Milton Keynes Dons F.C.

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This article is about the club from Milton Keynes, founded in 2004. For information on its origins, see Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes.
Milton Keynes Dons
MK Dons badge
Full name Milton Keynes Dons Football Club
Nickname(s) The Dons, MK Army
Short name MK Dons
Founded 2004[n 1]
Ground Stadium mk
Ground Capacity 30,500
Chairman Pete Winkelman
Manager Karl Robinson
League League One
2013–14 League One, 10th
Website Club home page
Current season

Milton Keynes Dons Football Club (/ˌmɪltən ˈknz ˈdɒnz/; usually abbreviated to MK Dons) is an English football club based since 2007 at Stadium mk, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, about 56 miles (90 km) north of London. The result of Wimbledon F.C.'s relocation to Milton Keynes from south London in September 2003, the club officially considers itself to have been founded in 2004, when it registered its present name. As of the 2014–15 season its first team plays in Football League One, the third tier of English football.

The name Milton Keynes Dons was registered in June 2004 after Wimbledon F.C., formed in 1889, had been based at the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes for nine months. The club kept its place in the English league structure after changing its name, competing as MK Dons from the start of the 2004–05 season. The club abandoned its claim to any history before 2004 in October 2006 as part of an agreement with the Football Supporters' Federation, which had previously boycotted the team and its supporters groups. Under this deal MK Dons transferred Wimbledon F.C.'s trophies and physical patrimony to Merton Council in south London in 2007.

MK Dons were relegated to the fourth-tier League Two at the end of the 2005–06 season. Under the management of Paul Ince, the club won the 2007–08 League Two title, thereby gaining promotion back to League One, and the Football League Trophy during the same year. The team has remained in League One since the 2008–09 season. The club has built a strong reputation for youth development—since 2004 it has given first team debuts to 14 local academy graduates.[1][2]

Origins[edit]

Milton Keynes Dons F.C. is located in England
Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Plough Lane
Plough Lane
Selhurst Park
Selhurst Park

Milton Keynes, about 56 miles (90 km) north of London in Buckinghamshire, was established as a new town in 1967.[3] In the absence of a professional football club representing the town—none of the local non-League teams progressed significantly through the English football league system or "pyramid" over the following decades—it was occasionally suggested that a Football League club might relocate there. There was no precedent in English League football for such a move between conurbations and the football authorities and most fans expressed strong opposition to the idea.[4] Charlton Athletic briefly mooted re-basing in "a progressive Midlands borough" during a planning dispute with their local council in 1973,[5] and the relocation of nearby Luton Town to Milton Keynes was repeatedly suggested from the 1980s onwards.[6] Another team linked with the new town was Wimbledon Football Club.[7]

Wimbledon, established in south London in 1889 and nicknamed "the Dons", were elected to the Football League in 1977. They thereafter went through a "fairytale" rise from obscurity and by the end of the 1980s were established in the top division of English football.[8] Despite Wimbledon's new prominence, the club's modest home stadium at Plough Lane remained largely unchanged from its non-League days.[8] The club's then-owner Ron Noades identified this as a problem as early as 1979, extending his dissatisfaction to the ground's very location. Interested in the stadium site designated by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, Noades briefly planned to move Wimbledon there by merging with a non-League club in Milton Keynes, and to this end purchased debt-ridden Milton Keynes City. However he then decided that the club would not get higher crowds in Milton Keynes and abandoned the idea.[7]

In 1991, after the Taylor Report was published recommending the redevelopment of English football grounds, Wimbledon left Plough Lane to groundshare at Crystal Palace's ground, Selhurst Park, about 6 miles (9.7 km) away. Sam Hammam, who now owned Wimbledon, said the club could not afford to redevelop Plough Lane and that the groundshare was a temporary arrangement while a new ground was sourced in south-west London. A new stadium for Wimbledon proved hard to arrange.[8] Frustrated by what he perceived as a lack of support from Merton Council, Hammam began to look further afield and by 1996 was pursuing a move to Dublin, an idea that most Wimbledon fans strongly opposed.[9] Hammam sold the club to two Norwegian businessmen, Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten, in 1997,[10] and a year later sold Plough Lane to Safeway supermarkets.[11] Wimbledon were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 1999–2000 season.[12]

A man in a dark suit with wispy brown hair and a wide smile looks into the camera.
Pete Winkelman, in 2011

Starting in 2000,[11] a consortium led by music promoter Pete Winkelman and supported by Asda (a Walmart subsidiary) and IKEA proposed a large retail development in Milton Keynes including a Football League-standard stadium.[13][14] The consortium proposed that an established League club move to use this site;[13][14] it approached Luton, Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Barnet and Queens Park Rangers.[15] In 2001 Røkke and Gjelsten appointed a new chairman, Charles Koppel, who was in favour of this idea, saying it was necessary to stop the club going out of business.[16] To the fury of most Wimbledon fans,[17] Koppel announced on 2 August 2001 that the club intended to relocate to Milton Keynes. After the Football League refused permission, Wimbledon launched an appeal, leading to a Football Association arbitration hearing and subsequently the appointment of a three-man independent commission to make a final and binding verdict. The League and FA stated opposition but the commissioners ruled in favour, two to one, on 28 May 2002.[18]

