Luton Town Beat Coventry Via Penalties To EARN Premier League Promotion After Scary Moment For Captain Tom Lockyer

After a 31-year spell out of the English top flight, Luton Town won their way back to the promised land, defying all odds, as they secured promotion to the Premier League with a penalty shoot-out win over Coventry City at Wembley stadium on Saturday. 

The Hatters had to do it the hard way after shocku losing captain Tom Lockyer, who was hospitalised after a scary collapse early in the match. 

Lockyer, Luton's player of the year, tumbled to the ground with no other player around him while back-pedalling in defence just 11 minutes into the encounter.

He tried to push himself up off the ground but immediately slumped back down motionless.

The referee immediately stopped the match and called for urgent medical attention for the 28-year-old Welsh defender who conscious was, but supported by an oxygen bag around his mouth as he was stretchered off the pitch straight to the hospital, where the club confirmed he was responsive and able to talk to his family.


 Lockyer had played a crucial role in Luton's tight defence all season as the club conceded just 39 league goals.

He celebrated three goals in the last five games with Luton Town, including the one than granted the Hatters the victory in the playoff semi-final against Sunderland.

During the match, the teams' social media gave some good news. "We are able to report that after collapsing on the pitch, Tom Lockyer has been taken to hospital for further tests. He is responsive and talking to his family, who are with him. We are all with you, Locks",Luton Town shared through a Twitter statement.

Despite the setback, Luton rallied to secure their first-ever promotion to the Premier League with a 6-5 shoot-out victory following a 1-1 draw.

They largely dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead in the 23rd minute when Elijah Adebayo shook off Kyle McFadzean's challenge before cutting back for Jordan Clark to fire home with a left-footed shot.

Adebayo was a constant threat for Luton. His close control, strength on the ball and good movement helped him create the opener. He was a big problem for Coventry, and came close to scoring a goal of his own on two occasions in the first half.

They also had two goals disallowed before the break, but a much-improved Coventry side in the second half, drew level thanks to a quick counter just after the hour mark.

Viktor Gyokeres streamed down the left side and picked out Gustavo Hamer in the box. The midfielder made a bursting run to meet the pass and side-footed the ball into the corner with a sublime finish past Ethan Horvarth in the 66th minute.

Hamer's goal for the Sky Blues, forced the game into extra time and penalties following a 1-1 draw and a tense but goalless period of extra time, when Luton's Joe Taylor had a late goal disallowed due to handball.

The first 11 penalties were all converted. Then it came to Fankaty Dabo in sudden death, needing to score his own spot-kick to keep Coventry alive. He didn't, instead blazing his attempt high over the crossbar.

His miss saw Luton win the shootout 6-5, and became the third team to win promotion to the Premier League.

Burnley and Sheffield United are the two other teams that will move from the Championship.

The win for Luton who actually finished third in the championship, completes a fairytale rise from the depths of the National League to the Premier League's soaring heights, just nine years on.

They are the first club to go from the top tier to the fifth-tier (non-league) and back to the top flight in the Premier League era.

Financial experts estimate promotion to the Premier League is worth around £170 million ($210 million), which will go a long way for a club that have been through turmoil since 1992 (31-years ago), when they were relegated from the Football League First Division.

The Hatters will have work to do ahead of the new season with vast improvements needed to upgrade their Kenilworth Road home stadium to make it comply with top flight regulations.

The Kenilworth Road, which with a capacity just over 10,000 and set among rows of terraced houses, but will now be hosting the likes of Manchester United, Man City and Liverpool next season.

Midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu has been on every step of the whole journey and becomes the first player to go from the National League to Premier League with the same club.

“I feel like I completed football, It’s been a journey, through the highs and lows but you've got to believe in yourself. Here I am, a Premier League player... Said the 29-year-old

“The party’s tonight, tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, every day and then on Thursday, Vegas, all summer.

“You’ll see us enjoying it. This one’s for the fans and we’re going to enjoy this one.”

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards said he could not enjoy the celebrations of his side being promoted to the Premier League due to the collapse of club captain Tom Lockyer.

“I feel really good, but I have got to be honest, the only thing I’m thinking about now is Tom Lockyer... Health is the most important thing, more important than football,” He said.

"It was our day, which was great, but I do feel for them as well,"

"A lot of emotions going on right now, but I'm incredibly proud."

Meanwhile, Coventry’s 22-year wait for Premier League football will go on for at least another year.

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