Dr Congo Star Becomes 1st Player to Move from Non-League to Premier League with Same Club

Dr Congo Star Becomes 1st Player to Move from Non-League to Premier League with Same Club

Rene Otinga
May 28, 2023 at 12:19 PM
  • Luton midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu achieved a unique feat after the club gained promotion to the Premier League
  • The DR Congo international joked he had ‘completed football’ thanks to his steady climb up the English football tiers
  • Luton beat Coventry 5-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the play off final on Saturday

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu will be buzzing after seeing his Luton team in the Premier League after a remarkable campaign in the second-tier Championship.

Mpanzu was a key figure for Luton in midfield as they overcame Coventry in the play off final to secure a spot in the Premier League for next season, and the DR Congo man had an extra reason to celebrate thanks to his own unique milestone.

Being a loyal servant at Luton, the 29-year old became the first player in history to go from non-league football to the Premier League with the same club.

Luton Town
Elijah Adebayo (L) and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu (R) celebrate during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final match between Coventry City and Luton Town at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2023 in London, England. Photo by Marc Atkins.
Source: Getty Images

Luton were playing non-league football 2013/14 and were in administration at some point after a damaging points reduction in 2009.

But since then, they have experienced a steady climb up the tiers of English football, returning to the Football League nine years ago, then to League One, Championship and finally the Premier League.

One star who has been with the club through it all is Mpanzu, who had a heartwarming interview after his team’s victory over Coventry on Saturday, May 27.

Asked about his team after the win, he said as per The Mirror:

"I feel like I've completed football, man!
"I'll retire this summer, I'm done! It's been a journey. I've been through the highs and lows but you've got to believe in yourself and here I am, a Premier League player."

Mpanzu was handed the armband briefly on Saturday after Luton’s captain Tom Lockyer was forced off early after collapsing onto the pitch.

Meanwhile, Luton are reportedly set to extend their festivities to celebrate their promotion, and they will take their party to Vegas, according to TalkSport.

Luton boss in tears

Elsewhere, Sports Brief reported on how Luton manager Rob Edwards broke down in tears after receiving an update on the health of his captain Tom Lockyer.

Lockyer left fans at Wembley distraught after appearing to collapse in the first half, and he had to be taken off on a stretcher.

The manager was particularly overwhelmed by emotions once he was shown images from social media of his captain celebrating the team's promotion.

After receiving oxygen on the pitch, Lockyer was stretchered off the pitch and was soon joined by his parents.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
HOD- EPL I Serie A
English Premier League - EPL