Having campaigned against the move,[17] a group of disaffected Wimbledon fans reacted to this in June 2002 by forming their own non-League club, AFC Wimbledon, to which most of the original team's support defected.[19] AFC Wimbledon entered a groundshare agreement with Kingstonian in the borough of Kingston upon Thames, adjacent to Merton.[19] The original Wimbledon intended to move to Milton Keynes immediately but were unable to do so until a temporary home in the town meeting Football League criteria could be found.[20] The club remained at Selhurst Park in the meantime and in June 2003 went into administration.[21] With the move threatened and the club facing liquidation,[22] Winkelman decided to buy it himself.[14] He secured funding for the administrators to keep the team operating with the goal of getting it to Milton Keynes as soon as possible.[23] The club arranged the temporary use of the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes and played its first match there in September 2003.[24] Nine months later Winkelman's Inter MK Group bought the club out of administration and announced changes to its name, badge and colours—the team was renamed Milton Keynes Dons Football Club.[25]

History[edit]

2004–05, Stuart Murdoch; 05-06 Danny Wilson[edit]

MK Dons (in white) take on Blackpool at the former England National Hockey Stadium during the 2004–05 season

The first season for the club as MK Dons was the 2004–05 season. At the season's start, the team still being managed by Stuart Murdoch, who had managed the side when it was still called Wimbledon. Murdoch was sacked after a long run of bad results, and replaced by Danny Wilson half-way through the campaign. Under their new manager, MK Dons managed to stay in League One on the final day of the season — but only because of Wrexham's 10-point deduction that had been their penalty for going into administration. The following season, MK Dons struggled all year, and were relegated to League Two. Wilson, as a result, was sacked.

2006–07, Martin Allen[edit]

Wilson's successor for 2006–07 was Martin Allen, who had just taken Brentford to the brink of a place in the Football League Championship. With a new manager taking charge of a team in a new division, MK Dons looked more consistent than they had done in either of the previous two seasons. They were in contention for automatic promotion right up to the last game, but eventually finished fourth and had to settle for a play-off place. They then suffered a defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the play-off semi-finals. During the 2007 summer break, Allen left MK Dons to take over at Leicester City.

2007–08, Paul Ince[edit]

For the 2007–08 season, former England captain Paul Ince took over as manager. MK Dons reached the final of the Football League Trophy, while topping the table for most of the season. The final was played on 30 March against Grimsby Town — Milton Keynes Dons won 2–0 at Wembley to bring the first professional trophy to Milton Keynes. The club capped the trophy win with the League Two championship, and the subsequent promotion to League One for the 2008–09 season. Following his successes, Ince left at the end of the season to manage Blackburn Rovers.

2008–09, Roberto Di Matteo[edit]

Ince's replacement was Roberto Di Matteo. In the 2008–09 season, MK Dons missed out to an automatic promotion spot by two points, finishing third behind Peterborough United and Leicester City. They were knocked out of the play-offs by Scunthorpe United, who defeated MK Dons by penalty shootout at stadium mk. Di Matteo left at the season's end for West Bromwich Albion.[26]

2009–10, Paul Ince again[edit]

A year after leaving, Paul Ince returned to manage the Dons in place of Di Matteo, for the 2009–10 season.[27] Ince resigned from the club on 16 April 2010, but remained manager until the end of the season.[28]

2010–present, Karl Robinson[edit]

On 10 May 2010, Karl Robinson was appointed as the club's new manager, with former England coach John Gorman as his assistant. At 29 years of age, Robinson was then the youngest manager in the Football League.[29] In his first season in the club MK Dons finished 5th in 2010–11 Football League One. They faced Peterborough United in the play-off semifinals. Although they won the first leg 3–2, a 2–0 defeat at London Road meant they missed out on the play-off final.

The 2011–12 season brought similar results to the previous season with the Dons finishing 5th in 2011–12 Football League One facing Huddersfield in the play-offs. Losing the first leg 2–0 followed by winning 2–1 at The Galpharm saw MK Dons lose 3–2 on aggregate against the eventual play-off winners. The away leg was John Gorman's last match in football after announcing his retirement a few weeks beforehand. Gorman's replacement was announced on 18 May 2012 as being ex-Luton manager Mick Harford along with new part-time coach Ian Wright.

MK Dons experienced their best ever FA Cup campaign in the 2012–13 season by beating a spirited Cambridge City (0–0 and 6–1), League Two AFC Wimbledon (2–1), Championship Sheffield Wednesday (0–0 and 2–0) and Premier League Queens Park Rangers (4–2) to reach the Fifth Round of the competition for the first time ever in their footballing history. Their record-breaking run ended in the Fifth Round at stadium:mk on 16 February 2013, losing 3–1 to Championship side Barnsley.

Following a disappointingly poor end to the 2013–14 season, Karl Robinson made some very shrewd summer signings to take the football club forward in 2014–15, including Danny Green, Kyle McFadzean, Benik Afobe (on loan from Arsenal F.C.), Samir Carruthers, Jordan Spence and Will Grigg (on loan from Brentford F.C.).

