Crystal Palace’s Jake Gray joins Hartlepool United rivals Luton Town

Jake Gray
Jake Gray

Hartlepool United loan success Jake Gray will be playing in League Two again next season – but not with Pools.

The Crystal Palace midfielder has joined Luton Town on a free transfer.

Gray had spent a six-month spell last season at Victoria Park, scoring six goals.

His permanent exit from Palace comes as something of a surprise.

After the 20-year-old ended his stay at the Vic at the end of the League Two programme, Eagles boss Alan Pardew selected him on the bench for the final Premier League match at Southampton.

Gray did not come on but he appeared to be in the thoughts of the Palace management.

And when he spoke to SportMail in May he hoped that he would get the opportunity to impress in pre-season at Selhurst Park.

But the Eagles have allowed him to join the Hatters on a free transfer, the Aylesbury-born player signing a two-year deal.

Gray arrived at Palace at the start of the 2012-13 season as a 15-year-old and worked his way through the academy and development teams where he was a regular scorer.

After playing on the club’s pre-season USA tour in 2014, he was handed his pro debut as substitute against Walsall in the Capital One Cup that August.

He featured on the bench in the Premier League at the start of last season before then Pools boss Ronnie Moore brought him on loan to the Vic, making a stunning League debut with two goals in a televised win over Leyton Orient.

Gray and Luton will be visiting Pools on Tuesday, September 27.