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The Hatters Premier League adventure is clear for take-off

LONDON LUTON AIRPORT is sending an unmissable message of support for Luton Town FC ahead of the team’s first Premier League match tomorrow (Saturday), away at Brighton.

Thousands of passengers flying inot and out of the airport are being greeted  with a giant eco-friendly grasspainting on the flight path, featuring Luton Town midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s portrait alongside a tongue-in-cheek message:

“Pundits, prepare to eat your hats. Luton Town FC has landed.”

The huge painting measures 55 metres by 45 metres. It is the same width as the airport runway and thesize of 87 London buses. The installation took over two days to create with over 500 litres ofenvironmentally friendly paint and will be viewed by thousands of holidaymakers set to travel through the airport next week.

London Luton created the empowering artwork on behalf of the local community at Stockwood Park, Luton, as it sits beneath the airport’s flight path and close to the team’s training ground.

Midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu is the first player in footballing history to go from the non-league tiers ofEnglish football to the Premier League with the same club. He visited the site to see the airport’s efforts to commemorate the team’s historic achievement.

“The journey that this team and I have been on personally throughout my ten years at Luton Town FC has been incredible,” he said. “I have been bowled over by the love of the community during my years playing for the club but seeing London Luton Airport create this to cheer the team on has been out of this world.

“I can’t believe they have committed to showing their support by bringing their message and me to life on such a huge scale.”

Hatters captain Tom Lockyer and manager Rob Edwards joined Pelly to witness some of the finishing touches of the message being applied and to meet some of the Hatters-supporting airport staff who helped to bring the design to life.

The painting wins the seal of approval of (bottom right) Hatters captain Tom Lockyer, boss Rob Edwards and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu.

Kerri Skingle, a member of the airport’s guest experience team is an avid Luton Town fan.”The team’s promotion to the Premier League means so much to the people of the town and it’s amazing that LLA wantsto show the players this simple and friendly demonstration of support for the upcoming season. It means a lot to the local community for the airport to stand behind the team on such a large scale and I feel really proud to be a part of it. We’re all behind the club and we wish them the best of luck in the match against the Seagulls [Brighton and Hove Albion] this Saturday.”

Tomorrow’s match on the South coast will be Luton Town’s first in English football’s top flight since 1992. The club earned promotion via the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium in May.

Hatters boss Rob Edwards said: “I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say that we are filled with immense pride and gratitude to our community. A tremendous thank you to London Luton Airport, for its remarkable show of support through the creation of this impressive good luck message on their flight path. This symbol of community will inspire the players for the games ahead and we hope we give fans a season to be proud of.”

London Luton Airport is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. Operations director Neil Thompson said: We felt it was important to commemorate this historic moment for the town and for the team and wanted to cheer them on from a high altitude, as well as on the ground.

“We are hoping Pelly and the rest of the team can spend the season in the Premier League flying high but whatever happens, we’ll be there alongside the fans to support them. Up the Hatters.”

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