Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – Tony Read

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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 player nominated by Chris Winter.

Following on from those already covered – John Moore, David Preece, Mal Donaghy, Brian Lewis, Bruce Rioch, Fred Jardine, Brian Horton and Kevin Nicholls

and prompted by Chris, I’ve chosen to look at the Hatters career of Tony Read.

Read played for Luton Town from 1965 until 1972 before hanging up his goalkeeping gloves.

But Tony, who made 203 league appearances for the Hatters also scored 12 goals and his story could quite easily be described as something that wouldn’t look out of place in a Roy of the Rovers story.

Signed from Peterborough United, Read arrived at Kenilworth Road nursing a broken foot. Continuing his rehabilitation, he appeared many times for the reserves for whom he scored on several occasions.

Jumping up to first team level, Read continued to play as a forward and proved quite efficient in the role, hitting the net 12 times in 20 games, including a hat trick against Notts County.

But, for some reason, the goals dried up and Read found himself in the more familiar position of between the posts.

It was while Read was between the posts that he first caught my attention, I watched his every move when it came to shot stopping or collecting high balls from in-swinging, or out-swinging corners. In fact I claim that it was watching Read that helped to shape me as the lad between the sticks at my junior school, although some would, cruelly, say it was the only position for me as I wasn’t that good in any other position.

Tony Read, having gone between the posts, remained a fans favourite and retained the position for the next six years before, in 1972, announcing his retirement.

Returning to my childhood, I quite often used to visit my grandparents who lived in a house in Cambridge Street, making my way there, accompanied by my late mum, I always used to pause, in Park Street, to look into the window of a car showroom he owned.

Looking to get a glimpse of Tony, I regularly ended up disappointed as the only person in the showroom was somebody who worked for him. Later on in life, if I recall correctly, Tony ran a pub in Flitwick.

My fondest memory of Tony is him being a part of the 1967/1968 side that earned promotion from the old Division 4, the first season in which I was privileged to be taken to Kenilworth Road by my late father.

Tony Read – Mini Fact File

Name – John Anthony Read

Date of Birth – 05-July-1942

Place of Birth – Haydock, England

Position – Goalkeeper / Forward

Youth Career – Sheffield Wednesday

Career – Peterborough United, Luton Town

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Tony Read, 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 – Steve Foster suggested by Mad Hatter


Previous article by Mad Hatter

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  • Ken Stanford says:

    Always enjoyed watching him play and was delighted when he played the odd game of cricket for Aspley Guise and opened the bowling with him. Lovely man

  • Philip Carter says:

    I will never forget those 3 goals against Notts County on a muddy pitch in November
    It was on my birthday -what a great birthday that day.

    I would like to nominate Ian Buxton as a legend from that 67/68 season as although he was only with us for 1 season – he was the final piece of the jigsaw that season.

    He scored a great header against Aldershot who were rivals for promotion at the time at their ground at the end us Luton fans were standing.-Great times

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