AFC Wimbledon

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This article is about the club founded by supporters in 2002. For the club founded in 1889, see Wimbledon F.C..
AFC Wimbledon
AFC Wimbledon.svg
Full name AFC Wimbledon
Nickname(s) The Dons, The Wombles
Founded 30 May 2002; 13 years ago (2002-05-30)
Ground Kingsmeadow,
Kingston upon Thames, London
Ground Capacity 4,850 (2,265 seated)[1]
Manager Neal Ardley
League League Two
2014–15 League Two, 15th
Website Club home page
Current season

AFC Wimbledon is a professional English association football club based in Kingston upon Thames, London. The club plays in League Two of the Football League, which is the fourth tier in the English football league system. They play at Kingsmeadow, in Kingston upon Thames, London, a ground which is shared with Kingstonian.

The club was founded by Wimbledon F.C. supporters in June 2002 as a reaction to the decision by an independent three man commission appointed by the Football Association to allow Wimbledon F.C. to relocate to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, about 56 miles north of Wimbledon. The large majority of Wimbledon F.C. supporters strongly opposed the idea of moving the club so far, feeling that a club transplanted to Milton Keynes would no longer represent Wimbledon F.C.'s legacy and traditions,[2][3] and, having campaigned against the proposed move, viewed its official sanctioning as the "death of their club".[3][4] AFC Wimbledon considers itself a spiritual successor or "phoenix" version of the original team.[3][5] Wimbledon F.C. physically moved in 2003 and then changed the name the club to Milton Keynes Dons in 2004.

When AFC Wimbledon was formed, it affiliated to both the London and Surrey Football Associations, and entered the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League, which is the ninth tier in English football. In its short history, the club has been extremely successful, being promoted five times in nine seasons, and going up from the ninth tier (Combined Counties Premier) to the fourth (League Two). The only other club considered to have completed this feat is the now dissolved Rushden & Diamonds.

AFC Wimbledon holds the record of the longest unbeaten run of league matches in English senior football, having played 78 consecutive league games without a defeat between February 2003 and December 2004.[6] AFC Wimbledon hold the distinction of being the first club to be formed in the 21st century to make it into the Football League.[7]

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

On 28 May 2002, the Football Association backed a three-man independent commission decision to allow Wimbledon F.C. to relocate 56 miles north to the new town of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire after claims from Wimbledon chairman Charles Koppel that such a move was necessary in order to prevent the club from going bankrupt.[8] Although the absence of a ground in Milton Keynes meeting Football League criteria meant the club were unable to physically move for over a year, Wimbledon's traditional local support dried up almost immediately in protest.[9] On 30 May 2002 a group of Wimbledon F.C. supporters led by Kris Stewart and fellow founding members Marc Jones and Trevor Williams, announced plans to create a new club dubbed "AFC Wimbledon".[10] On 13 June 2002, a new manager, kit, crest and stadium were unveiled to fans and the media at the packed out Wimbledon Community Centre.[11] In order to assemble a competitive team at very short notice, AFC Wimbledon held player trials on 29 June 2002 on Wimbledon Common, open to any unattached player who felt he was good enough to try out for the team.[12] The event attracted 230 hopeful players, from whom the club's squad for their inaugural season was eventually chosen.[10]

Non-League football (2002–2011)[edit]

For a statistical breakdown by season, see List of AFC Wimbledon seasons.
Ryan Gray prepares to take a corner in a 2–1 win over AFC Wallingford on 8 May 2004 in AFC Wimbledon's final fixture in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

The Combined Counties League years (2002–2004)[edit]

In the 2002–03 season, AFC Wimbledon competed in the Combined Counties League Premier Division[13] under the management of former Wimbledon F.C. player Terry Eames, who was appointed as AFC Wimbledon's first manager on 13 June 2002.[citation needed] The first ever game, a pre-season friendly against Sutton United on 10 July 2002, resulted in a 0–4 loss in front of an astonishingly large attendance for this level of 4,657.[14] At the end of their debut season, AFC Wimbledon finished third in the league and narrowly failed to win promotion to the Isthmian League First Division, despite a strong end to the season that involved winning their final eleven league fixtures.[15]

In 2003–04, AFC Wimbledon won their first 21 league games before a 2–2 draw against Sandhurst Town on 10 January 2004, giving them 32 consecutive wins in league games over two seasons. The team went on to finish as champions of the Combined Counties League with an unbeaten record for the season of 42 wins and 4 draws,[16]}. In addition, AFC Wimbledon won the league's Premier Challenge Cup after beating North Greenford United 4–1 in the Final on 30 April 2004,[17] completing a double for the season.

