Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – Syd Owen

Image for Luton – The Legends Series – Syd Owen

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, Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton, Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson, Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston, Paul Futcher and John Ryan

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

In this latest offering I am going to try and do justice to the career of a legendary Hatter, Syd Owen.

Now I say ‘try’ because I wasn’t fortunate enough to see Syd play, although, on many an occasion, I can remember my late father extolling the virtues of a player he described as one of the best ever to wear a Luton Town shirt.

Therefore, purely because I wasn’t born when Syd played for Luton Town, this article will be facts and figures based.

Syd, after a handful of appearances for Birmingham City, joined Luton in June 1947.

While with the Hatters, he went on to make a colossal 423 games for the club.

His ability was such that the then manager, Dally Duncan, appointed Syd as the captain as the side in the 1949/1950 season.

While with Luton, his ability saw him win 3 England caps and Syd was in the England side for the 1954 World Cup, playing in our country’s opening game of the competition, against Belgium, a game that finished 4-4.

He also managed two appearances for a Football League XI, emphasising the respect with which he was held within the game.

But perhaps the greatest achievement of his career was when he won the prestigious Football Writers Award as the Footballer of the Year, in 1959, I believe the only Hatter to scoop such an award (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).

In his last season at Luton, he played a unique role in our 1959 FA Cup Final against Nottingham Forest. Dally Duncan, who had originally signed him, had been axed and Owe was appointed as player-manager, therefore he not only captained the side in the heart-breaking defeat to Nottingham Forest but, theoretically, managed it as well.

Later in his career his talent saw him involved in one sort of managerial capacity at the likes of Leeds United, Birmingham City and Manchester United.

Sadly, Syd Owen passed away, while living in Leeds, on 27-August-1998, aged 75 years.

RIP – Syd Owen

Syd Owen – Mini Fact File

Name – Sydney William Owen

Date of Birth – 29-September-1922

Place of Birth – Aston, Birmingham, England

Position – Defender

Youth Career – Birmingham YMCA, Birmingham City,

Career – Birmingham City, Luton Town

International Career – England, Football League XI

Managerial Career – Luton Town, Leeds United (first team coach), Birmingham City (assistant manager), Manchester United, (youth coach)

Next up in the series will be – Marvin Johnson suggested by Geoff Wilson


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – Captured On Vinyl For Ever

Share this article

Welcome To My Tea Party!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *