BBC Home

Explore the BBC

18 comments

user rating: 4 star

Wimbledon back for more FA Cup magic

FA Cup AFC Wimbledon
comment on the article

"There is something about Wimbledon that attracts the magic of the Cup".

Not my words, but the opinion of AFC Wimbledon fan, board member and club mascot Dean Parsons - who is better known to many as Haydon the Womble.

And you have to admit, Parsons/Haydon has a point.

One of the most memorable moments in the history of the Cup isDave Beasant plunging to his left to turn John Aldridge's penalty round his post in the Dons' 1988 Cup final win over Liverpool.Those a few years older will remember Dickie Guy doing the same to deny Leeds' Peter Lorimer from the spot in a famous draw at Elland Road in 1975.

Now, just six years after they were formed in the wake of Wimbledon FC's move to Milton Keynes and ultimate reinvention as MK Dons, AFCW are eyeing another Cup shock against Wycombe Wanderers on Monday.

It is the first time the new club have been in the first round proper and this will be their first game against League opposition.

"Maybe it is time to put ourselves back on the map," Parsons told me. "If we play to the level we can, I don't think we have got anything to fear.

"We are at home and it looks like it will be a sell-out crowd. Hopefully we can make it a little bit intimidating like we used to be at Plough Lane. Teams don't like enclosed grounds where, any mistake they make, the fans are on top of them for it. Hopefully we can get behind our team, at the same time unnerve Wycombe, and get a good result."

Parsons began watching Wimbledon FC when he was nine, when the club was yo-yoing between the old third and fourth divisions following their promotion to the Football League in 1977.

He saw the club rise through the divisions and into the top flight and sees history repeating itself with AFCW's progression through the pyramid.

"To go from the Combined Counties League to the Blue Square South has been a fantastic journey. And I never would have thought that this season we would be pushing for promotion again and into the first round proper of the FA Cup," Parsons explained.

"But it has happened. There just seems to be something about this club and AFCW is just like the old Wimbledon. There is a great atmosphere about the club and I just cannot wait until Monday."

AFCW were formed by fans and, with crowds that regularly top the 3,000 mark, their success is down to their supporters. Only a couple of Blue Square Premier clubs command better average attendances and the Dons put many Football League sides to shame too.

So how far can the club go? And should they chase the dream? Some AFCW fans think the club are better off out of the Football League but Parsons disagrees.

"There are a few who would rather we didn't push all our money in, or push for promotion, and still had the local boys playing.

"But if you want that you should go and watch a team on a Sunday. Wimbledon fans, as far as I am concerned, were bred on success with the way we climbed the divisions last time.

"I cannot argue with what the club is doing - we are not spending beyond our means. I know where the doubters are coming from but I will take everything that comes our way.

"We all want to get back to the League, and get our rightful place now. We had a 15-year plan when we started but we are in our seventh season and we have done so much already."

You would not bet against AFCW continuing their spectacular success. For now, though, Parsons will enjoy Monday's tie with Wycombe, and the time in the spotlight that a live televised match will bring.

"The whole football community seem to have picked up on the excitement of the Wycombe game," Parsons added.

"We have fans all over the world too and because it is on TV they can watch the game in America, Finland, Norway - you name it. It is surreal to think they can do that but great that they can feel involved."

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Nov 8, 2008

Bongo where did he say he gave it to AFcwimbledon he siad they returned it. Read what is written. Afc Wimbledon are the continuation of my local club, we aree nearer to where we started on Wimbledon Common extensions than we were at Plough Lane and especially Selhurst, I mean MK D**s are not in Milton Keynes they are in Bletchley a further distance than Wimbledon is from Kingsmeadow, oh and their badge says, were formed in 2002. But please go elsewhere to talk about Mk, this is about Wimbledon in the FA Cup, jealous your'e club aren't getting any media attention are you?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 8, 2008

Just to correct deancp08, MK Dons do play in MK. Bletchley is well within the MK boundary. As for jealousy; a fantastic stadium, promoted as champions, a Wembley final, and doing nicely in Lg1.
Good luck to AFC, but we all know where the bitterness and jealousy really comes from.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 8, 2008

Bletchley is in Mk, as much as Wimbledon is in London and Kingston is in London! Jealousy??have a fab stadium, 3 promotions since we started a game at Wembley? Mk 2 relegations one promotion?half filled half finished stadium, Hated by the footballing community.....know who I am proud to support

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 8, 2008

Much as it may pain MKers, posts by them on this article reveals where the irrational bitterness and jealousy really lies. You see Wimbledon fans have good reason to despise MK for taking our League place, a League place MK never earned, but what reason do MK fans have for coming and sniping at Wimbledon? None, except their own bitter guilt at knowing MK never created its own football team but had to take ours instead. So you carry on being jealous of Wimbledon doing things the right way, again, while MK wallows in the mire of being the town that couldn't be bothered to support one of its own teams but had to take somewhere else's instead.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 8, 2008

Only AFC Wimbledon can be considered the continuation of the old Wimbledon FC. Milton Keynes should have built up a local side and EARNED promotion to the league. But no they couldn't be bothered to do that and decided to steal someone else's place.

The one thing that needs to be done is that MK stop calling themselves Dons. They are not, and never will be Dons. I accept that they exist, but that's all.

Here are some suggestions for new names for MK:

MK Town/City
MK Roundabouts
MK Concrete Cows
MK Winklemans
MK Stealers

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 8, 2008

thanks for your comments guys can you vote aswell as looks like the frannies are voting 1.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 8, 2008

MK Stealers laughlaughlaughlaugh

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 8, 2008

I was hoping you'd draw MK Donuts in the second round but it may be Bradford instead.

Like many true football supporters I'm waiting for the day when Wimbledon regain their league place at the expense of those imposters from concrete cow land, now that would be justice.

Best of luck for Monday's tie. ok

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 10, 2008

Very best of luck to AFC tonight - hopefully you can do yourselves proud.

Re next Sunday's football fixtures as listed on this site. FYI Airdrieonians went out of business in 2002 and the Scottish League (to their eternal shame) allowed a bit of franchising north of the border.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 10, 2008

Good luck tonight and I'd love to be there to support yaz on. My bro will be there though.

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.

RATE THIS ARTICLE

Rate Breakdown

  • 5 66.67%
    8 votes
  • 4
    0 votes
  • 3
    0 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1 33.33%
    4 votes

average rating:
3.67 from 12 votes