Oxford United are the lucky recipients of an invite to a Kenilworth Road party this afternoon, as the Luton Town players look to finish the spell in charge of Mick Harford with the League 1 title.
We go into the match knowing that a win will almost certainly be enough to fend off a Barnsley side who are surging home, and crown the Hatters as the champion side many people have been calling them for quite some time.
In front of what is going to be a packed out Kenilworth Road, with an atmosphere that only the old girl can deliver on special occasions like this one, it would be very fitting if Mick Harford’s last task as manager of the club is to lift the League 1 trophy, much like he did the Johnstone’s Paint one 10 years ago, in his first spell in charge.
As a football club we have owed ‘Big Mick’ so much down the years, from his wonderful service as a player, where he contributed towards winning the Littlewoods’ Cup and then scoring in the final of the same competition the following year, to his time as a coach and an assistant manager, firstly under Joe Kinnear and then Mike Newell.
It could be said that our biggest need came this term though. With the club flying under Nathan Jones, there was the danger of it all falling apart when he left us in the lurch and joined Stoke City in January.
It takes a special kind of man not just to take on such a role in our hour of need, but to continue the good work and resist the temptation to do things his way for the good of his ego.
Mick is exactly that person, and today we get the opportunity to truly show him how grateful we are. I’ve absolutely no doubt the noise when he emerges from the tunnel will be something none of us have experienced before, and never will it have been more deserved.
The word legend is banded around in sport far too often these days, but it is totally relevant as far as the 60-year-old from Sunderland is concerned.
For one last time this afternoon, Micky Harford is at the wheel. Let’s make sure we show him how good it feels!