Luton fans had their day in the sun this week.

Plenty headlines as they brought seven and a half thousand to St James Park for Saturday’s FA Cup match, more than they have got for some league games at home this season – their average only eight thousand at Kenilworth Road.

Ahead of the game, there was some friction amongst the Luton fans, with hardcore supporters not giving universal support to the idea of sharing their trip with a lot of part-timers and ‘two club fans’ (those locals who choose to support Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool etc and only take interest in Luton when it suits).

The travelling support helped to produce an outstanding crowd of over forty seven thousand for the game, the largest ever at St James Park in the FA Cup under Mike Ashley’s reign.

On Sunday morning, Luton have thanked their fans for the support at yesterday’s match but then got a little hopeful…

The club saying they hope to see all 7,500+ on Tuesday when they host Peterborough in the Checkatrade Trophy!

Luton Town Official Announcement:

‘We would like to say thank you to all of the 7,500-plus Luton Town supporters who filled the away section at St James’ Park yesterday.

The atmosphere was wonderful and you more than played your part in the crowd of 47,069 – Newcastle’s biggest in the Emirates FA Cup for 13 years.

It was the biggest away contingent at St James’ Park since the stadium was redeveloped, and we hope you all had a great day – and night if you were staying on Tyneside to make a weekend of it!

Safe journey back to all Hatters making their way home today – we hope your heads aren’t too sore – and thank you once again for travelling 3.75 million miles in support of Nathan and the team.

As the gaffer said to the Press after the game: “It doesn’t surprise me, but once again they showed the club in a great light. They follow us all over the place – not in numbers of 7,500 but 1,500-2,000s – and at home we get near full houses every week. We’ve given them a team to be proud of and the club is in a real good place at the moment.”

See you back at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday for Peterborough in the Checkatrade Trophy!’

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Luton 1

Goals – Newcastle Perez 30, 36 Shelvey 39

Goals – Luton Hylton 49

Possession was Luton 51% Newcastle 49%

Total shots were  Luton 9 Newcastle 25

Shots on target were Luton 2 Newcastle 7

Corners were  Luton 7 Newcastle 7

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Manquillo, Lascelles (Hayden 31), Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Merino (Saivet 80), Shelvey (Diame 71), Murphy, Perez, Gayle

Unused Subs:

Darlow,  Joselu, Haidara, Aarons

Crowd: 47,069 (Approx 7,500 Luton)

(To read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the FA Cup win go HERE)

(Go HERE to watch the goals and highlights from Newcastle 3 Luton 1)

(Rafa Benitez analysis of win and update on Jamaal Lascelles injury situation HERE)

(Luton boss Nathan Jones gives his perspective on the match HERE)

(Rafa sets new FA Cup attendance record under Mike Ashley – Read it HERE)

  • Simon Ritter

    Of course they hope to see them all again this week. Not worth publishing. If, however, the club had told the fair-weather fans they were not welcome . . . now that would be news.

  • David2211

    3.75 million miles? How far away is Luton?!?

    • Benmagpie

      Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away …….

    • gallowgate26

      On the moon by the sound of it… He probably doesn’t realise that Newcastle are the most travelled fans in the UK.

    • Wor Lass

      That`s how far away they think “the North” is. Beyond the Wall with the Wildlings!

      • Rich Lawson

        The ”Ice Queen” is coming ! (Hopefully)

    • Rich Lawson

      ”Once upon a time,in a galaxy far,far away”

    • Albert Stubbins

      Not far enough!!!

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    It’s obvious that a club that generates that level of support away from home would want to replicate the following for their home games.
    Although the vast majority of them probably wanted to escape the town of Luton for the weekend lol

    I can also see where the staunch Luton supporters are coming from with their attitude towards the extra so called fans who swelled the ranks.
    There’s nothing worse than bandwagon jumpers at a club who get sudden success or a slow build up of it.
    Even Newcastle United had a bit of that with what went on to be “The Keeganites” where those who never bothered before suddenly start crawling out of the woodwork saying they were always down !

    A casing point recently is what has happened at South Shields albeit on a smaller scale where Geoff Thompson’s money has created an enthusiasm which was not there previously.
    A few years ago they were getting 30 fans when they played at Peterlee to now getting average home crowds of over a thousand.
    Unfortunately bandwagon jumpers are a necessary evil if you want to grow your fan base.

    • Wor Lass

      So fans who notice that a club is improving, hear about how much better the set-up and team is, read about exciting performances and so decide to go and see for themselves are bandwagon jumpers?

      • Virsino

        Yep! They should stay away…lol

        • X,WHY,Y MAN.

          Who said they should stay away ?
          “Necessary Evil” if you want to grow your club.

          • Davey drape

            agree your clubs who ave had 30k die hards regardless then suddenly jump up by 20k, well, i always said like it or not but the club needs the extra 20k to progress the club, jees look at your milans 0k but a big game and quarterfinals of Europe they suddenly sow their faces & crowds jumps to 80k, barca n the other hand often jumps up over 100k with aboot 30k of tourists

      • X,WHY,Y MAN.