The Isthmian League years (2004–2008)[edit]

Dave Anderson was appointed as new manager on 11 May 2004.[18] Under his leadership AFC Wimbledon took their good form into the 2004–05 season during which they competed in the Isthmian League First Division — they led the division all season, and ran away with the title to seal promotion to the League's Premier Division. The Dons secured another double by defeating Walton & Hersham 2–1 in the Final of the Surrey Senior Cup on 3 May 2005.[19] Over the course of the season, AFC Wimbledon set a new record for the longest run of unbeaten league games at any level of senior football in the United Kingdom.[6] The team remained unbeaten for 78 league matches between 22 February 2003 (a 2–0 defeat at home to Withdean 2000) and 4 December 2004 (a 2–0 defeat at Cray Wanderers).[20]

AFC Wimbledon fans and players celebrating promotion to the Conference South having beaten Staines Town 2–1 in the Isthmian League Premier Division Play-off Final at the end of the 2007–08 season.

The 2005–06 season proved far more competitive than previous seasons – as after winning their first few games, AFC Wimbledon found themselves struggling to remain in the play-off places. After fluctuating form they eventually reached the play-offs after a 1–0 win against Anderson's former club, Hendon, on 22 April 2006.[21] However, a 2–1 defeat at Fisher Athletic on 2 May 2006 prevented the club from achieving three back-to-back promotions.[22] The Dons once again reached the final of the Surrey Senior Cup, however, this time they were narrowly defeated 1–0 by Kingstonian in a fiercely contested derby.[23]

Much of the 2006–07 season was overshadowed by the threat of a proposed 18-point deduction by the FA for the club's fielding of Jermaine Darlington who, it transpired, had not been registered correctly by the club and had therefore played in three games whilst still ineligible.[24] However, this punishment was eventually reduced to a 3-point deduction and a £400 fine on appeal after the FA finally acknowledged that the club had made a simple administrative error.[25] The 'Darlington affair' also resulted in expulsion from the Surrey Senior Cup and the FA Trophy that year. Although AFC Wimbledon did enough to qualify for the play-offs, they once again missed out on promotion, this time as a result of losing 1–0 to Bromley in the play-off semi-final on 1 May 2007.[26] Manager Dave Anderson subsequently left the club by mutual consent on 2 May 2007.[27]

Terry Brown was appointed as the new AFC Wimbledon manager on 15 May 2007.[28] During 2007–08, he led the club to promotion to the Conference South in his first season in charge, a feat which predecessor Dave Anderson had proved unable to achieve, having lost two consecutive play-off final opportunities in the previous two seasons. The Dons made steady progress throughout the season, qualifying for the play-offs after finishing third in the League. AFC Wimbledon beat AFC Hornchurch 3–1 in the play-off semi-final on 29 April 2008[29] and went on to triumph 2–1 over Staines Town in the play-off final on 3 May 2008.[30]

The Conference years (2008–2011)[edit]

The starting line-up for the Conference Premier play-off Final win against Luton Town on 21 May 2011, resulting in promotion to the Football League.

AFC Wimbledon spent most of the 2008–09 season near the top of the league table, eventually finishing as champions and earning promotion to the Conference Premier after defeating St Albans City 3–0 on 25 April 2009.[31] The match set an attendance record of 4,722 for Kingsmeadow, which at that time was full capacity.[32]

The 2009–10 season was the club's first in the Conference Premier in which they finished 8th, 14 points short of the play-off zone, representing the first season in which the club had failed to make the top five in the league table.[33]

In 2010–11 AFC Wimbledon finished as runners-up of the Conference Premier, qualifying for the play-offs. The Dons faced Fleetwood Town in the play-off semi-finals, whom they thrashed 8–1 on aggregate. AFC Wimbledon won 2–0 in the first leg and thrashed Fleetwood Town 6–1 in the second.[34] This aggregate scoreline set a record as the largest winning margin recorded since the Conference Premier first introduced the play-off system at the beginning of the 2002–03 season.[citation needed] In the play-off final at the City of Manchester Stadium on 21 May 2011, in front of a crowd of 18,195, AFC Wimbledon beat Luton Town 4–3 in a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended 0–0 in extra time.[35] The victory resulted in promotion to the Football League for the first time and represented the club's fifth promotion in nine years. The club's achievement of attaining League status after just nine seasons of existence is considered to be one of the fastest ascents for a new club since automatic promotion to the Football League first commenced in the 1980s.[citation needed] AFC Wimbledon also hold the record of being the first club to be formed in the 21st century to make it into the Football League, making them the youngest club in the football league by some distance.[7]

Football League (2011–present)[edit]

League Two (2011–present)[edit]

The club currently competes in Football League Two.