The 2014–15 season began well. The highlight event of the season's first month was being drawn against Manchester United in the League Cup second round (having dispatched A.F.C Wimbledon in the first). The Dons recorded a stunning 4–0 victory over United in front of a sell out crowd at stadiummk. After the game, MK Dons Manager Karl Robinson stated: "I'm a little in shock. It's the stuff dreams are made of."[30] A few weeks later, the Dons recorded their record win, a 6–0 thrashing of Colchester United at home.[31] That record did not last long as it was broken once again with a 7–0 demolition of Oldham Athletic on 20 December 2014.[32]

Stadium[edit]

stadium mk's East Stand in 2007

The club's first stadium was the National Hockey Stadium, which was temporarily converted for football for the duration of the club's stay. Their lease on this ground ended in May 2007.

On 18 July 2007, the club's new 22,000 seater, stadium mk in Denbigh hosted its first game, a restricted entrance event against a young Chelsea XI.[33] The stadium was officially opened on 29 November 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II.[34] The stadium features an open concourse at the top of the lower tier, an integrated hotel with rooms looking over the pitch and conference facilities

The complex was to include a 3,000 seat indoor arena, where the MK Lions (now London Lions) basketball team would be based. The completion of this arena was delayed due to deferral of proposed commercial developments around the site,[35] leaving the Lions to find a new home away from Milton Keynes.

In May 2009, the stadium was named as one of 15 stadia put forward as potential hosts for the unsuccessful England 2018 FIFA World Cup bid. Plans were announced to extend the capacity to 44,000.[36]

In May 2013, the organisers of the Rugby World Cup 2015 announced that they had selected this stadium to be one of thirteen to host the tournament.[37]

Supporters[edit]

Cowshed[edit]

The South stand of Stadium mk is known as the Cowshed by Dons fans, as Milton Keynes is known for its Concrete Cows. This nickname was also used for the home end at the Dons' previous ground in Milton Keynes, the National Hockey Stadium, now demolished. It is where both of the clubs ardent fans stand.

Rivalries[edit]

MK Dons biggest rivals are considered to be Peterborough United: they have vied for promotion to the Championship, the rivalry between the two cities exists in other sports (e.g., there's also a MK Lightning-Peterborough Phantoms rivalry in ice hockey which pre-dates the rivalry in football), and they are both (substantially) New Towns. Wycombe Wanderers are the only other professional team in Buckinghamshire, and therefore contest the Bucks Derby. Northampton Town, Stevenage F.C. and Luton Town are also considered rivals due to geographic proximity, though those rivals have rarely been in the same League as the Dons.

Vs AFC Wimbledon[edit]

MK Dons fans have a rivalry with AFC Wimbledon, who they pejoratively call AFC Kingston, due to the fact the new team has not played in Wimbledon since its inception but in Kingston-upon-Thames.[38] MK Dons fans reiterate that Wimbledon F.C. and MK Dons were legally the same entity. The chairman, Winkelman was unequivocal when answering readers' questions in FourFourTwo magazine in November 2004: "MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon share the same heritage, but we're the real child of Wimbledon", he wrote.[39] One reader asked if Winkelman agreed that, in light of his "renaming and thorough rebranding of the relocated club", AFC Wimbledon now carried "the true spirit of Wimbledon"; Winkelman replied that AFC Wimbledon's founders had betrayed their club, and had "left their team before their team left them". In another answer, he poured scorn on suggestions that he might give Wimbledon F.C.'s trophy replicas to AFC Wimbledon, writing that the fans had "abdicated their right to it when they all walked away."[39] "The fans who have continued to support us from London—they're the ones who've had to put up with this shit for so long", he concluded.[39]

The first fixture between the two sides took place in the second round of the 2012–13 FA Cup, where they were drawn to play each other at stadium:MK. MK Dons won the match, held on 2 December 2012, by two goals to one, with a winner scored in injury time, scored by Jon Otsemobor and dubbed by the MK Dons fans as "The Heel of God" (a spoof of the Hand of God).[40] In the second game when Kyle McFadzean scored the opening goal with his heel it was immediately dubbed "The Heel of God II".

Chants[edit]

The most popular chants include "Can't Help Falling in Love", "No one likes us, we don't care", "When The Dons Go Marching In", "We're the real Wimbledon", "We're the Dons", "We all follow the MK", "Wimbledon!", "MK Army" and a modified version of "the Barmy Army". Most chants are footballer specific, and almost the entire squad has a chant attributed to each player sung to popular tunes, for example club hero Dean Lewington has a song named "We love you Lewie" to the tune of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You".

Supporters' club recognition[edit]

On 4 June 2005, at the 2005 Football Supporters' Federation "Fans' Parliament" (AGM), the FSF refused the MK Dons Supporters' Club membership of the FSF in a debate that, among other arguments, questioned why the Football League had yet to introduce any new rules to prevent the "franchising" of other football clubs in the future.[41][42] In addition, the FSF membership agreed with the Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association that the Milton Keynes Dons Supporters' Association should not be entitled to join the FSF until they give up all claim to the history and honours of Wimbledon FC. With this in mind, the FSF began discussions aimed at returning Wimbledon FC's honours to the London Borough of Merton.

