Hatters fans had a double celebration on their hands when an unexpected celebrity guest joined their promotion party antics on the train.
Elated Luton Town supporters were beginning the long journey home from Carlisle, after witnessing their team draw 1-1 and win a place in League One after a ten-year absence.
The landmark victory meant fans were in high spirits as the the train made its way down south, when who should get on board, but none other than comedian, Johnny Vegas!
He proceeded to join in the fun and banter, and even donned a Hatters shirt, before having a chat with Town chief executive Gary Sweet who was also on board.
Hatters fan, Cameron Edwards, 16, said: “The fans all went back to The Griffin pub just by the train station and the players came past, all got out of the bus, and we were celebrating with them.
“We got on the train at about 6.50pm, and at about the second stop in Johnny was waiting at the station – quite an obscure one.
“He just got on and we were all at the door where he was coming in. He sat at one of our tables, cracked open a beer and had a laugh!
“We were all singing the Watford song the whole way home and he joined in a little bit, and sung a song about Watford being ‘losers’!
“The rest of the time he was pretty quiet, just having a chat.
“It was a friend’s dad we were with who gave Johnny the Luton Town shirt.
“Johnny stuck it straight on and had a couple of photos with everybody.
“I’ve got a photo of Johnny next to Gary Sweet. We kind of left them to have a little bit of a chat. Gary was having a word with Johnny about how he liked his stuff, and Johnny said congratulations to Gary about the League.
“We got off at Milton Keynes station, and I assume Johnny stayed on to London.
“It was one of the best days of my life, I won’t lie to you. I watch Luton Town as much as I can.
“It’s been a great season –we’re on the way up. It’s brilliant for the club.”
Fans Paul Daglish and David Bateson were lucky enough to have Johnny sit at their table.
David, 42, said: “Well, we were buzzing. Luton Town had just gone up – the train was full of fans and it was a great atmosphere. A couple of beers, you know the deal.
“We left Carlisle and reached Penrith station, and then Mr Vegas got on our carriage. I think he was a good sport.
“One of the lads opened the door of the train and invited him on.
“He sat down with us, and since everyone knew he was on the train people were coming from all angles and getting pictures!
“We were talking about all sorts, really - football, rugby league. I know he doesn’t support a football team so we’ve appointed him [as a Hatters fan]!
“He’s a big rugby league fan - St Helens I think is his team.
“He’s a lovely guy, really down to earth. I thought he’d be sitting in first class!”
Paul, 43, said: “We were having a chat about what he was up to and about Luton Town being promoted. Apparently he had been up there filming for the sitcom, ‘Home from Home’ in Penrith and had taken the people out for a beer to say thank you.
“He was then going back to London on the train. He just literally got involved with what anyone else was doing.
“He’d got a sandwich out of his bag and was eating it with people coming up to him all the time, but he welcomed everyone, said hello to everyone!
“He’s generally a nice guy, what you see on the TV.
“I think someone’s now changed his Wikipedia page to say he supports Luton!”
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet said: “He’d done a show in Penrith and I think he was hoping to have a nice leisurely train ride back and he’s bumped into a few hundred supporters celebrating and I think he just joined in.
“I sat with him for a little while, he was a great guy. Everyone was lucky to be on that train.”
Johnny Vegas’s agent was contacted for a comment about the encounter, but nothingwas forthcoming before our deadline.
> See our sister papers, the Luton News/Dunstable Gazette this week, which features an eight-page picture special of the final whistle celebrations.