Hatters have confirmed that club captain Steve McNulty has joined Tranmere Rovers on loan with a view to a permanent move.
Speculation had been rife after the 32-year-old, who made 125 appearances in his two and a half years at the club, missed Saturday’s trip to Crawley Town due to family reasons.
“I’m disappointed for us, but in a funny way I’m pleased for him.”John Still
But it has now emerged, he has headed back to Merseyside, joining the Conference National club, managed by ex-Town chief Gary Brabin.
Speaking to the press this afternoon, Hatters boss John Still explained the reasoning behind McNulty’s departure.
He said: “It’s been a couple of weeks now, he’s got two children and I think one of them not been particularly well.
“His wife is concerned about the way the situation is, it’s never been a problem before, but it has been a problem of late.
“We sat down with him, two weeks ago, and it was causing a problem, but we left it a week and reviewed it, left it a week and reviewed it.
“But the situation wasn’t particularly good, it was affecting him and affecting her. With that in mind, we spoke to Gary Brabin at Tranmere and told him the situation.
“It’s 10 minutes from home for him and in the end, everyone decided it was in everyone’s best interests that this happens.
“I’m disappointed for us, but in a funny way I’m pleased for him.
“He wouldn’t have played Saturday, he would have gone home, so we agreed something with Tranmere, but he didn’t play for them on Saturday, he went home and had a few days settling things back there a bit.
“I wouldn’t say it was exactly the same as Mark Cullen whose wife hadn’t really settled in the area, it’s different as Steve’s family wasn’t here.
“If he was 21,22, 23, 24, it’s easier to move your family, but he’s 32, and probably not the right time to move family.
“So it was a case of something he felt he had to do and when we listened to him, we got to know him really well, for him personally, it’s the right thing for him to do.
“I felt and the club felt we had to show the right amount of compassion to his situation so that’s where it is.”
McNulty had recently regained his place in the side once more after a spell on the bench and Still admitted he had never wanted to lose his skipper.
The boss added: “It was never a case of that. It was a case of him coming to us and I’m sure if you speak to Steve, he loved it at Luton, enjoyed everything about what we did at Luton.
“He was absolutely gutted to leave Luton, but I felt his family had to come first, quite rightly, 100 per cent right.
“It’s just one of those things that happens in life. Your family is your most important possession and think he understands that.
“It was really weird, even on the day of going, he didn’t want to go, but I think it’s just one of those things.”