Huge crowd for Luton Town FC homecoming 55 years ago

Hatters fans outside Town Hall in 1959
Hatters fans outside Town Hall in 1959

Thousands of Luton Town fans are expected to line the streets and gather in St George’s Square on Sunday to celebrate the Hatters’ return to the Football League.

It will be the latest in a series of open top bus tours and civic events to celebrate the club’s successes over the past 55 years.

There was still a huge turnout of supporters for the first of these, despite the team’s defeat in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

A 100,000 crowd saw Luton lose 2-1 to Nottingham Forest on May 2, 1959, and many waited outside the Town Hall the following day – which was wet and miserable – for the team’s homecoming.

There were similar receptions in 1982 following the club’s return to the top flight on promotion from Division 2 as champions; 1988 after the Littlewoods Cup final victory over Arsenal; and 2009 when the Hatters beat Scunthorpe United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.