Former Hatter Alan Daniel passes away

Full back dies aged 81

By Mike Simmonds
Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:08 am
Former Hatter Alan Daniel

Former Luton Town defender Alan Daniel has sadly passed away at the age of 81.

The full back was born in Kent, moving to Luton at a young age when his father Mel was signed up by the Hatters as the Second World War drew to a close.

Despite heading back to Ashford, Daniel started to catch the eye with his displays at full back for Bexleyheath and Welling, snapped up by Town in the 1950s, making his debut in a 2-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion in April 1959.

Daniel was in and out of the first team over the next three seasons but had really established himself in the side at right-back in the 1962-63 campaign before a freak training accident in September 1963 put his career on hold after 56 appearances and three goals for the Hatters.

A tribute on the club's official website said: "Leap-frogging over each other in training around the pitch at Kenilworth Road, Alan fell awkwardly in a pothole.

"Misdiagnosed initially as an ankle sprain, he was made to run up and down the terraces in a bid to get fit but the injury worsened and by the time a snapped Achilles had been diagnosed it was too late.

"He was told that if he continued to play and the Achilles snapped again he would end up a cripple.

"Only 23 at the time of the injury, and with his career ahead of him, Alan was forced to give up the job he loved and went to work in engineering for 25 years before taking up a driving job with Keech Cottage Hospice.

"Alan retained a keen interest in the Hatters, was often seen at Kenilworth Road and was a welcome guest of the club for the ‘100 years at Kenilworth Road’ celebration in 2005.

"He used that opportunity to recount the fact that he was given the unenviable task of marking Tom Finney in the ‘Preston Plumbers’ last game at Deepdale in 1960.

"The whole crowd plus some of Alan’s team-mates were willing Finney to score but Alan remained professional and did not give him a kick!

"Our condolences go out to all Alan’s family and friends at this sad time."