Luton midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu is to continue his remarkable journey from non-league football to the Premier League after agreeing a new contract, the Hatters have announced.
The 29-year-old midfielder, the first man to have won promotion from the Conference to the English top flight with the same club, has committed himself to an 11th season at Kenilworth Road.
Former West Ham trainee Mpanzu has made 364 appearances, the most recent of them in last season’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final victory over Coventry, for the club he initially joined on loan in November 2013 before completing a permanent move in January 2014.
He told Luton’s official website: “It’s great to be back and I’m ready to get to work. Hopefully it’s going to be a great new season for us in the Premier League.
“I’ve got to play the Brighton game [the opening Premier League fixture] to make that history first, but once I get through pre-season it should be all good. We are looking to fight and stay in this league, I cannot wait to contribute to that this season.
“I’ve been at the club for so long, so to get it sorted and get it signed is all good. I’m so happy and looking forward to getting back out there at Kenilworth Road in front of the fans.”
Manager Rob Edwards added: “Pelly’s story is such a special one, and everyone knows that now. Ever since we came in, his consistency has been brilliant. He is someone who gives everything. He leaves it all out there.
“On and off the pitch, he is just a huge part of what we do, he’s the heartbeat of the dressing room, a brilliant lad who everyone loves, so it’s only right that he now gets this opportunity to play in the Premier League because he’s worked so hard for it.”
Meanwhile, Hatters goalkeeper Jack Walton has joined Scottish Championship side Dundee United on a season-long loan.
Jim Goodwin told Dundee United’s club website: “Jack is a very good young keeper who commands his area and will put demands on the defenders in front of him by being vocal and a good organiser.”