When Danny Wilson did it, it stung a bit.
It felt like wandering past a long forgotten pub and spotting, in the corner, a girl you used to fancy at school. The intervening years had been tough and she carried the baggage beneath her eyes, but the sound of her laugh instantly recalled the good times. When all of a sudden like a punch in the stomach the man she ended up with emerged from the gents; and it’s only the smug faced twat who definitely nicked your Raleigh Activator in 1994.
“HIM? I never really liked her anyway” and “Has she always looked that much like Mr Robson from Grange Hill?” I thought.
It always hurts when players leave for a rival club. When Tony Thorpe toddled off to QPR he wrote us a song that some will never stop singing despite his efforts at reconciliation, and watching Matty Spring’s goal at Vicarage Road in a Luton shirt will remain forever tainted by the time he spent there in treacherous yellow.
As they shouldn't exist MK Dons can never be a footballing rival of ours, but the wound incurred when Town players go on to work in the grid-referenced graveyard of the soul up the M1 itches with a more personal insult.
Our most revered players - the ones who really got it - surely knew that the franchise abomination was out of bounds, didn't they?
That said, when Sol Davis did it, I sighed and wished him well. Sol was a proper player, career interrupted. And he didn't stay there long enough for anyone to notice except maybe the IKEA staff rinsing the New Town stench from their Ugg boots in the car park. I can still watch that tackle and smile.
But then ladies and gentlemen... then Mick Harford did it.
Mick isn't only a Luton icon but a Wimbledon man too. A Hatter and a Don. An old fashioned centre forward who loved us so much that when he left he sent love letters back to Luton - scoring an own goal for Derby at Kenilworth Road to keep us up in ’91 and then stamping his way through the horizontal Watford players celebrating in that HILARIOUS “dead ants” style while playing for Wimbledon in the FA Cup in ‘95. If ever a Luton player truly understood us, it was big Mick.
But when he took the MK coaching job in May I didn't instantly hate him and it didn't wipe away the good times he’d given us all. If Mick Harford could go to the MK Dons, I thought, then maybe it was time to reassess the pedestal we put our Luton Legends upon.
Mick did so much for the club as a player, an opponent, a coach and a manager (yes, a manager you cynical swines) that his legendary status can never be soiled by a day job among the concrete cows.
One thing you learn, probably as a result of getting older, and especially if you've spent a bit of time out of work, is that the football fantasy of a few thousand strangers can be no match for the reality of paying the rent, feeding your family or having to up-sticks and move back to Sunderland. Sometimes needs must.
Maybe the way Mick left us left a sour taste in his mouth, too.
Or maybe ex-players just don’t care about the same things we do. Maybe we take it all too seriously and maybe it is just a job after all and we shouldn't impose our unrealistic standards of loyalty on the professional footballers on the pitch.
But as a pathetic but loyal grumbler of the Main Stand, I will always reserve the right to the fantasy that it is more than just a day job for the few we hold up above the rest and who do enough to enter folklore.