The 2011–12 season marked AFC Wimbledon's first in the Football League. The team started the season well, winning seven out of their first twelve matches, but failed to keep the momentum going and had a poor run, eventually finishing the season ranking 16th, ten points clear of the relegation zone.

The 2012–13 campaign marked the 10th anniversary of AFC Wimbledon's inaugural season. After an abysmal start to the season, manager Terry Brown was sacked on 19 September 2012 along with assistant manager Stuart Cash, with AFC Wimbledon sitting just above the relegation zone.[36] First team coach Simon Bassey took over as caretaker manager with immediate effect. Bassey was in charge just four matches, however, before former Wimbledon player Neal Ardley was appointed as Terry Brown's permanent replacement on 10 October 2012, naming former Watford and Cardiff City teammate Neil Cox as his assistant manager.[37] On 2 December 2012, AFC Wimbledon faced Milton Keynes Dons in the second round of the FA Cup, in the first ever meeting between the two sides following the controversial uprooting and relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes, ending as a 2–1 defeat for AFC Wimbledon.

The Dons secured their Football League status on the final day of the 2012–13 season, despite having started the day in the relegation zone, by beating Fleetwood Town 2–1 at Kingsmeadow on 27 April 2013.[38]

On 7 October 2014, AFC Wimbledon achieved their first win against the MK Dons 3–2 in a Johnstone's Paint Trophy match.

Failed match-fixing plot[edit]

Following newspaper reports[citation needed] of attempted match fixing, an investigation was launched by the National Crime Agency. Two businessmen, Krishna Ganeshan and Chann Sankaran, with Michael Boateng, a Whitehawk F.C. player, were charged.[39][40] Another Whitehawk player, Moses Swaibu was similarly charged in January 2014.[41][42] Ganeshan, Sankaran and Boateng were convicted subsequently of conspiracy to commit bribery for a failed plot to fix a game between AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham and Redbridge on 26 November.[43][44] It is believed that the case may be part of wider Singaporean match-fixing syndicate which Europol and other investigations have uncovered.[45]

Crest and colours[edit]

The club crest, which is based on the coat of arms of the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon, features a black double headed eagle in reference to a local legend that Julius Caesar once made camp on Wimbledon Common, this symbol being his own attributed coat of arms. The crest is designed to replicate, as closely as legally possible, the crest of the original Wimbledon F.C. in order to reflect the fact that AFC Wimbledon see themselves as a continuation of the club that existed before relocation and rebranding as MK Dons. The club wished to preserve Wimbledon FC's legacy and traditions for the loyal fans who felt that the relocation had isolated the club from its roots and community to such an extent that it no longer bore the hallmark of the club that they had once supported and that AFC Wimbledon was its spiritual, if not legal, successor.

The colours that were chosen for the AFC Wimbledon kit were the royal blue and yellow associated with the rise of the original Wimbledon F.C. to the top of the Football League. The first kit ever used, during only in the pre-season friendlies of 2002, consisted of a blue shirt, white shorts and white socks. Since then the home kit has been predominantly all royal blue with yellow detailing. The away kit used between 2002 and 2004 was white, however since then it has usually been predominantly yellow with blue detailing.

