Luton turned into a sea of orange as 20,000 Hatters fans celebrate Premier League promotion

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Town supporters flock to see their heroes

Luton was turned into a sea of orange yesterday as over 20,000 people came out to celebrate the Hatters’ promotion to the Premier League.

In scenes not witnessed since the halcyon days of the 1980s, when Town were last in the top flight, famously winning the Littlewoods Cup in 1988, fans lined the streets as the players and staff were taken on an open top bus tour from Kenilworth Road to St George’s Square.

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They were met by thousands of adoring supporters, keen to catch an eye of their heroes, who had beaten Coventry City 6-5 on penalties at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

With the buses eventually winding their way through to St George’s Square, the squad was then led out on to the stage to a superb ovation, before lifting the trophy once more and heading to the Town Hall for a civic reception.

Striker Carlton Morris, who scored the first spotkick in the shoot-out at the weekend, said: "It's breath-taking really, it’s incredible.

"The turnout today, the fans have come out to celebrate together, it’s nice as I know the people work so hard to come and support us on a Saturday.

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"So for us to give thanks today, to see them lining the streets is incredible.

Luton supporters turned out in their thousands on MondayLuton supporters turned out in their thousands on Monday
Luton supporters turned out in their thousands on Monday

"This is going to be a Premier League club, the journey it’s been on, all you guys have been through it, longer than I have, this is my first season, I’ve just come for the end bit!”

On-loan Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Ethan Horvath was also interviewed, saying: “Thankyou so much it’s been a long season.

"Great support, we couldn’t have done it without everyone here and we’re going to need you even more next year.”

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Defender Sonny Bradley, who is leaving the club at the end of the season, gave an emotional farewell to the supporters he has served with real class during the last five years.

He said: “When I came here five years ago, I never thought to be honest we would get to the Premier League.

"I’ll be honest, I didn’t see it, but we’ve done it and like the manager said, like everyone said, it’s not just about the players here.

"Yes, we’ve done it on the pitch, but it’s you, it’s your football club and you deserve it more than anybody else.

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“It’s very emotional, the past few weeks, I’ve been a little bit sad coming in.

"I’d never tell the boys, I’d never tell the manager, knowing that I’ve been leaving, its been hard, but I still had a role to play, getting round the boys and doing my job.

"It’s not about me, it’s about the team, and all these boys have that same attitude and that’s the reason we’re in this position right now.

“It’s really hard to imagine, we were in League One, going to the Championship, to imagine we’re in the Premier League, I never imagined it, but you lot deserve it, more than anyone in this league in my opinion, you deserve it more than anyone, so well done.”

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Fellow defender Reece Burke, who had to come on early at Wembley due to Tom Lockyer being stretchered off, added: “I thought, I need to put a shift in here!

“Locks has been brilliant, and I had to come on and do what he’s done all season."