I have blogged before about my love of football and Liverpool FC. As a supporter I was fortunate enough to have witnessed some of their greatest triumphs live. One of their almost triumphs was the FA Cup Final of 1988 against Wimbledon where they lost 1-0 and the chance of a second ‘double’ in three years. I was standing behind the goal that John Aldridge missed the penalty; my heart sank through the ground.
Although disappointed at the result, I was pleased for Wimbledon who had only been a league team for eleven years and had a meteoric rise to the (old) First Division. It was a triumph for football. Little did I know at the time, such incredible feats of football over money would be confined to dreams. Indeed, Wimbledon was the last non-big club to win the FA Cup.
A year after their triumph, Wimbledon lost their ground in Wimbledon and was forced to share with Crystal Palace. Wimbledon suffered with the worst attendances in the top flight; to survive they had to sell their best players. The club was sold and the new owners decided to move the club from its roots in South London to Milton Keynes. The fans protests were ignored by the Football Association who sold out football by agreeing to the move and change of name to Milton Keynes Dons.
The fans quite rightly refused to support the ‘new’ club who were falling through the leagues as fast as ‘they’ once climbed them. The fans formed AFC Wimbledon based in South London. Remarkably, they have risen through the non-league pyramid at a unprecedented rate and are now second in the Conference, one league below the Football League. Today went I went to see them play at Kidderminster today, Kiddy won the match 2-0. I hope in spite of this, AFC Wimbledon get promoted and climb the leagues once again. What happened to Wimbledon was a disgrace to football and highlighted what sham money has made football.