The word legend gets used a great deal in everyday vocabulary and has to a degree devalued its status, certainly in the world of football. But every now and again a player come along and certainly earns that accolade, Luke Chadwick is one such player that has pulled the shirt on for the MK Dons and was loved by the MK faithful, in fact I think you would struggle to find anyone who had a bad word to say about him, plus we think he is probably the only person to play for the Dons that has a Premier League Champions medal.
We are extremely grateful to Luke for talking to us and we wish him all the very best in his current ventures.Youth Career – Manchester United
Senior Career – Manchester United, Royal Antwerp, Reading, Burnley, West Ham United, Stoke City, Norwich City, MK Dons, Cambridge United, Soham Town Rangers.
National Team – 17 games at U18 & U21 level.
MK Dons Record – 246 Games & 24 Goals.
Career Total – 517 Games & 53 Goals.
MK Dons Player of the Year – 2009/2010 & 2010/2011.
So, what better place to start than at the beginning, how and where did your journey in football begin?
My journey in football started playing for the local grassroots team where I lived called Melbourn Tigers which was in a small village in south Cambridge.
Who would you say were the biggest influences in your career at the start and as you progressed in the game?
I wouldn’t say I had any massive influences on me in my younger days, my parents never put any pressure on me, and I just loved football, probably what influenced me most was my early experiences going to watch live football at The Abbey Stadium and falling in love with the game.
Can you recall your professional debut game for Manchester United, and what you felt when you got the nod to play?
It was in the Worthington Cup against Aston Villa at Villa Park; it was of course a dream come true! All I ever wanted to do as a child was to play in a proper game of football in front of a crowd, so to do it for a team with the stature of Manchester United was quite surreal! We lost the game 3-0 against a strong Villa team, and we were very young, after the game the gaffer gave us a bit of dressing down, but all I can remember was I was still absolutely buzzing. I’d played for the first team.
Much has been said about Sir Alex Ferguson, what was he like to play for?
Incredible manager and an incredible person, he personally phoned my Mum to ask me to sign as a 14 year old boy. He would go to great lengths to treat everybody special and had an incredible gift of getting everyone to pull in the same direction and work as hard as they possibly could for him.
Can you recall your first ever professional goal?
Yes, it was while on loan for Royal Antwerp out in Belgium, I came off the bench and scored on my debut! The crowd started singing my name and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had!
Another challenge for you, you played 246 games for the Dons scoring 24 goals, can you recall your first and last goals?
My first goal was away at Crewe which salvaged a 2-2 draw in what was a pretty poor performance. I’m not 100% sure of the last, I’m going to have a guess and say Notts County at home.
Editor – Close Luke, the goal against Nott County was one from last. Your actual last goal was a 3-1 home defeat against Wigan in an FA Cup 3rd replay.
As we have mentioned you scored 24 goals for the Dons, is there one that really sticks in your mind?
Would have to be the back heel away at Leyton Orient, it was just pure instinct and when I watch it back it looks fantastic much better than when it actually happened!
In a similar vein, is there a Dons game that holds a special memory for you?
Would probably take Norwich away in the League Cup when we won 4-0 and they were in the Premier League. Scoring two goals was great but the overall team performance was brilliant on the night.
You won the MK Dons Player of the Year Award two years running, that must have been very pleasing as it was voted for by the fans, who I think it’s fair to say you had a very good relationship with?
I always loved playing at the stadium and yes had a brilliant relationship with the fans which I will be forever grateful for. I certainly didn’t always play well but I would always give all I had which I think they appreciated.
Is there a football ground you always enjoyed playing at, and also one you never liked?
Stadium MK was right up there, it was such a fantastic stadium and a great place for my wife and children to come and watch the games, and also have to say The Abbey Stadium as that was the place I always dreamed of playing as a child. Would have to say Anfield as the stadium I wasn’t a big fan of!
Who is the best player you played alongside in your career and for the MK Dons?
That’s a tough one, I was lucky enough to play with some fantastic players during my time at The Dons, but I’d say the two most talented were Jason Puncheon and Dele but I’m going to go with Lewie. The amount of games he’s played and what he’s achieved there is quite incredible.
Are there any players that you really didn’t like playing against?
None that really spring to mind. In training at Man Utd Mikael Sylvestre was always a nightmare to play against.
When you played at the Dons who was your roommate at away games, and what was that like?
Daniel Powell was my roommate and I suppose he could be described as a little strange at times, but he’s a great guy and we had many a good laugh together!
Since you have hung your boots up you have remained in football, can you tell us what you have been involved in and what you are doing currently?
I found it hard retiring from football and didn’t really know what to do, ended going into coaching at Cambridge United but to be honest I didn’t really enjoy it, I used to get sick of the sound of my voice shouting at the side of the pitch!! I’m now involved with an organization called The Football Fun Factory, which is programmes for children between 2-12 all around making football fun and taking away any pressure and making it inclusive to all. It’s very rewarding and an opportunity to use football as a vehicle to develop positive life skills just as much as football skills. We hope to grow nationwide in 2021, so hopefully you will see us in MK very soon!