FEATURE: Brotherly love back at Kenilworth Road once more

Brian Stein and Mark Stein in action together
Brian Stein and Mark Stein in action together

It will be something of a family affair at Kenilworth Road this season after Elliot Lee put pen to paper to join his brother Olly this afternoon, as the pair are set to become only the sixth set of siblings to feature in the first team for the Hatters during their 132 year history and the first for almost three decades.

You have to go way back to the 1880s to find the first time it happened, with the Lomax brothers of David, Ernest and John, who all played in FA Cup clashes for the Hatters.

Paul and Ron Futcher run out for the Hatters

Paul and Ron Futcher run out for the Hatters

They only figured together three times though, the first a 3-1 home defeat to Hotspur in 1886, before all appearing two years later as Chesham United were thrashed 10-2, John netting twice.

The final time all three played was the next round, losing 3-1 at home to Old Brightonians.

That was the end of David’s appearances, while John and Ernest played seven more times in the same Luton side, with John bagging an impressive seven goals in his 10 games.

It was another half a century before the feat happened again, when Andy and Joe Rennie played three games together in 1933/34.

Andy Rennie, bottom row, middle

Andy Rennie, bottom row, middle

They featured in a 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth on December 23, 1933 and with the fixture schedule as it was, a 0-0 draw at Aldershot on Christmas Day 1933 and then the Boxing Day clash at Kenilworth Road, with Andy netting in a 1-1 draw.

Joe only went on to play one more game, while Andy became one of the stars in Town’s history, notching 162 goals in 335 matches to sit second behind Gordon Turner on the Luton leaderboard for top goalscorers.

It was another 20 or so years before two brothers played in the same game though, Ken and Barry Hawkes in the 1950s.

They first appeared in the 0-0 draw at home with Manchester United in front of 27,025 at Kenilworth Road during the 1958-59 season, plus twice more that campaign, a 2-0 defeat at West Brom and 3-1 loss at Blackburn.

Ken Hawkes, bottom row, first left and Barry Hawkes, bottom row, second from right

Ken Hawkes, bottom row, first left and Barry Hawkes, bottom row, second from right

They managed three more games together the following year, as Ken went on to play 106 appearances scoring once, while Barry had just the nine matches.

Twin brothers Ron and Paul Futcher then both joined Harry Haslam’s Luton side for a joint £125,000 fee in June 1974.

They played their first game together on Boxing Day 1974 as Ron scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Ipswich.

He went on to net a treble the following week, a 3-2 home win over Wolves, as the pair played a further 102 times together in the following four seasons, until they both headed to Manchester City.

Finally, Town legend Brian Stein and Mark Stein are the last set of brothers to pull on a Luton shirt at the same time, after Mark joined in 1983 with Brian already well established in the first team.

They both started a 3-0 defeat at home to Everton in Division One on April 7, 1984, although it wasn’t until the 1985-86 season they did it again, this time a 2-0 home win over QPR.

However in the 1986-87 campaign, the pair started 14 more times together, and did so 28 times the following season, including the 4-1 Simod Cup Final loss to Reading.

Their next trip to Wembley was slightly more memorable, as on April 24, 1988, Brian scored the last-minute winner when Luton beat Arsenal 3-2 to win the Littlewoods Cup Final.

Mark came off the bench that day which was the final time a set of siblings have represented Luton, while the 2-1 win over QPR a week earlyer on April 19, is the last time a pair have actually started for the Town.

Town have had three other sets of brothers at the club, with Bruce Rioch and Neil Rioch, Kurt Nogan and Lee Nogan plus Charlie and William Burtenshaw, but they never played in the same team.