Shortly afterwards, following heavy criticism for allowing the move, the Football League announced new tighter rules on club relocation.[43]

At its AGM on 5 June 2006, the FSF again considered a motion[44] proposed by the FSF Council to allow MK Dons Supporters Association membership if the honours and trophies of Wimbledon FC were given to the London Borough of Merton. In October 2006, agreement[45] was reached between the club, the MK Dons Supporters Association, the Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association and the Football Supporters Federation. The replica of the FA Cup plus all club patrimony gathered under the name of Wimbledon F.C. would be returned to the London Borough of Merton. Ownership of trademarks and website domain names related to Wimbledon F.C. would also be transferred to the Borough. The Borough subsequently transferred all trademarks to AFC Wimbledon. As part of the same deal it was agreed that any reference made to Milton Keynes Dons FC should refer only to events subsequent to 7 August 2004 (the date of the first League game of Milton Keynes Dons FC). As a result of this deal, the FSF announced that the supporters of Milton Keynes Dons FC would be permitted to become members of the federation, and that it would no longer appeal to the supporters of other clubs to boycott MK Dons matches.[46] On 2 August 2007, MK Dons transferred the replica trophies and all Wimbledon FC memorabilia to the London Borough of Merton.[47]

Famous supporters[edit]

The Dons' most famous non-football related supporter was Jim Marshall, the founder of Marshall Amplification, who were one of the earliest shirt sponsors.[48] Dan Wheldon him and his family was also reported to be keeping fingers crossed for the Dons before his tragic death,[49] after which a minute's silence was held in a game against Scunthorpe in his honour.[50] June Whitfield was a Wimbledon F.C. supporter and continues to support the MK as well as AFC.[48][not in citation given] Former cricketer and talkSport radio presenter Darren Gough,[51] despite being a Barnsley F.C. fan attends Dons games from time to time, as he lives nearby, and also frequently speaks fondly of the Dons when presenting on the radio.

Other notable fans who are either Dons fans or regularly attend games are: Gabi Downs, a London 2012 Paralympic Fencer; Andrew Baggaley, table tennis Commonwealth Games double Gold Medallist; Gail Emms, Badminton World Champion; Frank Bruno, Boxing World Champion; James Hildreth and James Foster both England cricketers; Mark Lancaster, Member of Parliament and Government Minister in 2012; Craig Pickering, 100m sprinter – Bronze Medal at World Championship in 2007; Craig Gibbons, London 2012 Olympic 100 metre swimmer; George Webley, a former Radio Broadcaster; and Mikey Burrows, a Sky Sports Radio Presenter.[52]

Community[edit]

Through the work of MK Dons SET (Sport and Educational Trust), the club works locally (Milton Keynes and the neighbouring towns) in the fields of education, social inclusion, participation and football development.[53] It works with schools, has 14 disability teams playing in regional or national competitions, works with BME (black and minority ethnic) community groups and runs many activities for women and girls. MK Dons also supports the Football v Homophobia initiative (one of only 25 premiership and football league clubs supporting the programme in 2012 and only 30 in 2013).[54]

MK Dons' work in the community was recognised by the award of Football League Awards Community Club of the Year for London and the South East for 2012, and in the award of an honorary doctorate to chairman Pete Winkelman by the Open University in June 2013.[55]

Youth Academy[edit]

In recent years MK Dons are gaining a growing reputation for their youth academy, partially due to former head of coaching Dan Micciche. Micciche would experiment with pitch and team sizes, focussing on technique, composure and movement.

Striker Sam Baldock was the first notable academy graduate, after making 102 appearances he moved on to West Ham for a 6 figure sum. Since then he became captain of Bristol City and now plays for Brighton. Currently Daniel Powell, Tom Flanagan and George Baldock, brother of Sam, all play regularly for the MK Dons first team. They are accompanied by Dele Alli, a target of Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Man United, who has made over 50 league appearances despite being 18.

Multiple youth graduates have moved on for substantial fees in recent years. George Williams, the youngest ever scorer in the FA Cup, has moved onto Fulham and Wales national team. Sheyi Ojo, Brendan Galloway and Danny Collinge were signed by Liverpool, Everton and VfB Stuttgart respectively. Other notable graduates include Adam Chicksen (Brighton), Joe Howe (Ebbsfleet), Liam Kelly (Oldham and Scotland) and Mason Spence (St Neots and Wales U19)

League history[edit]

Only seasons played by Milton Keynes Dons under that name are given here. For a statistical history of Wimbledon F.C., see List of Wimbledon F.C. seasons.
Statistics are correct as of 27 November 2014.[56]
Season League FA Cup League
Cup
Other competitions Top scorer Average
Attendance
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Name #
2004–05 League One 46 12 15 19 54 67 51 20th R3 R2 Football League Trophy R2S Izale McLeod 18 4,896
2005–06 League One 46 12 14 20 45 66 50 22nd R3 R1 Football League Trophy QFS Izale McLeod 18 5,619
2006–07 League Two 46 25 9 12 76 58 84 4th R2 R3 Football League Trophy R2S Izale McLeod 24 6,033
2007–08 League Two 46 29 10 7 82 37 97 1st R1 R2 Football League Trophy W Mark Wright 15 9,456
2008–09 League One 46 26 9 11 83 39 87 3rd R1 R2 Football League Trophy R2S Aaron Wilbraham 16 10,550
2009–10 League One 46 19 7 20 60 68 60 12th R3 R1 Football League Trophy FS Jermaine Easter 20 10,290
2010–11 League One 46 23 8 15 67 60 77 5th R1 R3 Football League Trophy R2 Sam Baldock 14 8,512
2011–12 League One 46 22 14 10 84 47 80 5th R3 R3 Football League Trophy R1 Dean Bowditch 15 8,794
2012–13 League One 46 19 13 14 62 45 70 8th R5 R3 Football League Trophy R1 Dean Bowditch
Ryan Lowe
12 8,611
2013–14 League One 46 17 9 20 63 65 60 10th R3R R2 Football League Trophy R2 Patrick Bamford 14 9,007
2014–15 League One 20 12 5 3 47 19 41 2nd R2 R4 Football League Trophy R2 Benik Afobe 19 9,678

