A.F.C. Bournemouth

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For the non-League club, see Bournemouth F.C..
A.F.C. Bournemouth
AFC Bournemouth (2013).svg
Full name AFC Bournemouth
Nickname(s) The Cherries, Boscombe
Founded 1890; 125 years ago (1890) (as Boscombe St. John's Institute FC but dissolved in 1899 and reformed in 1899 as Boscombe FC)
Ground Dean Court, Boscombe, Bournemouth
Ground Capacity 12,000
Owner Maxim Demin
Chairman Jeff Mostyn
Manager Eddie Howe
League The Championship
2013–14 The Championship, 10th
Website Club home page
Current season

A.F.C. Bournemouth is a football club playing in the Championship, the second tier in the English football league system. The club plays at Dean Court in Kings Park, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset and have been in existence since 1899.

Nicknamed The Cherries, the team traditionally played in red shirts with white sleeves until 1971, when the strip was changed to red and black stripes, similar to that of A.C. Milan. A predominantly red shirt was chosen for the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons before announcing a return to the stripes for the 2006–07 season due to fan demand.

After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Football League in the 2008–09 season, Bournemouth were promoted to League One at the end of the 2009–10. After making the League One play-off semi-finals in 2010–11 and achieving a mid-table finish in 2011–12, Bournemouth won promotion to the Championship at the end of the 2012–13 season, putting them in the second tier of the league for only the second time in their history.


Boscombe F.C.[edit]

Although the exact date of the club's foundation is not known, there is proof that it was formed in the autumn of 1899 out of the remains of the older Boscombe St. John's Lads’ Institute F.C.[1] The club was originally known as Boscombe F.C.. The first President was Mr. J.C. Nutt.[2]

In their first season 1899–1900 Boscombe F.C. competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League. They also played in the Hants Junior Cup. During the first two seasons they played on a football pitch in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. From their third season the team played on a pitch in King's Park. In the season of 1905–06 Boscombe F.C. graduated to senior amateur football.[3]

In 1910 the club was granted a long lease upon some wasteland next to Kings Park, as the clubs football ground, by their president Mr. J.E. Cooper-Dean. With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, the club continued to thrive and dominated the local football scene. Also in 1910 the club signed their first professional football player B. Penton.

Around about this time the club obtained their nickname 'The Cherries'. Foremost there are two tales on how the club gained this pet name. First, because of the cherry-red striped shirts that the team played in and, perhaps more plausible, because Dean Court was built adjacent to the Cooper-Dean estate, which encompassed numerous cherry orchards.

For the first time during the season of 1913–14 the club competed in the F.A. Cup. The clubs progress was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of the war and Boscombe F.C. returned to the Hampshire league.

In 1920 the Third Division was formed and Boscombe were promoted to the Southern League, with moderate success.

Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club[edit]

To make the club more representative of the district, the name was changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club in 1923. During the same year the club was elected to the Football League. The first league match was in Swindon on 25 August 1923, Bournemouth lost 3–1. The first league game at Dean Court was also against Swindon, Bournemouth gained their first league point with a goalless draw.

Initially Bournemouth struggled in the Football League, but eventually established themselves as a Third Division club. Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club remain on the records as the longest continuous members of the Third Division.

As a league club, Bournemouth had to wait until after the Second World War before winning their first trophy. This was accomplished as they beat Walsall in the Third Division (South) Cup in the final at Stamford Bridge.

A.F.C. Bournemouth[edit]

Under manager John Bond the club adopted the more streamlined A.F.C. Bournemouth name in 1972. However, this is only a trade name; the club is still officially registered as Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club. At the same time, the club adopted a new badge as a symbol of the club's progress. The stripes in the background were based on the club shirt, while in the foreground is the profile of a player heading the ball, in honour of Dickie Dowsett, a prolific scorer for the club in the 1950s and 1960s.[4]

Their red and black kit, introduced in 1971, was based on the old A.C. Milan strip. This was the era of Ted MacDougall, a prolific goalscorer who, in an FA Cup tie in November 1971, scored nine goals in an 11–0 win against Margate.

