Tom Grennan has been given the seal of approval by Luton Town’s players after going back to the football club where he played before becoming a singer.
Until he was 17, Grennan spent three years on the books at Luton as a promising full-back. Although he was then rejected by the club, Grennan went on to have further trials at Stevenage Borough and Aston Villa before deciding to follow music instead.
Grennan returned to see if he could still cut it as a footballer with a training session at Luton’s training ground, where he spent an hour in the gym and trying to keep possession on the training pitch with the League One side’s squad.
Having told NME before training that he’d been spending time with a personal trainer to try to get his fitness back up, Grennan said afterwards: “I thought I did OK, at times I was touching the ball nicely. The Luton boys made me feel really comfortable. I’d been nervous about not having enough ability left in the locker. I still don’t, to be fair, but I did alright.”
Luton defender James Justin, a full-back like Grennan, told NME: “I was surprised how well Tom fitted in. You can tell he’s played before.” Midfielder Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu added: “Tom was strong, fair play. He was giving us some shoulders.”
The club are at the top of League One, aiming for promotion to the Championship. They haven’t lost for 20 league games in a run stretching back to October, with last weekend’s 2-1 win at Fleetwood Town beating Luton’s previous 50-year-old record of 19 unbeaten games.
Grennan grew up in nearby Bedford, and his song ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ is often the song the team run out to on the pitch before home games at their Kenilworth Road ground.
“Having my song played at the club is amazing,” said Grennan. “If you could say to me I could have one day of playing at Wembley, Old Trafford or Kenilworth Road, I’d take it. But my dream now is music.”
The singer’s training session came the day before Grennan flew out to LA for writing sessions on his second album, which will follow 2018’s No 5 album ‘Lighting Matches’.
Grennan said: “Album two is coming along nicely, I’m 35 songs into writing already. When I get back from LA, I’m going to start recording. I want bigger and better songs, bigger production. This time round, I want to go epic.”
He headlines London Royal Albert Hall on March 27 for Teenage Cancer Trust and plays at Neighbourhood Weekender on May 25.
Justin admitted that Grennan’s music hasn’t featured in the players’ dressing room before games, but said: “His track lifts us when we’re running out on to the pitch, and I listen to it all the time when I play FIFA.”
Grennan’s training session was organised by online music show Red Stripe Presents This Feeling TV after he said on the programme he’d be interested to see how good his skills are. Talking about why his football career didn’t work out, Grennan said: “I stopped improving, I just didn’t get any better. I lacked the discipline.”
Donae’O fan Ruddock-Mpanzu, who controls the side’s pre-match dressing room music with striker Harry Cornick, said: “We listen to house and hip-hop before games. Meek Mill and Drake are popping on our playlist right now.” He joked: “The lifestyle of a musician is appealing, but I’m sticking to football.”