Luton boss Rob Edwards breaks down in tears after Tom Lockyer news
Rob Edwards’ delight at Luton ending their 31-year wait for Premier League football was nothing compared to the relief he felt at the news captain Tom Lockyer was all right.
Interviewed by Sports Sports presenters at Wembley he broke down live on air after he was shown a picture of the skipper celebrating in his hospital bed.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him and I’m really glad he’s okay,” said Edwards, before having to stop speaking as he choked up.
Rob Edwards breaks into tears 🥺🧡 pic.twitter.com/D0TJzwP7yA
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 27, 2023
It’s the image all the football world wanted to see – one that gladdened the hearts of Luton and Wales fans.
It was posted by Tom Lockyer’s dad Steve, after Luton Town had secured promotion to the Premier League after a pulsating Championship playoff final, which saw the Hatters win a penalty shoot out to emerge victorious from the richest game in football.
The image of Luton captain Tom, sat up in his hospital bed surrounded by his family, celebrating his team’s victory would make anyone emotional after the Welsh defender fell unchallenged to the pitch in worrying scenes at Wembley and was then stretchered off and taken to hospital.
Luton later confirmed their captain had been taken to hospital for further tests, saying “he is responsive and talking to his family, who are with him”.
Steve captured the moment Luton won the game and posted the pic to Twitter. He wrote: ‘Tom’s Dad here. Tom is ok. Very happy but so sad he can’t be there with his team mates. Here is the moment…’
As the team lined up to hold up the playoff trophy, one of the Luton Town players also held up Tom’s number 4 shirt in tribute to their captain.
Tom’s Dad here. Tom is ok. Very happy but so sad he can’t be there with his team mates. Here is the moment……. pic.twitter.com/4mxlyGqbhI
— Steve Lockyer (@sl_cardiff) May 27, 2023
Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final went the distance at a packed Wembley, where the Hatters rallied after their skipper’s worryingly collapse early on.
Jordan Clark put Luton into a deserved lead that Coventry midfielder Gustavo Hamer cancelled out in the second half, with the match ending 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra-time.
Joe Taylor saw a winner ruled out just before spot-kicks, with Fankaty Dabo’s sudden-death miss sealing a 6-5 shoot-out triumph that propelled Luton back into the top-flight for the first time since 1992.
The dramatic triumph means the Hatters will welcome Manchester City and Co just nine years after facing the likes of Salisbury and Hyde in the Conference Premier.
Luton boss Edwards said: “I felt a bit numb. I just made sure I shook Mark’s hand and his staff.
“I don’t want to be that guy that just starts running off and celebrating before I’ve seen the other manager.
“I just felt very numb. I still do. It hasn’t sunk in quite yet. It might take a few days, but it’s great. It does feel good.
“It was mixed because of Locks (Lockyer), that’s why I couldn’t really go for it celebrating.”
Your shirts a bit small for me brother. But we done it 🙌🏽❤️🔥 love you mate. Luton are in the premier league 🟠 pic.twitter.com/96rVG9BVqD
— Carlton Morris (@CarltonJM) May 27, 2023
This is a day that will live long in the memory of anybody connected to Luton, whose players held a Lockyer shirt throughout the celebrations.
The Hatters captain collapsed when running back to defence in the early stages of the final, leaving the field on a stretcher and being taken to hospital for tests.
Luton confirmed Lockyer was “responsive and talking to his family”, with his dad posting an image of him in a hospital bed celebrating the shoot-out win.
Edwards cried with delight when he saw that image and hopes to soon celebrate with the much-loved skipper.
“If we can we will (see him in hospital),” he said of Lockyer, who is expected to be kept in overnight. “But I don’t want to get in the way and if I’m not allowed then I won’t.
“If I’m allowed I would love to go and see him, but then I think we’re so tight as a group that I’m not sure if 40-odd people are allowed to go and see him in hospital.
“We will have to check on that, but I’m just so thankful that he’s OK because that’s all that matters.
“I wasn’t really able to enjoy any celebration at the end because all I cared about was Locks.”
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