Players[edit]

As of 1 July 2014.[57]

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 England GK David Martin
2 Northern Ireland DF Lee Hodson
3 England DF Dean Lewington (captain)
4 Northern Ireland DF Tom Flanagan
5 England DF Kyle McFadzean
6 England DF Antony Kay
7 England MF Danny Green
8 Republic of Ireland MF Darren Potter
9 England FW Dean Bowditch
10 Northern Ireland MF Ben Reeves
11 Northern Ireland FW Will Grigg (on loan from Brentford)
12 England DF Jordan Spence
13 England MF Carl Baker
No. Position Player
14 England MF Dele Alli
15 England MF Mark Randall
16 Republic of Ireland GK Ian McLoughlin
17 England FW Daniel Powell
18 England MF George Baldock
20 England MF Giorgio Rasulo
22 Republic of Ireland MF Samir Carruthers
23 England FW Benik Afobe (on loan from Arsenal)
24 England FW Ben Tilney
25 England DF Harry Hickford
26 England MF Will Summerfield
27 England FW Kabongo Tshimanga
29 England GK Charlie Burns

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
19 England FW Tom Hitchcock (on loan at Fleetwood Town)

Former players[edit]

For a list of all Milton Keynes Dons players, past or present, see Category:Milton Keynes Dons F.C. players.

Notable players[edit]

Dean Lewington, the present captain of MK Dons, has played more matches for the team than any other player. Pictured in 2011, he is also one of only two former Wimbledon players left in the club's squad.
This list contains players who have made 100 or more league appearances. Appearances and goals apply to league matches only; substitute appearances are included. Names in bold denote current MK Dons players.
Statistics are correct as of 6 December 2014.[58]
Name Nationality Position[n 2] MK Dons
career
Apps Goals Notes
Baldock, SamSam Baldock  England Forward 2006–11 102 33
Chadwick, LukeLuke Chadwick  England Midfielder 2008–2014 210 17
Edds, GarethGareth Edds  Australia Midfielder 2004–08 122 10
Guéret, WillyWilly Guéret  France Goalkeeper 2007–11 135 0
Gleeson, StephenStephen Gleeson  Ireland Midfielder 2009–2014 174 16
Lewington, DeanDean Lewington  England Defender 2004– 445 17 [n 3]
Leven, PeterPeter Leven  Scotland Midfielder 2008–11 113 22
McLeod, IzaleIzale McLeod  England Forward 2004–07
2013–2014
165 62
O'Hanlon, SeanSean O'Hanlon  England Defender 2006–11 157 15
Platt, CliveClive Platt  England Forward 2005–07 102 27
Wilbraham, AaronAaron Wilbraham  England Forward 2005–11 178 50
Martin, DavidDavid Martin  England Goalkeeper 2004–06
2010–
192 0
Kouo-Doumbé, MathiasMathias Kouo-Doumbé  France Defender 2009–2013 121 11
Powell, DanielDaniel Powell  England Forward 2008– 164 27
Williams, ShaunShaun Williams  Ireland Defender 2011–2014 108 19
Potter, DarrenDarren Potter  Ireland Midfielder 2011– 131 6
Bowditch, DeanDean Bowditch  England Winger 2011– 106 22

Technical staff[edit]

Karl Robinson First-team manager
Richie Barker Head of Coaching
Paul Heald Goalkeeping coach
Damien Doyle Fitness coach
Simon Crampton Head of sports medicine
Andrew Sanson Kit manager
Mike Dove Director of youth/Under-18s manager
Dan Micciche Assistant academy manager
Karim Suleman Head academy physiotherapist
Joe Aylett Head groundsman
Dr Martin Cave Club doctor
Dr Turab A Syed Academy doctor
Dr Gary D Jackson Chiropractor

Managers[edit]

Paul Ince, pictured in 2006, managed the club over two spells between 2007 and 2010.

