2 May 2012

Luton dream of Wembley again. Horrible Wembley.

For the damaged souls of Luton the road to Wembley is paved with hypocrisy and resentment. But there's nowhere we'd rather be on 20th May.

Wembley's too small for us, Wembley's too small for us, Wembley's too small for us, Wembley's too small for us rang out the song; spat into the air towards the famous white arch coated in a heady glaze of bile, pride and morning lager.

The 2009 Johnstone Paints Trophy final had seen an unprecedented following for a club on their way out of the league. Over 43,000 had made the short trip up the M1 and whatever the sour taste left by FA and Football League points deductions, the draconian ticket buying procedure and the stasi-esque attitude of stewards on the day; the sight was enough to reduce many to drunken tears. 30 points, who gives a fuck, we're Luton Town and we're staying up.

Well we didn't. Stay up that is. But in winning the wonderfully pointless JPT at Wembley one thing we did was remind the FA and the Football League that though we were a seemingly dispensable player in the endless 'customer base' of the modern game, we weren't going to go quietly. 

And even if you did eject us from the stadium one by one on the charge of "standing up" should we dare to leave the numbered safety of our mates for a moment to visit the sparkling new toilets to release the hellish bladder pressure threatening more with each corner kick... we were destined to win that day. We'd brought every lazy Man United and Arsenal fan we knew with us draped in their forgotten 1980s orange scarves, last worn in the days before their heads were turned by the sunnier climbs of the Premier League. We were all there that day at the home of the despised FA. And it was beautiful.

The old national stadium was the setting of our finest hour in 1988. Today, sterilised and focus-grouped clean of all history and meaning, new Wembley - the FA's monument to clappy sticks and corporate dicks - is the symbol of everything that has come to define the vindictive and bullish capitalism of modern football for Luton Town in this young millennium.

As I write on the eve of our latest punt on the Conference Play-off lottery and two tough games against Wrexham, who in a fair world - given their excellent season - would already have graduated from this horrific quicksand pit of a league; we are once again daring to dream of Wembley. Horrible Wembley.

1 comment:

  1. 'UP the M1'

    geography is not your strong point, is it?