Hundreds of youngsters bought their first football, pair of boots or cricket bat from a sports goods shop just a stone’s throw from Luton Town FC’s ground.
Shanks & Turner in Dunstable Road, and later the West Side Centre, was owned by Hatters players Wally Shanks and Gordon Turner.
Wally, a defender who appeared in 275 games for Luton from 1946-57, started the business in 1959 with friend Jack Edge, who at the time worked for shoe shop Timpsons .
They called it Wally Shanks Shoe & Boot Repair Company and it was situated at 109-111 Bury Park Road. Footballs and boots were sold and repaired.
Gordon joined the company in 1960 and the premises moved to 123 Dunstable Road, with the name changing to Shanks & Turner.
Gordon played 450 matches for Luton from 1949-64 and holds the club’s all-time scoring record with 276 goals, which is unlikely to be beaten.
He is considered one of the greatest footballers never to play for England and many fans believe Luton would have won the 1959 FA Cup final against Nottingham Forest at Wembley if he had not been inexplicably dropped from the side.
Shanks & Turner remained in Dunstable Road for 13 years and then moved the short distance to the new West Side shopping centre in 1972. But Gordon contracted motor neurone disease and died in 1976, aged 46.
Wally retired from the business and took over newsagents and confectioners shop Brown Owl opposite the Luton & Dunstable Hospital. He retired at 64 and died three years ago, aged 87.