The first manager of Milton Keynes Dons was Stuart Murdoch, who had previously been manager of Wimbledon.[59] Murdoch only lasted three months before being sacked[60] — his assistant, Jimmy Gilligan, managed the club for a month before Murdoch's replacement was revealed to be Danny Wilson.[60][61][62] Wilson managed to keep the team up during the inaugural 2004–05 season,[56] but failed to repeat this feat during the next season.[56] Following relegation,[56] Wilson was shown the door and replaced with Martin Allen.[63] After Allen's team fell at the play-offs,[56] he left to manage Leicester City. [64] Paul Ince was appointed manager for the 2007–08 season,[65] and proved to be a shrewd appointment as MK Dons won the League Two championship as well as the Football League Trophy.[56] Ince too left after only a season, to become manager of Blackburn Rovers.[66]

Former Chelsea player Roberto di Matteo was then appointed in July 2008, his personal first ever managerial position[67][68] and left after a season to manage West Bromwich Albion.[26] Ince was reappointed in his stead on 3 July 2009.[27] Paul Ince resigned as Manager on 16 April 2010, stating "a reduction in funds for next season was the reason behind his decision to leave", although he will remain with the club until the end of the 2009–10 season.

Karl Robinson was appointed manager of League One team Milton Keynes Dons on 10 May 2010, having previously been the club's assistant manager under previous boss Paul Ince.[69] At 30 years of age, he was the youngest manager in the Football League and former England coach John Gorman was named his number two. He was also the youngest person to ever acquire a UEFA Pro Licence at the age of 29. At the end of the 2011–12 season Gorman retired and was replaced by former Luton player/manager Mick Harford. At the same time, ex-Arsenal and former England international Ian Wright was also enlisted in a part-time role to provide assistance with coaching duties.

In January 2013, Robinson turned down an offer to manage Blackpool FC, a well established Championship and former Premier League team, in favour of his continuing commitment and loyalty towards MK Dons, something which has endeared him to the fans of MK Dons.[70] Robinson has also been linked to other former Premier League clubs including Birmingham City, Sheffield United and Leeds United

Statistics are correct as of 27 May 2013.[68]
Name Nationality From To Matches Won Drawn Lost Win % Notes
Murdoch, StuartStuart Murdoch  England 7 August 2004 8 November 2004 21 5 5 11 23.8 [59][60][n 4]
Gilligan, JimmyJimmy Gilligan  England 8 November 2004 7 December 2004 4 2 0 2 50.0 Caretaker[61]
Wilson, DannyDanny Wilson  Northern Ireland 7 December 2004 21 June 2006 81 25 32 24 30.9 [62]
Allen, MartinMartin Allen  England 21 June 2006 25 May 2007 46 25 9 12 54.3 [63][64]
Ince, PaulPaul Ince  England 25 June 2007 21 June 2008 55 35 11 9 63.6 [65][66]
di Matteo, RobertoRoberto di Matteo  Italy 3 July 2008 30 June 2009 40 22 7 12 55.0 [26][67]
Ince, PaulPaul Ince  England 3 July 2009 10 May 2010 44 22 4 18 50 [27]
Robinson, KarlKarl Robinson  England 10 May 2010 Present 247 113 57 77 45.7

Notable Coaches[edit]

Although the MK Dons are a lower league team, the club has attracted many famous coaches, some who previously had gained fame as players. Most notable former coaches include Robbie Fowler, former German international Dietmar Hamann and Arsenal legend Ian Wright. Former Manchester United and England international Alan Smith was signed as a player, however was often assisting manager Karl Robinson during matches and would manager the reserve side on occasion, and went to take on a player-coach role at Notts County in May 2014.

Honours[edit]

2007–08 Champions[71]
2007–08 Winners[72]

Club records and achievements[edit]

Attendance[edit]

Record Home Attendance: 26,969 vs Manchester United, Capital One Cup, 26 August 2014 (stadium:mk)[73]
Record Home League Attendance: 20,516 vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, League One, 29 March 2014 (stadium:mk)

Managerial[edit]

Youngest League Manager: Karl Robinson (b. 13 September 1980) May 2010 – Present[citation needed]
Current 3rd longest serving manager in top 4 tiers

League[edit]

Highest finishing position: 3rd League One, 2008–09
Records points: 97, League Two, 2007–08
Most wins in season: 29, League Two, 2007–08
Longest unbeaten run: 18 games – 29th January to 3rd May 2008
Longest winning run: 8 games – 7th September to 27th October 2007
Highest scoring season: 84, League One, 2011–12
Record win: MK Dons 7–0 Oldham Athletic, 2014
Record away win: Hartlepool 0–5, 2010
Most goals in game: 7–0 (Oldham Athletic); (6–2 (Oldham Athletic); 6–2 (Chesterfield FC); 6–0 (Colchester United); 6–1 (Crewe Alexandra)

Cup[edit]

Best FA Cup progression : Fifth Round, 2013 (lost 3–1 to Barnsley on 16 February 2013)[citation needed]
Best League Cup progression: Fourth round, 2014 (lost 2–1 to Sheffield United
Best Johnstone's Paint Trophy progression: Winners, 2008 (beat Grimsby Town 2–0)
Record win: 6–0 (Nantwich Town, FA Cup)
Most goals in game: 6–0 (Nantwich Town); 6–1 (Cambridge City)

Players[edit]

Most appearances: Dean Lewington – 430
Most goals: Izale McLeod −62
Youngest player: Giorgio Rasulo – 15 years and 10 months[74]
Youngest Goal Scorer: George Williams – 16 years and 2 months – vs Nantwich Town
Oldest player: Alex Rae – 40 years and 10 months
Oldest Goal Scorer: Colin Cameron – 35 years and 1 month

