Date: 23rd June 2018 at 12:03pm
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The first in what we hope will be a regular series.

When the fixtures for the 2018 / 2019 season were released earlier this week, I couldn’t help but smile when I noticed that Sunderland were our first Division One home fixture.

I couldn’t help but reflect on another occasion when Luton Town entertained Sunderland, at Kenilworth Road.

I was a mere teenager, my only vocations in my young life were the Hatters and ensuring I completed my evening paper-round, with the aforementioned paper-round ensuring I had sufficient funds for my regular trips to Kenilworth Road.

It was the 1973 / 1974 season, a special one in the history of our proud club.

Managed by Harry Haslam, the Hatters were in with a chance of achieving promotion to the top-tier with two fixtures to go.

Just a solitary point was needed from the fixtures against West Bromwich Albion (a) and Sunderland (h).

But there were to be no last day nerves when the Hatters visited West Brom, on 27th April, they got the 1-1 draw that ensured promotion was theirs.

That just left the home fixture with Sunderland to be completed and on a midweek night Kenilworth Road was packed to the rafters with 20,285 welcoming their newly promoted heroes home.

The game was played in something akin to a party atmosphere, I can recall standing on the Maple Road terracing watching as the Oak Road swayed back and forth.

Talk of playing in the top-tier of English football was prominent as we contemplated the long summer ahead.

On that night, the Hatters slipped to a 4-3 defeat in a thriller of a match, the loss didn’t really matter, it was a party night and a night inside Kenilworth Road I’ll remember forever.

COYH’s

 

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