To mark their first game in the Football League on 6 August 2011 against Bristol Rovers, the team wore a white and blue commemorative kit based on that worn by the original Wimbledon F.C. during 1977–78 in order to remember their own first season as a member of the Football League, in the old Fourth Division (now League Two). To prevent copyright infringement, a single blue stripe replaced the three trade mark stripes of the Adidas original and the shirts were emblazoned with a modified crest for the occasion.[46]

Sponsorship and kit manufacturer[edit]

AFC Wimbledon have been sponsored by computer games developers Sports Interactive, creators of the Championship Manager and Football Manager series, since the club's inception in 2002; the Football Manager logo features on the home kit whilst the SI logo appears on the team's away strip. SI managing director Miles Jacobson said of the sponsorship deal: "We are huge supporters of grass roots football. Most of us play grass roots football at some level (or in my case, below grass roots!), and we know that that is where the stars from tomorrow are going to come from."[47] The idea for Sports Interactive sponsorship came from Nick Robinson, who was an employee at Eidos, Sports Interactive's then-publishers. However, Eidos were not willing to fund the deal, and so Sports Interactive found the cash themselves.[47]

Paul Strank Roofing Ltd. first became a sponsor of AFC Wimbledon in 2006, Mr Strank being a lifelong Wimbledon F.C. supporter. In the Summer of 2008, in one of the club's biggest ever sponsorship agreements, the main stand at Kingsmeadow was renamed the Paul Strank Stand in honour of one of AFC Wimbledon's biggest benefactors.[48]

The kit used by the club in its inaugural pre-season in 2002 was manufactured by Umbro. However, from the 2002–03 season onwards the kit has been manufactured exclusively by Wimbledon-based company Tempest Sports. For this reason the South Stand at Kingsmeadow was known as the "Tempest End" between 12 August 2005 and 23 July 2013.[49]

On 11 February 2014 the club announced that their long standing agreement with Tempest Sports would come to an end, and a four-year deal was signed with British kit maker Admiral Sportswear to supply the clubs playing kits and training wear for the from the 2014/15 season onwards.[50]

In November 2013 American author and YouTube personality John Green stated that he would be pledging the advertising revenue from his "AFC Wimbly Womblys" series of matches on FIFA 14 (on his and his brother's gaming YouTube channel, hankgames) to support the club.[51] John Green is known to be a proud supporter of AFC Wimbledon's recent achievements. On 7 January 2014, John Green officially agreed to sponsor AFC Wimbledon.[52][53]

Mascot[edit]

"Haydon" the mascot of AFC Wimbledon.

From 2000 to June 2003, the original Wimbledon F.C. had used a Womble named "Wandle", named after the local River Wandle, as a club mascot. However, in light of the controversy over the moving of the club to Milton Keynes, the licence to use the character was withdrawn by the Wombles' creator, Elizabeth Beresford.[54]

In 2006, AFC Wimbledon agreed a licensing deal for a new mascot to represent the club, once again choosing the character of a Womble due to their famed association with Wimbledon Common. After a naming competition in which the final name was chosen by Elisabeth Beresford herself, the club announced that the new Womble would be known as "Haydon" after Haydons Road, the nearest railway station to Wimbledon F.C.'s original home ground, Plough Lane.

Haydon's first ever appearance at a home game was on 26 August 2006 at a 1–1 draw with Boreham Wood in the Isthmian League Premier Division. He made his on-field debut as a substitute in the Wimbledon Heroes v Chelsea Legends game on 7 May 2007. He wears the team's current home strip at Kingsmeadow fixtures, where he can be found every Saturday wandering around the terraces entertaining and encouraging fans. He has taken part in numerous events in order to raise money for charity, including running the London Marathon in 2010 and taking part in the Mascot Grand National in which he finished 19th in 2009. On 9 September 2012 Haydon helped raise funds for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation by taking part in the AFC Wimbledon Mascot Triathlon on Wimbledon Common. The event raised over £600 for the charity thanks to donations and sponsorship from local businesses.

Rivalries[edit]

The most notable of AFC Wimbledon rivals are MK Dons. This is due to them both claiming to be the continuation of Wimbledon FC after the Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes in 2003. However both sides claim that it is not a rivalry.[55] The two sides have met three times; all at Stadium MK. The home side have won twice, and AFC have won one.

The other of AFC Wimbledon's main rivals are Crawley Town. [56] This is partly due to their relatively close proximity, and partly due to their frequent meetings since 2009.

Stadium[edit]

Kingsmeadow on 18 August 2007 as AFC Wimbledon beat Ramsgate 2–0 in their first league fixture of the 2007–08 season in the Isthmian League Premier Division.
Main article: Kingsmeadow

The club play at the 4,850 capacity Kingsmeadow[57] in Kingston-upon-Thames. AFC Wimbledon ground share with Kingstonian with the Dons being the landlords and Kingstonian the tenants.

