We'll be back up next year - Luton Town fans

Fans in the stands at the London Stadium applauding Luton Town players who are lined up in front of them
Luton Town fans applauded their team despite the scoreline [PA Media]

Luton Town fans say they are proud of their club, even though it is almost certain to be demoted.

A 3-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham left the Hatters three points from safety with one game left in their first season in the Premier League.

Fans say they will be behind their team all the way as they fight to return to the top flight.

One young supporter said attendance at their youth football matches had increased since Luton Town's promotion.

Jack O'Shea with very short brown hair and beard wearing a Luton shirt
Jack O'Shea said he thought he would never see his team in the Premiership [BBC/Nicola Haseler]

Although the jubilation that marked their elevation to the Premier League a year ago was missing on Saturday, fans expressed their pride by enthusiastically applauding their players as they left the London Stadium pitch.

Fan Jack O'Shea said: "I didn't think in my lifetime that we would see us in the Premier league, so the fact that I have done, and got to see them playing against the best players in the world and best teams in the world, it's been absolutely amazing."

Caia with long hair tied back, wearing a black top
Caia believes more people are coming to watch her playing football, inspired by Luton Town's success [BBC/Nicola Haseler]

Caia is a young fan who plays in a Luton Ladies junior team.

She believes a year in the top flight has changed everyone's perception of the Hatters.

"It's great to see a small town become such a big deal in the UK now," she said. "Before, it was just a little championship club, it's like 'they've done well', but, as soon as we got to the Premier League, it was like 'this is the big deal'."

Caia thinks Luton's success has also enticed more people to watch non-league football.

She said: "We've started to get much bigger crowds now to come and watch.

"[It was] just a few, like family members, but there's proper fans now who want to come and watch us."

Dave Meakins, Luton born and bred, said he was "gutted" by the result, but promised "We'll be back next year, next season hopefully, if we don't lose many players.

"I'll carry on supporting them - they played with their heart, they played for the club."

He said he would keep buying "another season ticket... until the day I die."

Bar area of a pub festooned with Luton Town bunting
One local pub was determined to get across its "Come on, you Hatters" message [BBC/Nicola Haseler]

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