Late 20th century[edit]

Chart of yearly table positions of Bournemouth in the League.

The club recorded a famous victory over holders Manchester United in the FA Cup in January 1984, while they were managed by Harry Redknapp.[5][6]

Redknapp took Bournemouth into the second tier of the English league for the first time in their history as Third Division champions in 1987. After comfortably surviving in their first season in Division Two, Bournemouth made a serious challenge for promotion to the top-flight in the 1988–89 season; they ultimately fell away after a poor run late in the season, but their eventual finish of 12th place remained their highest-ever Football League until the 2013–2014 season.

On 5 May 1990, the final day of the 1989–90 season, Leeds United had the chance to win the Second Division and gain promotion into the First Division by beating Bournemouth at Dean Court. Some United fans had already caused trouble in the town during the morning and the atmosphere was tense as Leeds won the match by a single goal. Combined with the results of other matches, this meant that Leeds were promoted while Bournemouth were relegated. The violence and destruction by visitors to Bournemouth continued over the holiday weekend, causing more than £1 million worth of damage and injury to opposing fans and police officers.[7] The town's Daily Echo newspaper reported that 'spectators, including many young children, had to run to safety as missiles were hurled and riot police waded in to control the crowds'.[7] The matter was raised in Parliament by one of the town's MPs. Financially, the Leeds trouble affected the club for more than a decade, as Bournemouth were prevented by local police from staging home games on Bank Holidays (traditionally a popular day for football) until a game against Shrewsbury Town on 21 April 2003.

Redknapp remained at the club for two more seasons, both of which ended with the club falling three points short of the play-offs. However, mounting financial pressures caused him to resign his position at the end of the 1991–92 season, and he subsequently rejoined former club West Ham United as a coach. He was replaced by Tony Pulis, who built a much cheaper squad which could only manage two consecutive 17th place finishes before Pulis walked out of the club, blaming financial pressures much as his predecessor had done.

Bournemouth went the first few months of the 1994–95 season without a permanent manager in place, and a dreadful start saw them bottom of the table for much of the first half of the season. Despite a minor upturn in form when Mel Machin was appointed as manager, they looked highly unlikely to survive, given that there were five relegation spots in Division Two for that season due to league reconstruction. However, a late run of form combined with collapses by relegation rivals Cambridge United and Plymouth Argyle saw them survive on the last day of the season by just two points.

Machin ultimately remained in charge for six years, most of which were marked by unremarkable mid-table finishes. The 1998–99 season proved to be arguably the highlight of his tenure, with the club making a serious play-off challenge for most of the season, but ultimately falling short and finishing 7th. However, a drop to 16th place in the 1999–2000 season followed by a bad start to the following season saw Machin removed from his position and given the job of director of football.

Early 21st century[edit]

Former AFC Bournemouth crest

Sean O'Driscoll was promoted from the coaching staff in place of Mel Machin at the start of the 2000–01 season. In O'Driscoll's first season as manager, Bournemouth narrowly missed out on the Division Two playoffs, but were relegated a year later in the new stadium. The board kept faith in O'Driscoll and they were rewarded with promotion via the Division Three playoffs in 2002–03. The club became the first to score 5 goals at the Millennium Stadium when they beat Lincoln City 5–2 in the 2002–03 Division Three play-off final with goals from Steve Fletcher, Carl Fletcher (2), Stephen Purches and Garreth O'Connor. Under O'Driscoll, Bournemouth narrowly missed out on the play-offs for the 2003–04 and 2004–05 seasons, and just avoided relegation in the 2005–06 season.

Long-serving player James Hayter scored the fastest league hat-trick in English Football League history during the 2003–04 season. The Cherries were leading 3–0 against Wrexham thanks to goals from Stephen Purches, Warren Cummings and Warren Feeney when Hayter was brought onto the field as a substitute. With 86 minutes gone, Hayter managed to net three goals in the space of 2 minutes and 17 seconds, making the final score 6–0 to Bournemouth.

In September 2006, with the team in eighth in the League, Sean O'Driscoll left to become manager of Doncaster Rovers. He was replaced by Kevin Bond.

