Luton Heroes #1
Bob Hawkes 1900-1920
Robert Hawkes was born in 1880 in the nearby village of Breachwood Green and went on to be Luton Town`s first International player.
While working in the hat trade he joined Luton Town as an amateur player in 1900. A slim built left sided player who would have been labelled a midfielder in this day and age, was one of, if not the, best left halves in the country.
This was recognised when he was selected for the England Amateur Football Team, which went on to represent Gt Britain in the 1908 Olympic Games, and won the football gold medal.
Bob had many chances to join Football Leaague clubs and become a professional but he remained loyal to the Town and stayed playing Southern League football, although he became a full-time professional in 1911, in the season when his team mate Sammy Wightman died at the age of 24 after sustaining a kick in the stomach in a match at Brighton. He retired at the end of the 1919-20 season, ironically just as the Southern League`s top division became the 3rd division of The Football League.
20 yrs service
Bob returned to his former trade in the hat industry but not before being made a life member of Luton Town Football Club, ending his football career with a short dalliance with Bedford FC.
Twenty Years - one club!
Bob was truly, I believe, Luton Town`s first hero.