Midfield is the link between strikers and defenders. This position is often the shield that allows the creative players up front play more expansively.
In this article, we focus on a few defensive and traditional central midfielders, with more creativity coming in another post.
The general in the centre of the park and captain for the title winning team of 1981-82 season. The midfielder changed his style when he came to Luton offering more of a link up play with Ricky Hill especially. Horton is most noted for being the leader in the relegation avoiding Maine Road game where Pleat specifically ‘danced’ across the pitch towards Horton. Many a Luton player talk about ‘that stare’ and David Pleat rates Horton above players such as Ossie Ardiles, John Sheridan and Jamie Redknapp in the centre of the park.
The player who scored the important goal to keep the club up in the First Division in 1982-83 season and will be remembered as the versatile player who he was, but most fans agree his best position was in midfield, alongside Horton and Hill. A player who had done it all before he joined Luton, playing at Partizan, Fenerbahce and Real Zaragoza before joining the club. He is, to some non Luton fans, best known in his management of clubs like Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Was a gentleman in the game and recently passed away in 2020 after battling pancreatitis.
The player who many younger fans would look to and at as the most combative and battle hardened player they have seen in a Luton shirt. A player who really loves Luton and played in 2 separate stints, promoted from League Two and One in his first stint and lifting the JPT Trophy in 2009. Often overlooked for his passing and creativity but for fans of the club, he was more than a defensive midfielder. A player who would have played more were it not for his knee injuries which harmed his chances of pushing on with both Leeds and Preston. Also, not a bad penalty taker, with the majority of the 30 goals he scored coming from the spot!
‘Mini’ as he is known by people who know him, Preece was a wizard in the middle of the park who had a wand of a left foot. Moved to the club from Walsall and has a stand named after him at Kenilworth Road after his death in 2007, Preece had a low centre of gravity allowing him to turn and spin around opposition players. Often came off the pitch with bruises all over his shins due to frustration of opponents, he won medals with the club throughout his 400 plus games.