OBITUARY: Hatters fan Kevin Catlin was an unsung hero

Kevin Catlin
Kevin Catlin

A Luton Town fan who was a “behind-the-scenes hero” for the Kenilworth Road club, has died suddenly aged just 56.

Life-long Hatters supporter Kevin Catlin, who lived in Luton, passed away due to heart failure last month.

He is said to have been actively involved in the struggles of 2007/08 where Hatters’ then holding company Jayten was ousted, leading to fans’ consortium LTFC 2020 taking control of the club. Prior to that he worked in the background and was a key figure in getting rid of notorious former Luton Town chairman John Gurney in 2003.

Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet told the Herald&Post this week: “Kevin and I had a relationship stemming back to the John Gurney days as a lot of like-minded people did at those times.

“A number of people like him were unsung heroes that did an awful lot of work in the background, but particularly Kevin Catlin.

“He was genius of character, a real mastermind brain.

“He wasn’t the most confident or flamboyant character and preferred to be behind the scenes and was always incredibly helpful.

“His real skill was research, unearthing information that others could not obtain.

“He was on the case of everyone who was not able to gain the trust of the fan base.

“When we eventually took on the post at Luton Town he said ‘you’d better watch yourselves as I’ve got my beady eye on you!’”

Mr Sweet added that Kevin would have loved to have seen the Hatters realise their dream of playing in a new stadium at Power Court.

He added: “I was talking to him very regularly in the last month or so and I had a lot of information from him.

“He was very interested in the progression of the stadium. He would have loved it.

“We may have lost him in body, but in spirit he will carry on, certainly through me.”

Luton Town Supporters’ Trust has said it was extremely saddened to hear of Kevin’s death.

On its website LTST chairman, Tony Murray wrote: “Most supporters would not know the name Kevin Catlin but all of us owe this unsung hero an immense debt of gratitude. Without him we would have no club to support.

“To say I was shocked and deeply saddened to be told of his passing would be a massive understatement. He was a friend who over the years became a trusted confidante who advised me on Trust and club matters as well as personal issues.

“When you first met Kevin the thought ‘Benny from Crossroads’ would go through your mind. His appearance, however, belied a keen intellect and a razor sharp mind. He often said as a result of how he looked people would underestimate him and that was something you did at your peril.

“A font of all knowledge, he could pontificate on anything and everything without being ‘Mr Know-it-all’. He truly had a heart of gold and lived for helping his fellow man.

“Kevin never wanted the spotlight and was content to stay in the background. He was happy on occasion to let others take the credit for what he did.

“People need to know though. He was the genius-like mastermind who helped to set up the Trust and oust John Gurney. He was instrumental in removing what was the cancer of Jayten from our club.

“He could be cantankerous and obstinate, brutally honest with a razor sharp tongue. His command of the English language was amazing. I had more than one falling out with him, you couldn’t really call yourself a friend unless you had at least one with him. Yet he was intensely loyal to those friends.”