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Legally speaking, Milton Keynes Dons F.C. is the continuation of Wimbledon F.C., which was formed in south London in 1889. Wimbledon F.C. moved to Milton Keynes in 2003 and the following year changed its name to MK Dons. Since 2006 MK Dons has officially considered itself a new club, formed in 2004; it no longer claims history before then.
  2. ^ For a full description of positions see Football positions.
  3. ^ Dean Lewington played for Wimbledon before the club was renamed in 2004. The date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, 7 August 2004, was agreed in 2006 to be the date on which Lewington ceased to play for Wimbledon and began to play for Milton Keynes Dons.
  4. ^ Stuart Murdoch was the manager of Wimbledon before the club was renamed in 2004. The date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, 7 August 2004, was agreed in 2006 to be the date on which Murdoch ceased to manage Wimbledon and began to manage Milton Keynes Dons.

References[edit]

  1. ^ MK Dons' Dele Alli has the makings of next Steven Gerrard – BBC Sport, 19 September 2014
  2. ^ Small is beautiful at Milton Keynes... and it could make us play like Brazil – Daily Mail, 6 February 2013
  3. ^ "History in Milton Keynes". MK Web. Cambridge: Iliffe News and Media Limited. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Bale, John (1993). Sport, Space and the City. London: Routledge. p. 70. ISBN 0-415-08098-3. ; Ward, Andrew; Williams, John (2010) [2009]. Football Nation: Sixty Years of the Beautiful Game. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 362–363. ISBN 978-1-4088-0126-0. ; Parker, Raj; Stride, Steve; Turvey, Alan (28 May 2002). Report of the Independent Commission on Wimbledon F.C.'s wish to relocate to Milton Keynes (pdf). The Football Association. p. 21. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Southgate, Robert (5 April 1973). "Interview with Rodney Stone". The Kentish Independent (London). ; "Programme Notes". Charlton Athletic match programme (Charlton Athletic F.C.): 2. 14 April 1973. 
  6. ^ "Luton Town 1 MK Dons 0". When Saturday Comes. June 2005. Retrieved 2010-11-22. Thus the spectre of Luton moving to Milton Keynes has been raised regularly over the years, but the opposition of either the fans (vehement) or the Football League (ironic, given that it was on the basis of a club moving out of its area) always came to the rescue. 
  7. ^ a b Noades, Ron (1 April 2001). "I looked at MK in the 70's". BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c Roach, Stuart (2 August 2001). "Too big for their roots". BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Neville, Conor (18 September 2014). "Balls Remembers: The Complete Story Of How Dublin Almost Got A Premier League Team". Balls.ie (Dublin: Balls Media Ltd). Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Shaw, Phil (12 June 1997). "Hammam sells up without moving out". The Independent (London: Independent News & Media). Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Bose, Mihir (16 August 2001). "Hammam cast in villain's role as Dons seek happy ending". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  12. ^ Wallace, Sam (2 August 2001). "Wimbledon on move to Milton Keynes". Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Cloake, Martin (29 August 2014). "Why MK Dons' 4–0 victory over Manchester United didn't cause universal joy". New Statesman (London). Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Conn, David (27 November 2011). "Peter Winkelman: 'I'm not proud of how football came to Milton Keynes'". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  15. ^ Willacy, Gavin (February 2007). "Relocation, relocation". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  16. ^ "Move or die: 'A whole raft of us believe it is better to live, even if somewhere else'". The Independent (London: Independent News & Media). 10 November 2002. Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  17. ^ a b Parker, Raj; Stride, Steve; Turvey, Alan (28 May 2002). Report of the Independent Commission on Wimbledon F.C.'s wish to relocate to Milton Keynes (pdf). The Football Association. pp. 17–18, 61–67. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2009. The proposal has met with considerable opposition, and not just from the WFC fans. ... [M]ost of the hundreds (over 600) of communications we have received have argued against the proposal. They have generally been from individual WFC fans. 57. Supporters' associations and individual fans from many other clubs and people from as far afield as the United States, Australia (Wimbledon Supporters Downunder), Russia and Norway have also expressed similar views. ... The fans are not of the opinion that a club in Milton Keynes is better than no club at all. ; "Dons get Milton Keynes green light". BBC. 28 May 2002. Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  18. ^ Parker, Raj; Stride, Steve; Turvey, Alan (28 May 2002). Report of the Independent Commission on Wimbledon F.C.'s wish to relocate to Milton Keynes (pdf). The Football Association. pp. 1, 9–34. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  19. ^ a b White, Jim (11 January 2003). "Pitch battle". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 5 June 2009. Ten miles from Selhurst Park, in Kingston upon Thames, the following Saturday, the streets around the tidy little Kingsmeadow football ground are filling up an hour before kick-off. It is here that Wimbledon fans, fed up with the direction in which the owners were leading the object of their love, have set up a football club of their own. ... Early in 2001, Wimbledon's owners announced that they intended to move the club to the Buckinghamshire new town. The fans were adamant that it should remain in their community. 'They wanted to steal our club,' says Kevin Rye, of the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association (Wisa). 'Nick it and move it 70 miles north. That's what it is: nothing short of theft.' 
