Revelation

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  • Joe Fountain says:

    All of the division 4 winning team were legends.
    So far you have highlighted eight. The other three legends were Max Dougan, Alan Slough and don’t forget Keith Allen.

  • Robert Brittain says:

    As a young man I was a football steward on our away day special trains. The players and their partners would often travel with us on long journeys. Although separated from the fans they would come and have a chat with us and I particularly remember Don’s wife being a big hit as she was so down to earth and a lovely lady to boot.

  • Dave Jones says:

    I’m amazed that Mick Harford hasn’t been covered yet in this series (or have I missed it). He is the absolute epitome of a Luton Legend.

    • Mad Hatter says:

      He is on my list, could be a longer than usual article due to the fact he’s done so much for the club, stay tuned 🙂

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