Football

There is no 'real' Wimbledon anymore

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Neither AFC Wimbledon or Milton Keynes Dons are the same club that won the 1988 FA Cup final against Liverpool.

Components of both sets of fans claim to be the 'Crazy Gang' but neither actually are.

The recent FA Cup tie between AFC Wimbledon and Liverpool saw people stating that this was a rematch of the famous final but it wasn't, as AFC Wimbledon and Wimbledon FC co-existed before the original became MK Dons.

The Move

Wimbledon FC’s home attendances at Plough Lane had been dwindling before their 1993 move to Selhurst Park which was meant to be temporary.

But Sam Hammam struggled for years in an attempt to purchase a site for a new stadium and made the controversial decision to relocate to Milton Keynes. And, by September 2003, when Wimbledon played their first game at the National Ice Hockey Stadium, AFC Wimbledon had already been created and was embarking on its second season in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

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Franchise FC

MK Dons and their fan base, which consists of mostly new fans alongside a smaller proportion of Wimbledon FC fans who followed their club up the M1, receive regular abuse with the club being labelled 'Franchise FC' by many.

Nearly 11 years have passed since the renaming of Wimbledon FC to MK Dons but many football fans remain adverse to the Milton Keynes side as they believe they 'stole' a league place.

Continuation 

Milton Keynes Dons are the continuation of Wimbledon FC, that is a fact.

This, however, doesn't mean that MK Dons are Wimbledon and this was emphasised when the club 'gave back' the trophies to Merton council.

Wimbledon FC died in 2004 and became a new club, which is how most of the League One club's fans see things.

AFC and Wimbledon co-existed

AFC Wimbledon and Wimbledon FC existed at the same time, it wasn't for long, but the fact remains that both clubs existed and competed simultaneously.

The majority of football fans will state that AFC Wimbledon and Wimbledon FC are the same club but that is fundamentally untrue.

AFC Wimbledon retained the majority of the original Wimbledon's fans but they are two different clubs.

The easiest way of seeing both MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon is that they are both phoenix clubs formed out of the death of Wimbledon FC.

Time to move on

Over a decade years has passed since the renaming of Wimbledon FC and Milton Keynes Dons and, although it will still hurt AFC Wimbledon fans for years to come, the time has has come to move on.

Both clubs have established themselves as Football League clubs and have enjoyed success in their short histories.

AFC Wimbledon took just nine years from formation to get in to the Football League and are looking like a side who could pull off promotion to League One in years to come.

MK Dons have become a major part of the community in Milton Keynes and are known for their family club reputation.

MK have also enjoyed promotion from League Two alongside the Johnstone Paint Trophy in 2008 and are looking good for promotion to the Championship so far this season.

The sides have also played each other three times now with MK winning two and AFC taking one of the games.

The first game was a heated affair on and off the pitch and was won by MK thanks to a last minute Jon Otsemobor goal. It has seen the right back gain cult hero status and been dubbed the 'Heel of God' by fans.

The two fixtures that followed, both in the current campaign, have been dull with fans of both sides appearing to get bored of the tie. But it remains a unique rivalry and both clubs have the potential to be successful in the coming seasons.

The hurt will never go away, and there will always be hate between the clubs, but it is time for everyone associated with to move on.

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Topics:
Milton Keynes Dons
League One
League Two
AFC Wimbledon
Football

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