        So a struggling club with a very small but loyal fan base suddenly gets a bit success and their crowds double, Triple etc

        Are those true fans who suddenly turn up to watch ?

        I don’t think so, Hence the name “Bandwagon Jumpers” !
        Like I said they are a necessary evil these types unfortunately.
        Yes there can be exceptions where a loyal fan decides enough is enough then maybe enticed back when things get better.

        • Wor Lass

          So the only fans are the ones who have always been fans? Bollox.

          • X,WHY,Y MAN.

            Nope, They tend to be fans of other clubs then change sides.

          • X,WHY,Y MAN.

            I am not saying everyone who turns up is a “Bandwagon Jumper”, And new fans are always welcome.
            It is naïve at best though to think that this does not happen at every club where you have that element.

      • Rich Lawson

        Surely anybody who pays to come threw the door is welcome at any ground, rather than the armchair boys who thrash us from the comfort of their living rooms ?

        • X,WHY,Y MAN.

          Of course anyone who comes through the gate is welcome because it brings money to the club but don’t be naïve to think you don’t get defectors from other clubs.

          • Rich Lawson

            I’m not.I just think if they fancy a day in Newcastle we should take their money and let them enjoy it.

      • Toon

        Happened with us under John Hall and Keegan when we were bottom of 1st – one week about 12,000 and then the next Keegan becomes manager; 30,000 sell out. Where did they come from and why weren’t they supporting NUFC in the time of need before?

        • X,WHY,Y MAN.

          Exactly, It happens at every club going.
          I was probably too general in my first comment about the fans.
          It is not every fan that comes through the gate and fans new to the club are always welcome no doubt.
          You always have an element of people who have followed other clubs who suddenly see a team on their doorstep or want to escape from a bad situation at their own club so they jump ship with a grass is greener mentality.

          I have even heard Sunderland fans say as much in areas like Peterlee and other places in Durham that were staunch Red and White until Keegan’s Entertainers came along and everyone in the area were walking around in Newcastle Shirts.

          • Davey drape

            yep, plenty split families (football wise) in Durham. quite a few toon fans i aware of who’s fathers are safc fans

        • Albert Stubbins

          We were averaging nearly twenty thousand before Keegan became manager the first time watching absolute dross at the bottom of the old second division. There were crowds of averaging thirty thousand when Keegan played in the 83/4 season when we finished third. The bandwagon jumpers at Newcastle is a myth. A few thousand went away when we were bad not thirty thousand FFS.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    That’s the problem with some of these fans some of them will probably never see Luton again this season. Sometimes smaller teams take ten thousand away for a game at Man Utd the press call them brilliant fans and two weeks later the next home gate is three thousand.

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      Most of that crowd will be going because the lure of an upset and making a weekend of it.

  • Tim Vass

    What a stupid, patronising article. The vast majority of the 7500 Hatters at Newcastle were probably among the 9500 at our previous home game. And most of them are Luton through and through. Incidentally I have attended two Luton away games at Newcastle where the attendance was 13000

    • Steven05

      In fairness they were a few comments made from Luton fans complaining about this very subject before Saturday. But regardless – bringing that many fans derserves respect

    • Whickhamrobbie

      What is your usual away following ? just asking.
      Tim i didnt see the article as patronising in any way just asking questions and i have been at a newcastle home game whre the attendance was 9000 ish so whats your point ? as that was over 30 years ago and our modern attendances are fantastic despite not winning anything for 60 years .

      • Geordiegiants

        I’ll beat that 7000 against Oldham at St James’s. 😬

      • Tim Vass

        It was the assumption that our following was made up of “a lot of part-timers and two-club fans” that annoyed me. Obviously we don’t normally take 7500 to our away games (it’s usually between 1000 and 2000 which is very respectable for League 2). The attraction of playing against a premiership team at a brilliant stadium in a friendly city made a nice change and swelled the numbers – but it doesn’t follow that those 7500 fans were not true Hatters. Like I said, most of them were probably at our previous home game against Lincoln and will be back at Kenilworth Road for the Morecambe game next week.

        • Whickhamrobbie

          Unfortunatley two club fans are common down south as you know but if you can attract a few of them to follow the Hatters then good luck .The other lapsed fans may come back or may not ,lets hope some do .
          An attractive winning team is the best way and it looks like you are on the right track (you might even play Sunderland next season )but watch out for poo on the seats.

  • Davey drape

    Luton used to have great crowds in the olden days (60s) backed by thousands of local irish but this eventually tailed off as a whole for one reason or another i were informed. However, well done to the diehards for keeping their club alive during its darkest days. Hopefully they will get the new stadium closer to the town & railway station. good luck to them in rebuilding and re growing their club. when living in Luton for a short time, even i got 2 tickets for the league cup final defeat v forest in 89 – luton had a canny team in those days tho

  • thewildchimp

    Well, if they don’t like to watch their own club play, that doesn’t mean they don’t love it! “True” or “casual” – everybody is a fan. Some just love it more.