At the end of the 2011–12 season, AFC Wimbledon commenced work on building a new 1,000 capacity all-seater stand to replace the existing Kingston Road End. This was completed by the 13 October 2012 game against Cheltenham Town which saw an attendance of 4,409.[58] The new stand was named the North Stand before being renamed The Nongshim Stand following a sponsorship deal. The work increased the stadium capacity to approximately 4,850 with 2,265 seats.[1]

It is AFC Wimbledon's long term ambition to relocate to a stadium, with a capacity around 10,000 (with potential for expansion), in the London Borough of Merton where the original Wimbledon F.C. played at Plough Lane between 1912 and 1991.[59]

On 7 August 2012,[60] AFC Wimbledon released a statement in which they announced their intent to return to their spiritual home of Plough Lane, 21 years after the original Wimbledon F.C. last played there on 4 May 1991. However, since the original Plough Lane was demolished in 2002 and later converted into a housing development, the club chose the site of Wimbledon Stadium, which is now used as a greyhound track.[61]

The proposals include building a stadium with an initial capacity of 12,000 with potential expansion for up to 22,000. It is estimated that the Plough Lane project, which the club believes could take "around 10 years" to complete, will cost somewhere in the region of £100m to build on the five hectare (12.35 acre) site.

Erik Samuelson announced "We have entered a competition with other bidders to buy the Stadium from current owners, the Greyhound Racing Association, and now we hope to win it. This would be a fantastic next step in our journey. It's not the only site in Wimbledon but it is our preferred site by some distance." However, Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said that although he welcomed the football club's plans for Wimbledon Stadium he warned they would face competition from other parties.[61] It therefore remains to be seen whether AFC Wimbledon's bid will succeed.

On 14 November 2014,[60] AFC Wimbledon announced they had submitted a planning application to Merton Council seeking permission to build a stadium with an initial capacity of 11,000 with permission to extend this to 20,000. The planning application also seeks permission to build 600 residential units, along with retail and commercial space and a leisure club.

Ground purchase and debt[edit]

Upon their foundation in 2002, AFC Wimbledon entered into a ground–sharing arrangement with Kingstonian to play home fixtures at Kingsmeadow in the neighbouring borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Kingsmeadow had been the home of Kingstonian since the club moved there in 1989 from its traditional Richmond Road ground. However, the club had hit major financial difficulties following relegation from the Conference. Administrators sold the club, including the lease to the stadium, to businessman Rajesh Khosla and his son, Anup. The Khoslas subsequently transferred ownership of the stadium away from the club and into separate subsidiary companies privately owned by the Khosla family, in a move widely seen as asset stripping.

After an SGM, it was felt by the AFC Wimbledon board of directors that securing ownership of Kingsmeadow would safeguard the ground for the future of both clubs. In March 2003 the Dons Trust members voted to purchase part of the lease for Kingsmeadow and in June 2003 the contract for buying the lease to the stadium was agreed with Rajesh Khosla;[62] £3 million needed to be raised. This purchase took place a few weeks before the proposed formation of the Kingstonian Supporters Trust which AFC Wimbledon's Supporters Trust had been advising. That trust itself would have considered purchasing the lease to the ground had it been able to raise the funds.

Various innovative methods of fundraising (primarily a share issue offer to supporters which quickly realised £1.2m, and the Dons Trust Bond) meant that the debt to Mr Khosla was steadily reduced. On 30 March 2006, a Dons Trust meeting was held at which a majority voted to accept a commercial loan from Barclays Bank in order to clear the outstanding debt to Mr Khosla, which was at a much higher rate of interest. On 24 November 2006 a statement on the website finally confirmed that the club had taken the Barclays loan, and had repaid Mr Khosla in full. Although the club has now settled its debt to Mr Khosla, around £300,000 is still owed in the form of the commercial loan, with a further £300,000 to Dons Trust bondholders.

The club continues to work on new ways of fundraising to clear the debt once and for all. Meanwhile, the future of the ground is secured as a home venue both for AFC Wimbledon and equally importantly for Kingstonian F.C. Kingstonian lease the ground at a nominal rate, paid for in part by the proceeds of an annual pre-season friendly between the two clubs, the Trevor Jones Memorial Trophy. However, AFC Wimbledon ceased to take part after 2008, from then on the competition was to take place between Kingstonian, Woking and a squad from Fulham.

