Welcome to The Straw Plaiters, a website devoted to Luton Town Football Club in the Victorian era.

Below is a photo of Luton in 1864.  The clubs new ground will be sited at Power Court – between the Parish Church (left) and the railway line.  The photo was taken from the Crawley Green Road cemetery.

In 1889 Luton Town played at Maidenhead in the F.A. Cup.  The London newspaper reporters covered the game and coined the nickname “The Straw Plaiters” (pronounced platters).  The nickname stuck and the following week the Luton fans were heard shouting “Go it, Straw Plaiters.”

Straw Plaiters badgeVery little has been published about the period up to 1894 when the club joined the Southern League.  This website will plug that gap and tell you about the Lomax brothers, George Deacon, Herbert Spratley, Arthur Taylor, the Whitby brothers, Wanderers, Excelsior, the 11th April 1885, professionalism, the laws of the game, tactics and much more.

You will see the introduction and chapters listed on the right.  I have set out the highlights at the start of each chapter.  Entwined with football is the story of the town and the people. I have therefore included “Interludes” and various newspapers adverts and clippings which are tangents off the main story but which I hope will be of interest.    A short version of the history of the club can be found under the “Date Lines” button.  The “Library” button will include articles taken from the main story on topics such as the Dallow Lane ground, professionalism, the fans, kit, the Luton Charity Cup and so on.  The “Hall of Fame” button will also be of interest – D.A.N. Lomax is an essential read.  The “Seasons” button gives a table of the results by season.  Onlooker has some short random articles on Victorian football.  The Statistics and Gallery buttons need no explanation.

I would like to gather as much information as possible on this period of the club’s history.  I had intended to publish a book but a book cannot be amended, added to or shared widely.   Hopefully, with your help, the story will grow as new material comes to light.  If you have any comments, queries or information please use the “Contact” button.  I would particularly like to hear from any descendants of the players and committee members with any information or memorabilia including photos.  See the “Ancestry” button to see if there is a familiar family name.

Please do not assume that Luton Town Football Club has copies of everything ever produced – they do not, nor do the club’s historians.  For instance, I contacted the descendants of a player from 1885 to 1890.  They did not know he played for LTFC but did know he was a Luton Town fan and possessed a member’s ticket from 1887/88.  It is the only one that we know exists.  There is no known photograph of the 1885-89 pink and dark blue halved shirt.  Perhaps a descendant has one, but does not appreciate it.

Keep up with the latest additions to the site via the “News’ button or go to Facebook “Luton Town F.C. The Straw Plaiters” and like the page.  You will then receive updates and news automatically.

Brian Webb