Hatters legend Mick Harford recalls his hot streak against Red Devils at Kenilworth Road

Mick Harford celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United at Kenilworth Road in 1992Mick Harford celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United at Kenilworth Road in 1992
Mick Harford celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United at Kenilworth Road in 1992
Town assistant boss was a regular on the scoresheet in fixtures with Manchester United

Luton legend Mick Harford hopes the current crop of players at Kenilworth Road can replicate some his era’s wonderful memories against Manchester United when the two sides meet at Kenilworth Road this evening.

The Carabao Cup third round tie is the first time that the Hatters have hosted their Premier League opponents since a Division One contest back in 1992.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That day, Lee Sharpe had put a visiting side containing Ryan Giggs, Brian McClair and Steve Bruce to name just three in front, beating Alec Chamberlain from close range in the first half.

However, Harford equalised with his 12th goal of the season in the second period to ensure Town left with a point, although it wasn't enough to save Luton, relegated from the top flight with Notts County and West Ham United.

The Red Devils went on to finish second in the table behind Leeds United, but on his goal, Harford said: “I remember it, a cross from David Preece who was pinpoint accuracy, fantastic player and a good supply for me, with the crosses he put in the box.

"It was Denis Irwin, me and Denis at the far post.

"I got over and above him, it hit the angle of the bar, came back and I was the first to react, (Peter) Schmeichel was still on the floor, so great memories against United.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"When you look at the teams and the great players they had with (Bryan) Robson and (Mark) Hughes, (Paul) McGrath all those guys.

“It was an honour to play against them and it was fully deserved as we had a very good team at Luton Town when I was playing, a team full of international and some great players.

"Ricky Hill, Brian Stein, Mal Donaghy, Steve Foster, complemented by some really good youngsters, Mitchell Thomas had come through, Garry Parker, obviously myself, Preecey and Peter Nicolas and Fozzie were brought in to try and help those guys.

"It was a good team and we thoroughly, thoroughly deserved to be where they are.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It's great memories thinking back and hopefully we can repeat those performances tonight and we can get the same kind of result."

Harford himself enjoyed an excellent return against United during his time at Luton, scoring five goals, including two in a 2-1 win in 1985, plus another with Brian Stein as Town also triumphed 2-1 two seasons later.

He was also on target in another 1-1 draw, as the club's current assistant boss continued: "I have vivid memories of playing against Manchester United, I had a little bit of success playing against them, scored a few goals.

"My first game at Kenilworth Road, I scored two and we won 2-1.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Gary Bailey was in goal (for the penalty), he got his fingertips to it, but I wasn't really bothered as long as it went in.

"Then we had a free kick on the edge of the box, Fozzie took the free kick, it ricocheted against the bar and came back.

"I made a leap and headed it in the top corner, and that was in the last minute.

“I don't think I ever scored at Old Trafford, but I scored a lot against United at Kenilworth Road.

"We had some good results and had some good performances.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I was fortunate enough to be on the end of some good crosses, so I was in the right place at the right time.”

There might have been a time that Harford was lining up against the Hatters in a league game for United, had the rumours that boss Sir Alex Ferguson was ultimately successful in his attempts to sign the forward.

Harford added: "It’s in Sir Alex’s book that he tried to sign me one season, which is unfortunate for me that it never happened as with respect, I would have loved the opportunity to have played for Manchester United like any either footballer would do.

"It's been mooted that they tried to sign me and it was a great honour that he was linked with me and wanted to sign me, but it just never happened."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.