And so it begins ( again)

Posted on August 10, 2018

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…Our hope just does not know when to quit. We are only human after all. In a spectacular denial of reason, despite all the accumulated knowledge of past failures, each year, stupid and wonderful, our rich pageant begins a new. We gather whilst we can at Kenilworth Road singing together our songs of hope, of life, each chorus proclaiming that we are here, alive, and that this time we will win. These after all are our people. This is our team, our town. True kin. A shared line that springs forth from the waters of the River Lea to mix with the blood of family ties until, for one brief moment we are an invincible army marching as to war, or a semi final in 1985 at any rate.

Swiftly come the preludes, merging seamlessly from the clubs anthems into the division bell of the whistle, and on impossibly, into a riot of ecstasy and joy. A kiss on the first date, no, more, the whole shebang. A miracle. One -nil to the Town. Ricky Hill, Amen. Then, as in life, comes the desperate holding on. The Bolshevik demands for revolution. The riot and it’s inevitable reply, a court summons of a goal. One-One.

Now all hands are on deck, working that hope, singing, praising. Offering up prayers to God, the eternal referee. Who, dressed in a hangman’s black, always holds our fate within his hands and as fickle as a cat suddenly smites us. An old testament of a God after all. A bomb dropped from several thousand feet.  A shrill whistle unstitching time. Deaf and blind to our final pleas. One – Two.

Suddenly it is al over and the great pilgrimage back to our pre-fabricated homes begins. All that hope runs away into the the piss stained stench of the grounds overflowing toilets. And you wonder why the men do not cry? It ’s because, well,  that is that. What can be done? Tomorrow morning they’ll be back at the car plant getting on with life, putting food on their families tables. Putting one food in front of the other.

However, as in any tragedy, on any stage, there is always a fool. There has to be a fool, doesn’t there? A drunken buffoon who, well, who simply does not know that this is it, the end. That the referees decision is final. Like rainbow’s these jesters only come out after the rain. They appear out of nowhere with pain of defeat. They bring with them a little ray of sunshine one more time.

‘We are Luton Town’ they sing. At first it starts as a lonely lost voice in the darkness. ‘ We are Luton Town’, they sing it again and well, even the men who stare can not argue with that. It’s a fact, a forever truth of birth and so, slowly at first, a mumbled incantation begins, passed like some whispered secret from mouth to mouth, building until it becomes a mighty, defiant chorus.

WE ARE LUTON TOWN. WE ARE LUTON TOWN. WE ARE LUTON TOWN. WE ARE LUTON TOWN.

We sing through our tears. We sing even thought our hearts are breaking. We simple sing. It is a song that breaks through the gloom of the journey away from Villa Park, and our song rolls like thunder ever onwards towards August. To the rebirth of a new season.

We get our head’s down and we get on with it. It’s what we do best. There are no frills to life in Luton, but there is lots of love and there is a great pride in that love too. A pride in not wanting people to see the hurt that people carry everyday. A pride in simple being here against the odds. A pride in the love of the common people.

‘Living on a dream ain’t easy

But the closer the knit

The tighter the fit

And the chills stay away

‘Cause we take ’em in stride

For family pride’*

For maybe, next year, really, actually, this time, maybe it is going to be our year.

Que sera sera, whatever will be will be…

 

  • Lyrics from Love of the Common People as performed by Lutonian Paul Young.
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