  20. ^ "Dons could move during season". London: BBC. 5 July 2002. Archived from the original on 19 November 2004. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "Wimbledon go into administration". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). 6 June 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  22. ^ "Confusion mounts over Don's home ground". London: BBC. 3 July 2003. Archived from the original on 11 March 2005. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Winkelman will still back Dons". London: BBC. 15 July 2003. Archived from the original on 11 March 2005. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "Wimbledon 2–2 Burnley". London: BBC. 26 September 2003. Retrieved 17 November 2014. ; "It's mooing not booing". London: BBC. 27 September 2003. Archived from the original on 11 March 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "Wimbledon to change name". BBC. 21 June 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2009. ; "Wimbledon become MK Dons FC". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). 21 June 2004. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 
  26. ^ a b c "Baggies confirm Di Matteo as boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  27. ^ a b c "Ince reappointed as MK Dons boss". BBC. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 
  28. ^ Paul Ince announces that he will leave MK Dons at the end of the season
  29. ^ "Dons spring surprise by appointing Robinson as new boss". BBC. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  30. ^ Turberville, Huw (26 August 2014). "MK Dons v Manchester United, Capital One Cup: as it happened". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  31. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30156114
  32. ^ http://www.mkweb.co.uk/MK-DONS-Match-report-MK-Dons-7-0-Oldham/story-25744866-detail/story.html
  33. ^ Dons open stadium against Chelsea. BBC. 19 July 2007.
  34. ^ The Queen visits Milton Keynes. BBC. 30 November 2007.
  35. ^ Winkelman can't guarantee arena! – MK Citizen 26 November 2008
  36. ^ Milton Keynes in dreamland after being selected for World Cup bid The Times, 17 December 2009
  37. ^ World Cup 2015 will use only two traditional club rugby grounds  – The Guardian, Thursday 2 May 2013
  38. ^ http://moocamp.com/tag/afc/
  39. ^ a b c "Interview & Comment: Pete Winkelman". FourFourTwo (London: Haymarket Group). November 2004. 
  40. ^ "MK Dons 2–1 AFC Wimbledon". BBC Football. 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  41. ^ FSF Annual Report for 2005 Motion 1 on pages 6
  42. ^ FSF Annual Report for 2006 minutes pages 44/45
  43. ^ "Rule changes from League's AGM". The Football League. Retrieved 16 September 2008. 
  44. ^ FSF Annual Report for 2006 Motion 6 (pages 6)
  45. ^ Accord on patrimony of Wimbledon FC MKDSA website.
  46. ^ FSF press release "MK Dons agree to return Wimbledon trophies to Merton – and sanction amendments to football statistics"
  47. ^ Merton given back Dons trophies
  48. ^ a b http://www.ytfc.net/news/article/20141003-mkdons-preview-1985881.aspx
  49. ^ http://www.mkdsa.co.uk/index.php/mk-dons/notable-fans
  50. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/motorsport/15415142
  51. ^ http://www.mkdsa.co.uk/index.php/mk-dons/notable-fans
  52. ^ http://www.mkdsa.co.uk/index.php/mk-dons/notable-fans
  53. ^ MK Dons SET
  54. ^ Football v Homophobia
  55. ^ MK Dons chairman receives Honorary Doctorate from The Open University The Open University June 6th, 2013
  56. ^ a b c d e f Richard Rundle. "Football Club History Database – Milton Keynes Dons". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  57. ^ "Profiles". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 
  58. ^ "Soccerbase – The Internet Soccer Database". Soccerbase. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  59. ^ a b "Murdoch takes reins". BBC. 25 June 2002. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  60. ^ a b c "Murdoch axed by Dons". BBC. 8 November 2004. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  61. ^ a b "Farewell to Jim and Martyn". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 22 December 2004. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  62. ^ a b "Wilson named Milton Keynes boss". BBC. 7 December 2004. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  63. ^ a b "Dons appoint new manager". BBC. 27 June 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  64. ^ a b "Allen named new Leicester manager". BBC Whilst Allen had spent a lot of money transforming the team, he continues to receive mixed reviews for his period as manager. Some praised him for prevent successive promotions which many in the football community had expected as well as recruiting key players for the following campaign. However 'long ball tactics', disappointing highly paid signings and failure at the play-offs left others disappointed with his spell. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  65. ^ a b "Ince unveiled as new MK Dons boss". BBC. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  66. ^ a b "Blackburn appoint Ince as manager". BBC. 22 June 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  67. ^ a b "Di Matteo appointed MK Dons coach". BBC. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  68. ^ a b "Manager History for MK Dons (formerly Wimbledon)". Soccerbase. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  69. ^ "MK Dons appoint Karl Robinson, 29, as their new manager". London: Daily Mail. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  70. ^ "MK Dons reject Blackpool approach to speak to manager Karl Robinson". guardian.co.uk. Press Association. 16 January 2013. 
  71. ^ "Bradford 1–2 MK Dons (Match Report)". BBC Sport. 26 April 2008. 
  72. ^ Mitchener, Mark (30 March 2008). "Grimsby Town 0–2 MK Dons (Match Report)". BBC Sport. 
  73. ^ "MK Dons 4–0 Man United". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 August 2014. 
  74. ^ http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yournews/sport/10256073.FOOTBALL__Rising_star_Giorgio_Rasulo_is_making_his_mark/

External links[edit]