sport

Buckle leaves Hatters

Paul Buckle has left Blue Square Bet Premier play-off hopefuls Luton with immediate effect for personal reasons.

Confirmation of Buckle's departure came just hours before their clash with Macclesfield at Moss Rose - and three days after they were knocked out of the FA Cup at the fifth-round stage by npower Championship side Millwall.

Buckle, who took over at Kenilworth Road from Gary Brabin in April 2012, guided the Hatters to famous victories over Wolves and Norwich in the competition before their dreams of a quarter-final place came to an end.

A statement on the club's official website, www.lutontown.co.uk, read: "We would like to thank Paul for all he has done at LTFC.

"It is with much regret we announce, by mutual consent, and as a result of genuine personal circumstances unrelated to his tenure as manager of Luton Town Football Club, Paul Buckle has, with immediate effect, parted company with the football club.

"The reasons for Paul's departure are fully understood by the board, who sincerely regret that he is leaving. We are fully aware that achieving managerial stability will create the conditions necessary for success on the football pitch.

"We are grateful to Paul for what he has brought to the club and believe that he has built the foundations necessary for Luton Town to achieve the board's desire of returning to the Football League as soon as possible.

"A further statement will be made tomorrow morning. In the meantime, we are concentrating our efforts on tonight's game."

Luton have not won since their stunning triumph at Carrow Road on January 26, losing three and drawing one, and sit eighth in the Conference table, nine points adrift of a play-off place.