DESPITE riding high with League One table-toppers Luton Town, Matty Pearson says he has never forgotten his Keighley roots.

The former Oakbank School student still takes a keen interest in the plight of local clubs including Silsden and Steeton as he continues on his own promotion charge to the Championship.

The 25-year-old has been a rock at the heart of Luton's defence this season, scoring five goals, as they sit top of League One by six points.

Pearson has thrived at Kenilworth Road this season after joining from Barnsley. He previously played for Accrington Stanley after joining them from FC Halifax Town.

The former Long Lee Juniors player, who can play centre-half, has also featured in the EFL for Rochdale, having been on Blackburn Rovers's books as a youngster.

He has represented England Under-18s and the England C non-league team in 2013.

Pearson says he comes home to Keighley on a monthly basis and enjoys catching up with his friends who play for Hallmark Security League Premier Division side Silsden.

He said: "I only moved away from home for football in June last year.

"I try to come home as much as I can, usually once a month.

"Living away from home is part of the job. You've got to go where you're wanted and where you will do well. I saw that it was the best thing I could do was to go to Luton. I was at Barnsley and my face didn't fit anymore.

"Last year I had a taste of the Championship with Barnsley and that's my aim to get back there. I only played a couple of games and I now want to do it week in, week out.

"Quite a lot of my friends play for Silsden. I go and watch them when I can. Steeton have come into a higher league this season and they are doing the right things. I keep tabs on it all. It is good for the area as well.

"There are only about three or four professional footballers from Keighley. I would like to change that."

Pearson added he and his Hatters' team-mates are keeping their feet firmly on the ground and were not disrupted when manager Nathan Jones left last month to take over at Championship side Stoke City. Instead Luton legend Mick Harford has come in as caretaker boss and maintained their promotion push, including last Saturday's club record-equalling 3-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers.

Pearson said: "There are still 14 games left, we will keep on pushing.

"When Nathan Jones left everyone was a bit shocked. We all wanted him to stay. We have taken it upon ourselves to keep going.

"Mick Harford has been brilliant. He's not changed much as he saw that everything was working.

"I have always had that thing of scoring goals and I have got nine goals one season. I have five already this year and hope I can repeat it.

"It's that time of year now, we have 14 games to go which is a lot of games to go.

"We want to finish as high as possible. We want to get promoted. We are ready for automatic and play-offs, our aim is to get promoted.

"When I came down here at the start of the season, it did not go well for the first three or four games, but it has kicked into place. It's been enjoyable playing here, it's just working. I just want it to continue.

"It's a dream to play in the Premier League."

Pearson also had positive words for League One rivals Bradford City, who entertain Luton on March 12.

He added: "They have signed quite a few players. I am sure they will turn things around.

"Hopefully they can sort themselves out and get into the top half of the table."

In addition to his team's success, Pearson has also enjoyed individual recognition this season.

He was shortlisted for the PFA Bristol Street Motors Fans' League One player of the month prize for January. He lost out to Plymouth Argyle's Ruben Lameiras.

His impressive January also included scoring in Luton's 3-0 win at Shrewsbury Town last weekend, this followed up being on the scoresheet in Harford's side's 1-0 win over Southend United.

He helped Harford's side pick up 11 points from five games, notably securing important results against Sunderland, Peterborough United and Portsmouth. Pearson helped the Town keep three clean sheets in five league games last month.

He also lost out on the EFL League One player of the month award for December, with Peterborough striker Ivan Toney taking that honour.