Teenage pop fans headed for Luton Airport more than 40 years ago to get a glimpse of one of the biggest groups of the 1970s.
The Osmonds flew from Luton at the end of a short UK tour in October 1973. But the scenes were nowhere near as chaotic as those when they landed at Heathrow Airport a few days earlier.
Eighteen young girls were injured after a wall collapsed during a crowd surge as the Osmond brothers arrived.
About 10,000 youngsters had packed the airport’s roof gardens and part of the balcony railing and wall collapsed under their weight.
Talks were held between the British Airports Authority, police and record companies following the incident and a BAA spokesman said: “We have always maintained that Heathrow was an unsuitable place for this sort of arrival. We are re-examining how to handle the problem. Certainly the Osmonds will not be passing through Heathrow again this week. They will travel from other airports, although, of course, we are not prepared to say which.”
But word got out that Luton had been chosen for their departure and a much smaller group of fans were there to wave goodbye to their idols.
The Osmonds, an American family group and devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sold more than 100 million records worldwide, with several UK top ten hits like Crazy Horses and Love Me For A Reason. Donny, Marie and Jimmy also enjoyed solo careers.