In February 2008, Bournemouth were forced into administration, suffering a 10-point deduction which put them in relegation trouble. Bournemouth had debts of around £4 million and almost went out of business completely.[8] The off-field uncertainty continued throughout the season, with only one, ultimately unsuccessful, bid for the club accepted,[9] and the club ended the season being relegated to League Two. Ahead of the 2008–09 season, the team's future in the Football League was put into doubt when the league threatened to block Bournemouth's participation in League Two, due to problems with the team's continuing administration and change in ownership. It ordered both Bournemouth and Rotherham United to demonstrate that they could fulfil all of their fixtures and find a way out of administration,[10] eventually allowing the club to compete with a 17-point penalty for failing to follow the Football League insolvency rules. The new company was also ordered to pay unsecured creditors the amount offered at the time of the original C.V.A. (around 10 pence in the pound) within two years.[11] Early into the season, manager Bond was sacked and was replaced by former player Jimmy Quinn, who would himself leave the club only a few months later.[12] Former player Eddie Howe took over as manager with the club still 10 points adrift at the bottom of the league and initially on a caretaker basis, becoming the youngest manager in the Football League at the age of 31.[13]

At the end of 2008, it was announced that local businessman Adam Murry completed the purchase of 50% of the club's shares from previous chairman Paul Baker. However, in January 2009, Murry missed the deadline to buy Baker's shares.[14]

In the final home game of the 2008–09 season the Cherries guaranteed their Football League status by beating Grimsby Town 2–1 with a winning goal 10 minutes from time by Bournemouth legend Steve Fletcher, sparking wild celebrations after a fairytale ending to 'The Great Escape'. They finished their troubled season with their best away win for 30 years with a 4–0 victory at Morecambe.

In June 2009, a consortium including Adam Murry finally took over AFC Bournemouth. The consortium included Jeff Mostyn, former vice-chairman Steve Sly, Neill Blake and former Dorchester Town chairman Eddie Mitchell.

Howe's first full season in charge brought success as Bournemouth finished second in League Two to earn promotion with two games to spare. Howe subsequently left the club for Burnley during the following season; his successor, another former Bournemouth player, Lee Bradbury, led Bournemouth to the League One play-offs. The two-legged semi-final against Huddersfield Town finished 3–3 after extra time, and Huddersfield went through the final by winning the penalty shoot-out 4–2. Bradbury was unable to lead Bournemouth to another promotion challenge in the 2011-12 Football League One, placing eleventh after a season of indifferent results, and was replaced by youth team coach Paul Groves for the final games of the season.

Groves remained in charge at the start of the 2012–13 season, only to be sacked in October 2012 following a start which left the club near the bottom of the table. Eddie Howe returned as manager, and not only did he pull the club away from their early-season relegation battle, they achieved promotion to the Championship, returning to the second-tier of English football for the first time since 1990. The club also revealed a new club crest which was to celebrate a new era in the Championship as well as encapsulating their ambition and vision as a club.[15] After a promising Start to life in the Championship the club was handed a fourth Round FA Cup tie with Premier League club Liverpool which ended in a 2–0 loss. Despite outside chances of making the playoffs, Bournemouth were ultimately unsuccessful but finished their first season back in the Championship in a very respectable 10th place, their highest ever position in the Football League.

On 25 October 2014 Bournemouth won 8–0 away at St. Andrew's against Birmingham City. It was the first time that the Cherries had ever scored eight goals in a league game (barring a 10–0 win over Northampton Town in September 1939 which was expunged from the records after World War II broke out the next day) and they recorded their biggest winning margin in a league fixture.[16] The club followed up this success with a 2–1 victory over Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup on 28 October. This meant the club had reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time in their history. After again drawing Liverpool, Bournemouth lost 1-3 in the quarter final.


Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Northern Ireland GK Lee Camp
2 England DF Simon Francis
3 England DF Steve Cook
4 England MF Dan Gosling
5 England DF Tommy Elphick (captain)
6 England MF Andrew Surman
7 England MF Marc Pugh
8 Republic of Ireland MF Harry Arter
9 South Africa FW Tokelo Rantie
10 England FW Brett Pitman
11 England MF Charlie Daniels
13 England FW Callum Wilson
14 Republic of Ireland DF Ian Harte
15 England DF Adam Smith
No. Position Player
16 Wales MF Shaun MacDonald
17 Northern Ireland FW Josh McQuoid
18 France FW Yann Kermorgant
19 England MF Junior Stanislas
20 Scotland MF Ryan Fraser
22 England DF Elliott Ward
25 England GK Darryl Flahavan
30 Scotland MF Matt Ritchie
31 Poland GK Artur Boruc (on loan from Southampton)
32 Republic of Ireland MF Eunan O'Kane
37 Liechtenstein GK Benjamin Büchel
38 England DF Baily Cargill
41 England GK Ryan Allsop
Trinidad and Tobago FW Kenwyne Jones (on loan from Cardiff City)

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
12 Wales MF Joe Partington (on loan at Eastleigh)
21 Senegal MF Mohamed Coulibaly (at Port Vale)
24 England DF Miles Addison (on loan at Blackpool)
29 England FW Jayden Stockley (on loan at Luton Town)
No. Position Player
34 England MF Harry Cornick (on loan at Havant & Waterlooville)
36 England MF Josh Wakefield (at Bristol Rovers)
40 Guadeloupe DF Stephane Zubar (at York City)

Development squad[edit]

The club introduced a development squad for the start of the 2012–13 season, as part of the club's new academy plans, aiming to "bridge the gap between the youth team set-up and the first team".[17] The team is managed by coach Stephen Purches and often feature members of the first team squad. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
27 England MF Sam Matthews
35 Scotland MF Josh Carmichael
39 England DF Jake McCarthy
43 England FW Ben Whitfield
Australia GK Jordan Holmes
England DF Callum Buckley
England DF Josh Kaye
No. Position Player
Burundi DF Jonathan Muleba
England MF Aristide Bassele
England MF Mason Walsh
Senegal MF Ali Coulibaly
England FW Brandon Goodship
Republic of Ireland FW Josh O'Hanlon

Retired numbers[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
99 England Cherry Bear

Management and coaching staff[edit]

Past managers[edit]


League history[edit]


  1. ^ "AFC Bournemouth Club History". AFC Bournemouth (Bournemouth: AFC Bournemouth). 12 May 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  2. ^ The official Handbook of Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club; Golden Jubilee 1899–1949
  3. ^ "AFCB Club History". 24 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Bournemouth football badges". www.footybadges.co.uk. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Struthers, Greg (8 January 2006). "Caught in Time: Bournemouth beat Manchester United, FA Cup, 1984". The Times (London: The Times). Retrieved 17 February 2008. 
  6. ^ "8 January 1984: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 0". The Observer (London: The Observer). 6 January 2002. Retrieved 17 February 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch news, sports and jobs. Dorset and Hampshire what's on and leisure – Cherry-o Leeds!". Archive.bournemouthecho.co.uk. 5 May 2004. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Cherries go into administration". BBC News. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "3 April Press conference transcript". Afcb.premiumtv.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Troubled League Two clubs on the brink The Guardian, 6 August 2008
  11. ^ Bournemouth hit by 17 point penalty The Guardian, 7 August 2008
  12. ^ QUINN AND CHERRIES PART COMPANY Bournemouth Daily Echo, 31 December 2008
  13. ^ "Howe handed permanent role". Sky Sports. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  14. ^ CLUB CONFIRMS BAKER BUY-OUT Bournemouth Daily Echo, 31 December 2008
  15. ^ Bournemouth Launch New Crest Football-shirts.co.uk, 15 July 2013
  16. ^ BBC (2014). "Managerless Birmingham City suffered a humiliating defeat as Bournemouth scored eight goals at St Andrew's.". BBC. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "AFC Bournemouth – Groves: Development squad is a stepping stone". Bournemouth.vitalfootball.co.uk. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Rollin, Jack (2005). Soccer at War 1939–45. p. 259. ISBN 0-7553-1431-X. 

External links[edit]