LUTON'S GREATEST EVER PLAYERS (CENTRE BACK)

Updated: Jan 9

Submitted by Andrew McMellon (@andrew_mc84)

Host of My Best Eleven Podcast, Journalist and Pundit (https://mybesteleven.podbean.com/)


This is an area where many would find it hard, if not impossible to pick a pairing. Do you go for a two who work well together or the best two individuals and hope they click. Below are some thoughts for you, with, as ever many missing out. As ever, these are not in THE order but some food for thought!



Mal Donaghy There is a question as to where is his best position. David Pleat put him at left back in his Best Eleven but most fans remember him as a centre back. Quiet and let the football do the talking. Scored potentially Northern Ireland’s most famous goal ever in Spain 82 but is loved by Luton fans for his play on the pitch. Went onto play for Chelsea and Man Utd but was loved by Luton fans for the partnership he had with numerous other centre backs including Foster and Saxby.


Steve Foster Captain for the clubs most glorious day and he remembers the game so fondly, watching it regularly with his grandchildren. Was a commanding centre back with an iconic style with the headband. Tough tackling, led by example with leadership on the pitch. Really changed Pleat’s team into winners with the way he marshalled those next to, behind and in front of him. Always had an eye on youth and this can be shown with the number of defenders who came through the youth system whilst he was there


Steve McNulty If you look at influence, this player is it. May not have the same natural ability as others on this list but when Luton were at there lowest point ever, he galvanised, with John Still, the club and got them out of non league. A hard tackling centre back who loved runs forward with the ball and could strike a great volley when he wanted as well. Leader of the team that won the Conference and led the dressing room and is credited with helping players such as Andre Gray become the type of player he is today through training ground sessions.

Syd Owen Captain and centre back, as well as manager for the 1959 FA Cup Final. Was a leader amongst men and led from the front with hard tackles and natural ability as a centre back. Played in the 1954 World Cup whilst at Luton and played for the club for the majority of his career. A player who led the club through its second most successful period in its history. Most likened to those who remember him to Mal Donaghy with his pace but also elegance on the ball.


Curtis Davies Up until recently, he was the clubs biggest sale of a player when he moved to West Brom. Young centre back whilst at the club and has gone onto represent numerous clubs in the Midlands, most notably Hull City captain (and scored) in their 2014 FA Cup Final loss. Whilst at Luton, he helped the club to promotion to the Championship in his first full season in the first team under Mike Newell. Probably remembered by Luton fans for scoring one of the title sealing goals at Wrexham in 2005.


Marvin Johnson When a player has 2 or 3 songs made specifically for them, you know they are a cult hero. He loved to run forward with the ball and regularly got chants of ‘Marvin for England’. Great header of the ball and with his left foot, was a great balance to others in the centre back position. A local lad and one who only ever played for the club but was limited to 400 appearances due to being plagued by injuries. Now hosts a great podcast too whilst coaching in the USA.

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