Shea feared his Luton career was over after suffering serious knee injury at Cardiff

Keeper can’t thank Town enough for offering him a new contract

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 5:09 pm
Hatters keeper James Shea
Hatters keeper James Shea

Luton keeper James Shea has admitted he feared his Town career might have been over after suffering a serious knee injury during the 1-0 win at Cardiff City recently.

The 30-year-old, who had been out of contract in the summer, collided nastily with team-mate Tom Lockyer when collecting a cross just before half time, and although he tried to continue, was clearly in some pain when clearing the ball, having to make way for Harry Isted.

Shea conceded that as he was making his way off, he thought it could be the last time he would wear the Town shirt, but he needn’t have worried, as the Hatters’ swiftly allayed those concerns by offering him a new deal to extend his stay at Kenilworth Road, despite the severity of the injury meaning his might be sidelined for up to a year.

Boss Nathan Jones had said after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Blackpool: “We were going to do it anyway, so what we don’t do is think, ‘now you’re injured we don’t look after you,’ that’s not the club.

“He can just concentrate on getting better, that’s the class of the football club, that’s how we do our work here, so no doubt on that.”

When interviewed on the club website this afternoon, Shea acknowledged just what a gesture if had been from the Hatters, as it means he can begin his rehabilitation know his future is secure, saying: “It’s massive, I can't speak highly enough of them, they were absolutely brilliant with me.

"Straight away after the game I had a message from my agent Bill saying that Gary (Sweet, chief executive) had phoned him up, explained everything and said ‘tell him not to worry, we will sort him out, it’s not a problem.’

“A couple of days later, Paul Watson (chief operating officer) called me and said the same thing and it has been the easiest thing ever.

"I’m not going to lie it was a worry.

"I remember walking off at Cardiff thinking ‘I could be bang in trouble here’ because I could have done my knee, I’m out of contract in the summer but they’ve taken that worry completely away from me.

"The gaffer was brilliant as well, completely taken that worry away from me and all I have to do is concentrate getting my knee right and that’s it.

“I spoke to Gary, I rang him just to thank him and he said ‘no you were going to get one anyway so why should we just stop it because you've been injured?’

"It’s nice to hear, I can’t thank them highly enough, they've been absolutely brilliant for me.”