Ownership and legal status[edit]

AFCW plc was placed under the ownership of The Dons Trust, a supporters' group which is pledged to retain at least 75% control of that ownership. In 2003 a minority interest was sold in a share issue in order to finance the purchase of Kingsmeadow, the ground that AFCW part owned with Kingstonian; given the circumstances of the club's formation, this decision raised concerns among some members but was quickly accepted.[citation needed]

The Dons Trust is an industrial and provident society registered with the Financial Services Authority as "Wimbledon Football Club Supporters' Society Limited". This is not to be confused with Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association (WISA) although WISA has as one of its stated constitutional aims "to purchase shares in AFC Wimbledon's holding company".

The chief executive is lifelong fan Erik Samuelson, a retired accountant, who carries out his full-time duties in return for the nominal sum of one guinea a year, because "it sounded posher than a pound".[63] The club has also inspired other supporter-owned ventures, such as Hereford F.C., a phoenix club set up in the wake of the winding up of Hereford United F.C. in December 2014.

Community work[edit]

The club places very great emphasis on its role as a social focus for the entire local community, and part of this role is to offer the chance to play football to all. For this reason AFC Wimbledon established the Community Football Scheme (CFS) in 2004. On 1 May 2010, AFC Wimbledon's Community Football Scheme was awarded the FA Charter Standard Community Club Award, the highest graded award attainable in the FA Charter Standard Club Programme, in recognition of the club's outstanding coaching facilities in the local community. The club offer a number of different football courses open to children of any ability aged 4–14, where they can learn new skills and develop their confidence and talent in a fun and enjoyable coaching environment, receiving quality coaching from FA qualified coaches. The club aim to reach as many children as possible through their football and multi-sports programme by having vital links with their surrounding boroughs, most notably Merton and Kingston, which has allowed them to become one of the main providers of sports coaching in their local community.[64]

AFC Wimbledon also offers a Schools Coaching Programme in Merton, Kingston and neighbouring boroughs. The club look to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for both Primary and Secondary school children through football and a range of other sports. The sessions are run with an emphasis on learning, development and health awareness in a fun coaching environment. On 15 March 2012, coaches from the CFS, in partnership with the Football League's main sponsor nPower, engaged in a community outreach scheme promoting the FA's 'Respect' campaign to school pupils. Nearly 2,000 children aged 10 and 11 were taught how abusive verbal and physical behaviour on the pitch to both players and referees should never be tolerated under any circumstances. The aim of the nationwide 'Respect' scheme in schools is to eradicate racism, homophobia, violence and dissent from the next generation of footballers and supporters.[65]

On 27 March 2012, AFC Wimbledon became the first football club to be presented with the Prime Minister's Big Society Award by Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson for outstanding contributions to the local community. The club was recognised for the honour because it offers a wide range of community development schemes including 19 youth and women's teams, school health and sport projects (hundreds of children a week participate in the outreach schemes provided) and a range of innovative activities, including a stadium school to help children get to grips with maths by using football as a teaching aid.[66]

Congratulating AFC Wimbledon on receiving the award, Prime Minister David Cameron was quoted as saying:

Accepting the award, Erik Samuelson, chief executive of AFC Wimbledon stated:

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 23 June 2015.

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

No. Position Player
2 England DF Barry Fuller (captain)
4 England MF Dannie Bulman
7 England MF George Francomb
10 England FW Adebayo Akinfenwa
11 England MF Sean Rigg
14 England FW Adebayo Azeez
17 England DF Callum Kennedy
19 England MF Jake Reeves
20 England GK James Shea
21 England MF Tom Beere
No. Position Player
22 England DF Will Nightingale
23 England FW George Oakley
24 England GK Ashley Bayes (Player-coach)
26 England GK Joe McDonnell
29 England DF Ben Harrison
30 England MF David Fitzpatrick
32 Republic of Ireland DF Ryan Sweeney
37 England MF Dan Gallagher
Wales DF Jonathan Meades

For youth teams see AFC Wimbledon Development Squad and Academy.

