Former Luton centre half Luke Wilkinson has paid tribute to Hatters’ fans after he departed the club to join Stevenage last week.
The popular defender was allowed to leave Kenilworth Road by boss Nathan Jones after finding out he wasn’t going to be in the new manager’s long-term plans.
A number of supporters took to Twitter and Facebook to thank Wilkinson for his time at Luton, as the 25-year-old said: “On the social media side of it, I’ve had loads of great messages and I don’t think I realised how much I was appreciated by the fans.
“It was absolutely fantastic and I can’t thank them enough.
“They’re a massive part of a football club, football fans and if you can build that bond between the players and the fans then it can only make you stronger as a club. As if the fans are on your side, then it makes it a lot easier.
“I played a lot of games, 70-odd games for Luton, so it was brilliant. I don’t think I realised how big a club it was until the season started when I first joined.
“For a club that size, it shouldn’t be where they are and I wish them all the best for the future.”
Wilkinson played 90 minutes for his new side in their 0-0 draw against Barnet on Saturday and is now looking forward to a return to Kenilworth Road when his Stevenage team visit on April 2.
He continued: “It will be strange going back and good to see some mates I’ve made over the last year and half, but it will be nice to come back and play and soak it up.
“I was there a year and a half, people say it’s not that long, but I loved every minute of it at Luton and I think I’ll always follow Luton from now on, but when I cross the line I’ll want to beat them!”
The defender also hopes his old side can fight for promotion this year, despite trailing the play-offs by eight points, as he said: “Any team if you put a run together in this league, doesn’t matter if you’re seven or eight points behind, you can always catch up because everyone beats everyone.
“It’s well within Luton’s grasp for getting back in that fight for the play-offs and if they do it, fantastic.”
On his own future too, Wilkinson, who has signed a short-term deal at Stevenage, added: “It’s no secret that I want to play as high as I can if that’s possible.
“I want to play as many games for Stevenage from now until the end of the season and hopefully I’ll stay fit and see what happens at the end of the season and hopefully I get a good move for myself.”