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The Reckless Guide to.... Luton Town

11 November 2015

Is Kenilworth Road near enough to be classed a “derby?”

Luton Town v Barnet
Saturday 14th November 2015
Sky Bet Division 2
Kick Off: 3.00pm

Stadium: Kenilworth Road 1 Maple Road, Luton, LU4 8AW
Telephone: 01582 411  622
Club Colours: White and Orange
Nickname: The Hatters
Official Club Website: www.lutontown.co.uk

Key Personnel: John Leonard Still needs no introduction to Bees fans as he was manager at Underhill from June 1997 to February 2002. John's playing career ended at the age of 26 due a knee injury but he has been a successful coach and gaffer for over 35 years notably with Peterborough, Maidstone United, Dagenham & Redbridge, Barnet and now Luton Town. His current right hand man is another ex-Bee (and all round top man) Hakan Hayrettin.

Brief Directions by Road: Leave the M1 at its Junction 11 and take the A505 signposted Luton. Option 1. Follow the A505 for approximately 1.5 miles and Kenilworth Road is on your right as you leave the one-way system along Dunstable Road. To park, follow the one-way around, turning left, right and right again all in about 100 yards so that you do a complete U-turn and then take the second left into Ash Road. Continue down to the bottom, turn left at the end and the club is in front of you. Option 2. From the A505 go through one set of traffic lights to the 1st roundabout and turn right into Chaul End Lane. At the next roundabout turn left into Hatters Way. Continue down Hatters Way and you will see the ground floodlights on your left. Please note however that the ground it is not accessible from this road. At the end of Hatters Way turn left and begin your search for street parking.

Car Parking: Please note that there is a residents’ only parking scheme in operation near to the ground, so you will have to travel a little further away to find street parking. It is available trust me!

Directions by Train: Luton train station is a brisk 15 minutes walk from the stadium. From the station, turn right into Station Road which runs into Mill Street. At the junction, turn left into Telford Way and right into Dunstable Road. Oak Road is the fifth on the left after approx. a third of a mile. These directions are courtesy of LTFC.

Eating and Drinking Locally: I am told.....The Beech Hill Conservative Club on Leagrave Road, which welcomes both home and away supporters is the best bet for a pre-match drink. To find the club with the away entrance in front of you turn left and walk down to the bottom of Oak Road. Proceed through the small arcade of shops opposite and you will see the sign for the club between two shops. Directions courtesy of LTFC. There is very little else on offer close to the ground I am afraid. I am being treated to an Executive Hospitality day by a dear friend. There are no Social Club facilities for visiting Fans at Kenilworth Road apart from the Luton Bobbers Club which will allow a small amount of away fans who are quite heavily supervised while in the club.

Ground Description: New grounds are springing up everywhere with space galore. However the word cramped has been used at many grounds over the years, Underhill included, but at Kenilworth Road you will really appreciate the word cramped! But it is glorious for those who love vintage football grounds. The existing Main Stand dates from the 1920s and was purchased allegedly from Kempton Park Racecourse. Alongside it sits the Family Stand built in 1991 with seats for 700. The narrow stand opposite was originally erected in 1933 and was given the name of the Bobbers stand; 1/- (One shilling or a Bob) was the price at the turnstile. To those under the age of 37 that was 5 pence! It was made all seated in 1977 and the executive boxes which adorn it were developed in 1986.To the right of the main stand is the home fan stronghold the fully covered Kenilworth Stand which was originally a tall open bank of terracing. The entrance to the away enclosure - The Oak Road Stand - is without doubt the most unusual in the country. After walking down a alleyway one basically queues above back gardens before entering the stand! It can accommodate 1,800 fans on a shallow rake of seating. The leg room is tight and several pillars obstruct the view but the acoustics are superb for the vocal fraternity. Capacity around 11,000 all seated.
Admission Prices: Adults £22, Concessions £17, Over 65s £14, U16s £10, U10s £7.
 
Previous Meetings and Memories: Our first visit to Luton Town in the League was in December 2008 when the team went down 3-1 with a goal from Abu Ogogo (who was sent off 5 minutes after scoring). Last time out was New Year Day 2014 when a Jake Hyde goal was not enough in a 2-1 defeat.

Rivals: Watford and Watford Reserves. Although a more recent dislike of Stevenage for some reason has arisen – can't be all bad then can they?

Celebrity Watch: England Cricketer Monty Panesaar was born here while music is well represented in the form of Rock band Jethro Tull and legendary virtuoso guitarist Martin Hodges. However there is one Lutonite celebrity who stands head and shoulders above all others in my opinion (apart from possibly Kevin Millett, Bill Baldy, Edwin Stein, Kirk Stephens and Herbie Smith of course) and that is the late great Eric Bartholomew who was a Director at Kenilworth Road. We of course know him better as comedian Eric Morecambe who was born in errr…. Morecambe!

Reckless


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