Luton – The Legends Series – Les Sealey

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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, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Don Givens, Gordon Turner, Brian Stein, Jesse Pye, Raddy Antic, Joe Payne, Max Dougan, Alan Slough, Ray Whittaker, Dave Pacey, Milija Aleksic, Ron Davies, Sandy Davie and
John O’Rourke

I make no apologies for selecting yet another goalkeeper when it comes to our legend’s series, after all it was the position, I filled during my school days.

The latest goalkeeper I’ve selected is none other than the maverick of all keepers, Les Sealey.

After starting his career as an apprentice, at Coventry City, before graduating to the first team, Les spent five seasons with the Sky Blues, making his full debut at the tender age of nineteen.

In 1983, Les moved to Kenilworth Road for a fee of £120,000 and was to spend the next seven years with the club, during which he made 207 league appearances.

Quickly established as the man between the posts, Sealey soon became a fans favourite with his ability and unique approach to playing football endearing him to the support.

I can distinctly recall Les bawling out the defence after he’d conceded a goal whether it be their fault or his.

An ever-present in the side, injury was to cruelly deprive Les of a place in the 1988 League Cup Final, with Andy Dibble taking his place on that monumental day at Wembley Stadium.

But Les recaptured his familiar position between the posts and performed admirably during the 1988/1989 season, helping the Hatters make a return to Wembley for the 1989 League Cup Final, against Nottingham Forest.

Sadly, it wasn’t a good day for less as he didn’t have the best of games for Luton Town, conceding a penalty as the Hatters slipped to a 3-1 defeat.

That game was, unfortunately, to be his last for Luton Town with the management preferring to field Alec Chamberlain from then on in.

But Les was far from finished with football, making a move to Manchester United where, under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, Les was part of the United team that won both the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup.

The maverick Les went on to play for a plethora of clubs, performing admirably at nine different league clubs.

But perhaps Les’ biggest testament is that he played between the sticks, for Luton Town, during a period when the Hatters, arguably, had their best spell ever as a League club.

Sadly, Les was to die at a far too young an age, just 43-years-of-age, from a heart attack in August 2001, a very sad loss.

Les Sealey – Mini Fact File

Name – Leslie Jesse Sealey

Date of Birth – 29-September-1957

Place of Birth – Bethnal Green, London

Position – Goalkeeper

Height – 6 feet 1 inch

Playing Career – Coventry City, Luton Town, Plymouth Argyle (loan), Manchester United (loan), Manchester United, Aston Villa, Coventry City (loan), Birmingham City (loan), Manchester United, Blackpool, West Ham United, Leyton Orient, West Ham United, Bury (loan).

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Les Sealey, 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 – Bob Morton as suggested by Tony Byfield.


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton Town – We’re Not Bottom Any More

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  • David Baker says:

    Les Sealey whilst playing for Coventry at Kenilworth Road before joining Luton gave the best performance that I have ever seen from an opposition player. My eldest son used to stand just behind the goal in the Oak Road , he learned a few choice words.

  • Alan says:

    Yeah bit of a del boy…..legend for sure, & an excellent character……

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