Hylton: I never wanted to leave Luton

Forward turned down chances to leave Kenilworth Road during the transfer window
Town striker Danny Hylton celebrates his first ever goal in the ChampionshipTown striker Danny Hylton celebrates his first ever goal in the Championship
Town striker Danny Hylton celebrates his first ever goal in the Championship

Despite having a whole host of offers to move on, Town striker Danny Hylton never once thought about leaving the Hatters and bringing his lengthy stint at Kenilworth Road to an end.

The 32-year-old has had a tough time with injuries ever since the Hatters were in League One, suffering a knee problem against Doncaster Rovers in March 2019, a game in which coincidentally was the last time the forward was on target for the club.

He required three operations to sort out the issue, which restricted the former Oxford and Aldershot attacker to just 30 appearances in the next two years, failing to score in any of them.

Hylton did pen a new two year contract in the summer of 2020, however, a lack of game time meant there were rumours he could depart, with Bristol Rovers seeing the striker turn down a move to them back in January, while boss Nathan Jones revealed there were 10 clubs interested in his services recently.

The transfer window closed with Hylton still part of the Hatters squad though, as he remained determined to fight for a place in Town's Championship XI, which ultimately paid dividends with a first ever goal in the second tier last night, bagging a stoppage time equaliser at Bristol City.

On whether he thought his time at Luton might have been coming to an end, the striker said: “They tried to get rid of me and I refused to leave!

"No, it’s football, football moves fast and you never know what’s around the corner.

“Of course there’s been conversations, but I never wanted to leave, never.

"I love being part of this team, part of this squad and the gaffer has always shown belief in me and never stops believing in me.

“I’m just thankful after all this time that he has stuck by me and he has kept me and if that was a little bit to repay him today then great, but it’s only one goal, I need to build on that.”

Part of the reason that Hylton was so determined to stay was his strong bond with the Luton faithful, as he has been a firm crowd favourite ever since joining from Oxford United in the summer of 2016.

He was a feared marksman in the lower leagues, notching 58 goals in his first three seasons, as the Hatters enjoyed back to back promotions from League Two to the Championship, before injury struck.

Prior to the recent home game against Sheffield United, Hylton was seen out on the pitch being through his paces, as the striker admitted he would now desperately love to celebrate a goal in front of the supporters, with his first chance coming when Swansea City are the visitors on Saturday.

The forward added: "I’m not sure about running on the pitch with no-one else there, I didn’t like that to be fair, I could have done it elsewhere!

"But no, it was great, a lovely reception from the fans and that’s one thing I’ve missed.

"My relationship with the fans has always been great, even when I’ve been stupid and I’ve been applauded off the pitch when I’ve been sent off, it’s great.

"Other fans wouldn’t allow it, but they always stand by me for some reason, I don’t know why.

"I’m glad to give them that moment today and a goal at the Kenny would be amazing to do, so I’ll keep training, try and stay injury free and hopefully that moment comes.”