Player of the year, club captains and top scorers[edit]

The following table shows players who have previously been selected to be club captain, have been The Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association (WISA) player of the year and have been the player who scored the most league goals in a season (including penalties) in chronological order:

Season Club captain Player of the year Top scorer Goals
2002–03 England Joe Sheerin England Kevin Cooper England Kevin Cooper 37
2003–04 England Joe Sheerin England Matt Everard England Kevin Cooper 53
2004–05 England Steve Butler England Richard Butler England Richard Butler 24
2005–06 England Steve Butler England Andy Little New Zealand Shane Smeltz 19
2006–07 England Steve Butler England Antony Howard England Roscoe D'Sane 17
2007–08 England Jason Goodliffe England Jason Goodliffe Scotland Steven Ferguson 10
2008–09 England Jason Goodliffe England Ben Judge England Jon Main 33
2009–10 England Paul Lorraine England Danny Kedwell England Danny Kedwell 21
2010–11 England Danny Kedwell England Sam Hatton England Danny Kedwell 23
2011–12 England Jamie Stuart England Sammy Moore England Jack Midson 18
2012–13 England Mat Mitchel-King England Jack Midson England Jack Midson 13
2013–14 Republic of Ireland Alan Bennett England Barry Fuller England Michael Smith 9
2014–15 England Barry Fuller England Adebayo Akinfenwa England Adebayo Akinfenwa 13

Most league appearances and goals[edit]

As of 6 February 2015.

The following table shows players who have made 100 league appearances or more for the club (including substitutions) and players who have scored 25 league goals or more for the club (including penalties) in descending order:

Seasons Player Appearances Seasons Player Goals
2007–2012 England Sam Hatton 197 2002–2004 England Kevin Cooper 90
2009–2014 England Luke Moore 168 2007–2010 England Jon Main 55
2010–present England Sammy Moore 159 2004–2007 England Richard Butler 43
2004–2008 England Antony Howard 137 2008–2011 England Danny Kedwell 43
2011–2014 England Jack Midson 126 2011–2014 England Jack Midson 38
2009–2014 England Seb Brown 124 2002–2005 England Joe Sheerin 35
2008–2011 England Danny Kedwell 119 2009–2014 England Luke Moore 30
2005–2010 England Andy Little 109 2003–2005 England Matt Everard 28
2010–2013 England Rashid Yussuff 102
2007–2010 England Jon Main 101

The following table shows players who have made 50 league appearances or more for the club (including substitutions) in descending order:

Seasons Player Appearances
2002–2005 Republic of Ireland Gavin Bolger 95
2009–2012 England Steven Gregory 93*
2006–2010 England Luke Garrard 89
2007–2013 England Chris Hussey 89
2002–2004 England Kevin Cooper 87
2004–2007 England Richard Butler 86
2002–2005 England Joe Sheerin 85
2010–2013 England Christian Jolley 84
2004–2007 England Steve Butler 80
2009–2012 England Ricky Wellard 78
2007–2009 England Anthony Finn 77
2009–2012 England Brett Johnson 77
Seasons Player Appearances
2002–2005 England Danny Oakins 76
2002–2004 England Lee Sidwell 76
2003–2006 England Ryan Gray 75
2007–2009 England Jason Goodliffe 74
2012–present England George Francomb 73*
2002–2004 England Andy Sullivan 72
2013–present England Barry Fuller 72
2004–2007 England Chris Gell 71
2003–2005 England Matt Everard 70
2005–2007 England Wes Daly 69
2008–2010 England James Pullen 68*
2008–2010 England Ben Judge 67
Seasons Player Appearances
2007–2009 England Jake Leberl 66
2013–2015 Republic of Ireland Alan Bennett 66
2007–2008 Scotland Steven Ferguson 64*
2008–2010 England Paul Lorraine 61
2003–2005 England Steve Gibson 60
2004–2006 England Robert Ursell 58
2008–2010 Canada Elliott Godfrey 57
2004–2006 England Michael Woolner 57
2010–2012 England Jamie Stuart 55
2009–2010 England Jay Conroy 53*
2008–2011 Ghana Kennedy Adjei 51

*includes appearances made whilst on loan.

Notable former players[edit]

For a list of all Wimbledon F.C. players with articles on Wikipedia, see Category:Wimbledon F.C. players.
For a list of all AFC Wimbledon players with articles on Wikipedia, see Category:AFC Wimbledon players.

