Famous faces pass through Luton airport

Can you spot the famous faces in these two pictures, both taken at Luton Airport less than three years apart?

The England football team has for many years flown in and out of the airport on its way to and from major competitions and international friendly games.

Probably the most famous occasion was when the squad landed after finishing fourth at the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy.

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One member of the side, Paul Gascoigne, said later: “As we got off the plane at Luton Airport, we couldn’t believe what we saw. There must have been 100,000 fans there. The noise was unbelievable.

“We got on the bus and some fella tried to grab the fourth-place medal off my neck. I wasn’t prepared for it at all. It was mad.”

Much more subdued was the departure from Luton, above left, before a European Championship match in Denmark in September 1978.

Celebrity supporter Elton John, third left, who was chairman of Luton Town’s big rivals Watford at the time, decided to take his own musical entertainment on the Britannia Airways flight in the form of a radio/cassette recorder.

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On the far left is well-known TV commentator Brian Moore, who was behind the microphone 10 years later when the Hatters beat Arsenal in the Littlewoods Cup final at Wembley. For the record, England beat Denmark 4-3 with goals from Kevin Keegan (two),Bob Latchford and Phil Neal.

The photo above right shows filming at the airport of popular TV series The Professionals in May 1981.

A total of 57 episodes were screened from 1977-83, with millions tuning in each week to see CI5 agents Bodie (Lewis Collins, standing second left) and Doyle (Martin Shaw) and their controller George Cowley (Gordon Jackson, fourth left) fighting terrorism and other major crimes.

Bodie was a cynical ex-SAS paratrooper and mercenary, while the more-liberal Doyle moved to CI5 from the regular police force.

Monitors giving passengers flight information were much more basic in those days and the poster indicates that rabies was a big threat.