Saturday, 21 May 2011

Wombles of Wimbledon AFC! Back in the League!

It is a footballing fairytale!

The community club that fought back after seeing their club sold to a town, miles away, are back in the football league!

Wimbledon FC were founded in 1889 but were only promoted to the Football League in 1977 and incredibly managed to reach the top-flight of Enlgish football within just 9 years. They then caused probably the greatest shock in the FA Cup Final history by beating the mighty Liverpool in 1988. In doing so they became only the second club to have won the FA Amateur Cup as well as the FA Cup proper having won the former in 1962-1963.

They kept their place in the old First Division / Premier League until 2000.

They played at Plough Lane until 1991 and then had to ground-share with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Controversially, they were granted permission to move 56 miles away to Milton Keynes in 2002 after the FA allowed them to move from their spiritual London home. Wimbledon moved in September 2003, and became Milton Keynes Dons in June 2004.

Disenchanted members of the old club refused to accept the move and formed AFC Wimbledon and became affiliated to both the London and Surrey Football Associations and entered the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League. With community support, they have moved up the league ladder in an incredible fashion.

Today, they completed a wonderful story by earning their 5th promotion in 9 years by beating Luton Town on penalties in the Conference Play-Off Final. In doing so, they confirmed their return to the Football League which had all but banished them from existence when the FA allowed that contentious move back in 2002.

With the MK Dons now only one division above them, it can now surely be only a matter of time before this fiercest of rivalries is met head-to-head on the football field.

Well done to the Wombles, to the Crazy Gang, to the Dons - you're back in the league and anyone who loves football, will be all the more delighted to see it.

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