As part of WISA's campaign to reclaim the history of Wimbledon Football Club for the community of Wimbledon, the Wimbledon Old Players Association (WOPA) was formed in 2005. Membership of WOPA is open to all former Wimbledon F.C. and AFC Wimbledon players and managers. Among the sixty founding members were Glenn Mulcaire, who scored AFC Wimbledon's first ever goal in 2002[68] and Kevin Cooper, who remains the club's all-time highest goal scorer with 107 goals between August 2002 and May 2004, as well as retaining the title for the most goals scored in a season with 66 during 2003–04. Others that joined included some of the legends of the old Wimbledon F.C. such as John Fashanu, Dave Beasant, Efan Ekoku, Neil Sullivan, Dave Bassett, Wally Downes, Marcus Gayle, Neal Ardley, Alan Kimble, Andy Thorn, Roger Joseph, Dickie Guy, Allen Batsford, Roger Connell, Ian Cooke, Roy Law and Steve Galliers.[69] On 16 July 2006, WOPA fielded a team in the Masters Football Tournament at Wembley Arena, with AFC Wimbledon's backing.[70] The team included Carlton Fairweather, Scott Fitzgerald, Marcus Gayle, and Dean Holdsworth.

In June 2010, Vinnie Jones, another former player of Wimbledon F.C., donated his 1988 FA Cup winners medal to the fans of AFC Wimbledon wishing them all the best for the future. The medal is on display at Kingsmeadow.

Management[edit]

Managerial history[edit]

As of 4 January 2015.

These statistics incorporate results for league matches and results in all major League Cup competitions (including the Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup, the Isthmian League Cup, the Conference League Cup, the Football League Cup and the Football League Trophy) as well as results in the FA Vase, the FA Trophy and the FA Cup.

Name From Until Played* Won Drawn Lost Win % Honours
England Terry Eames 13 June 2002 13 February 2004 † 71 60 4 7 84.51
England Nick English (Caretaker) 13 February 2004 11 May 2004 18 16 2 0 88.89 Combined Counties League Premier Division Champions 2003–04

Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup winners 2003–04

Northern Ireland Dave Anderson 11 May 2004 2 May 2007 126 72 36 18 57.14 Isthmian League First Division Champions 2004–05
England Terry Brown 15 May 2007 19 September 2012 227 109 48 70 48.02 Isthmian League Premier Division play-off winners 2007–08

Conference South Champions 2008–09

Conference Premier play-off winners 2010–11

England Simon Bassey (Caretaker) 19 September 2012 10 October 2012 4 2 0 2 50.00
England Neal Ardley 10 October 2012 Present 120 42 33 45 35.00

*incorporates league matches only.

suspended as manager on 13 February but was not officially sacked until 18 February 2004.

Ladies[edit]

For the full article see, see AFC Wimbledon Ladies.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies switched affiliation from Wimbledon F.C. after the 2002–03 season.

Tony Milstead is the manager and the team competes in the London and South East Regional Women's Football League.

Wimbledon Ladies' former player Sophie Hosking won an Olympic gold medal for Team GB in the women's lightweight double sculls at the London 2012 games. Hosking continues to be an avid supporter of AFC Wimbledon and demonstrated as such when she painted her fingernails in the club's royal blue and yellow colours for the final at Eton Dorney on 4 August 2012.

Club honours[edit]

For a more detailed account of the club's records and statistics, see List of AFC Wimbledon records and statistics.
Only seasons played by AFC Wimbledon are given here. For a statistical history of Wimbledon F.C., see List of Wimbledon F.C. seasons.
Statistics are correct as of 2 May 2009.[71]

League honours[edit]

Cups and Trophies[edit]

Minor honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In the television series New Tricks, retired Detective Inspector Brian Lane of the London Metropolitan Police was an avid fan of AFC Wimbledon, with their merchandise decorating his office.[citation needed]

English breakbeat artist and DJ Tayo Popoola is a fan of AFC Wimbledon. In 2012 Popoola was instrumental in blocking a move by Jon Parish, chairman of the 'Weybridge Wombles' (an organisation of predominantly middle-class AFC Wimbledon supporters) to add cravats to the range of AFC Wimbledon memorabilia available from the club shop.[citation needed]. Serbian comedy actor Dimitrije Banjac is big fan of AFC Wimbledon in series "Državni posao" ep.259. he shows up in an AFC Wimbledon jersey. He is also a president of the AFC Wimbledon fans from the Balkan region.

The author John Green along with his brother Hank started to sponsor AFC Wimbledon in 2014. They donate the ad revenue from a YouTube channel, where John narrates himself playing as AFC Wimbledon on the game FIFA 14.[105] When Liverpool drew AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup in January 2015, John, a Liverpool fan, flew from his home in Indiana, US, to attend the match.[106]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]