A bereaved Leighton Buzzard family have expressed their gratitude to Luton Town Football Club after enjoying a key role in the celebrations as the Hatters won the League One title on Saturday.
The win over Oxford ensured the team finished top of the table and after the match as the trophy was brought on to pitch by two of the club’s U8s youth players that had beaten Juventus recently, 13-year-old Daniel Humphreys accompanied them and got to lift the hefty silverware onto the podium ready for the presentation.
Daniel is the brother of Matthew Humphreys who took his own life at Leighton Buzzard Railway Station in December 2017, aged 14 years, after suffering from mental health issues.
The Humphreys say the Hatters’ successful promotion season has helped them “enjoy life” again after the devastation of losing Matthew.
His mother Jayne Humphreys told the LBO: “After supporting the Hatters this season, we were delighted to receive a call on Friday afternoon from Luton Town asking if Matthew’s brother, Daniel would escort the League One champions trophy onto the pitch and place it onto the podium ready for the presentation. It was a lovely heartwarming gesture from the club and an experience Daniel will never forget.”
The Hatters say they had seen some of Jayne’s social media messages over the course of the season and so approached her about being involved in the celebrations.
A club spokesman said: “We were asked by the EFL who we would like to carry the trophy out, and we felt the Under 8s would be a nice touch but the league were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to lift it high enough, so could we nominate an adult to accompany them.
“We have been touched by a couple of really powerful, emotional messages that Jayne had put on social media during the season, including one last week, explaining how buying their season tickets for the first time for this season had given them something to look forward to as a family after losing Matthew, and brought them so much joy with the way the campaign has gone.
“We asked Jayne if she would like to help the boys and she suggested Daniel. We were only too happy for Daniel to do it and he did a great job having met Mick Harford and James Collins in the tunnel beforehand.
“We felt it would be a nice touch for the family to be involved in Matthew’s memory at the end of such a great season.”
> A charity disco is being held on Friday, May 10 to raise funds in memory of Matthew.
The event will take place at the Royal British Legion Club in West Street, Leighton Buzzard from 7pm until late and will be in aid of YoungMinds, a charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health.
Anyone wishing to come to the disco, should contact Katie on 07917 165269.