Today we are launching a campaign for Milton Keynes Dons Football Club to “Drop the Dons” from their name.
Ten years ago, a group of fans came together to rebuild a football club after a decision that robbed our community of a football team and shocked fans all over the country.
Wimbledon FC – who once played at Plough Lane – were sold to new owners who relocated the team to Milton Keynes in 2003.
In 2004, Wimbledon was dropped from the name and the new club became Milton Keynes Dons.
Wimbledon’s supporters were rightly outraged by a decision that betrayed fans and amounted to the creation of soulless football franchise.
But now, for the second time in its history, Wimbledon has a football club it can be proud of and one that could conceivably emulate former glories.
AFC Wimbledon, born on the fields of Wimbledon Common in 2002, has had a meteoric rise through the ranks of England’s football league system, surging from the ninth to the fourth tier (League Two) in just nine seasons.
Meanwhile, MK Dons hovers above AFC Wimbledon in the third tier (League One). It is only a matter of time before AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons are drawn to play each other, whether in league or cup competition.
While the memories of what came before will never be forgotten, the name MK Dons exists only as a cruel reminder to fans of both clubs of what came before.
By dropping the Dons from their name, Milton Keynes can show the football world, and Wimbledon’s supporters, they are sensitive to the past and willing to build bridges.
In a world where many footballers earn more in a week than most people do in a year, AFC Wimbledon’s story of triumph over struggle matters because it shows what can be done with hard work and determination.
It is a story which proves football means so much more than a billionaire’s status symbol or a corporate cash cow.
It is time to write the next chapter in that story and we ask Milton Keynes Dons to do the right thing for them and for us.