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Luton Town F.C.

Luton Town F.C. are an professional English football team. Nicknamed The Hatters.

Created by the merger of Luton Wanderers and Luton Excelsior in 1885, they were one of the founder members of the Southern League in 1894. They applied for membership of the Football League in 1896, joining in 1897 but resigned from the League in 1900 to re-join the Southern League. They moved to their Kenilworth Road grounds in 1905.

The Southern League became Division Three after WW I and Luton remained in that division for seventeen seasons. The team won promotion from the Second Division in 1954-55. They were relegated in the 1959-60 season and remained in the Second Division for a further fourteen seasons. Their glory seasons occurred in the late 1980s under David Pleat[?] and then Ray Harford[?], finishing seventh in 1986-87, visiting Wembley three times in the 1987-88 season, including a 3-2 victory over Arsenal F.C. in the Littlewoods Cup Final.

They were relegated from the top division in 1992, went bankrupt in 1998, lost their controversial owner David Kohler[?] and fell to the Third Division for the 2001-02 season. Under the management of Joe Kinnear[?] the club rallied and placed second in the division in 2001-02, gaining automatic promotion back to the Second Division. In 2002-03 the team consolidated their place in the Second Division, finishing ninth.

Their stadium is the 9,975 seater Kenilworth Road Stadium, Maple Road, Luton. Since the 1980s the club have been constantly reporting a move to a new stadium close to the M1.

In May 2003 the club was sold to a "mystery" consortium headed by John Gurney, previously owner of Bedford RFC. Chariman Mike Watson-Challis retired to be appointed life president and the intention was to replace him as chairman by Roger Terrell, ex-Peterborough United, until Terrell declined.

Shortly after the purchase, manager Joe Kinnear and assistant Mick Harford were sacked, financial reasons were cited as the cause. Terry Fenwick, former England international and failed Northampton manager, was expected to replace Kinnear. Instead Harford was offered the post despite having been sacked and after his rejection Kinnear was approached and a fan voting prossess was instituted.

The situation is still in development, a POV overview can be found here (http://www.lutonfc.com/takeover03-04.asp).

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