It is with great sadness that tonight’s historic game, our first home game in almost 30 years, must be played behind doors.
However, we are pleased to have been able to extend the opportunity to join remotely by sponsoring the match against Doncaster Rovers and offering around 300 Dons Trust members free iFollow passes.
We also hope you’ll get involved with the celebrations remotely by sending in videos and photos during the day using the hashtag #BackToPloughLane on Twitter and let’s see you in your club shirts or proudly waving your banners and scarves. And don’t miss the exclusive live show from inside the ground, which will be streamed via the club’s YouTube channel from 6pm tonight. We are thankful to Charlie Talbot for the endless hours he has spent pulling this together, as well as to Chris Phillips who is hosting the show alongside FA Cup winners Terry Gibson and John Scales.
There will, however, be a few people in attendance at tonight’s game, and for full transparency, we detail them here.
Joe Palmer (AFC Wimbledon CEO) and Mark Davis (Dons Trust Chair) are proud to be welcoming Stephen Alambritis to Plough Lane. As the leader of the council, Stephen has been instrumental in championing our return home.
President, Dickie Guy, and Life Vice President, Ian Cooke, will also be at Plough Lane representing the continuation of the playing history of the team at Plough Lane. From the stadium committee, Mick Buckley, Ed Leek and Luke Mackenzie will be in attendance along with the stadium project manager Joe Giordano. Vice-chair, Jane Lonsdale, and Board member, Tim Hillyer, will be there representing the Dons Trust and it is also our great pleasure to invite to the game Lou Carton-Kelly, the Founding Chair of the Dons Trust together with Kris Stewart, our first Chairman. Ex-CEO Erik Samuelson will also be in attendance. Iain Mcnay will be representing the PLC as Chair.
Alongside these, the Dons Trust are proud to invite two long-standing volunteers to tonight’s match who were picked from a random draw conducted by Joe Palmer. These volunteers are Dave Ritchie who had been a regular on the turnstiles since 2002 and also Jim Potter, a man many of you will recognise from raising money for the club selling golden goal tickets come rain or shine.
Club staff who will be working at the game include David Charles, Ivor Heller, Trevor Williams and Tom Rawcliffe. Also in attendance will be Vice Presidents Paul Shipham, Eamon Razvi, Richard Downes and John Lynch. The media team includes Laurence Lowne, Michael Taliadoras, Rob Cornell and Chris Slavin, and to ensure things work behind the scenes, the AFC Wimbledon IT team of Chris Mappley and David Growns, and the stretcher team of Tommy Woolgar, Nick Brickell, Sophie Brickell, Georgia Brickell, Dennis Lowndes and Keith Stone will also be working the game.
Dons Trust Board members Hannah Kitcher and Graham Stacey will be working from home monitoring social media. Please keep an eye out on how you can get involved.
The Dons Trust and AFC Wimbledon are thankful to Doncaster Rovers officials who chose to give up their 10 allocated places for the match.
For clarification purposes, two draws were held: one draw for volunteers who had given over five years of service, whilst the other draw was for those listed above. The Dons Trust Board made the decision that only Mark Davis, Dickie Guy, Stephen Alambritis and two of our incredible volunteers would be guaranteed a place alongside Joe Palmer. The rest were picked via a draw of directors and people who made exceptional contributions to our journey home. We are grateful to the Dons Trust board members, vice presidents and other important people who voluntarily stood aside to let the above people attend.
But most of all we are thankful to every single of our of fans and members. This was our dream since 2002 and whilst it is heart-breaking that you can’t all be will us, we look forward to hosting you at Plough Lane in the near future when we can guarantee a very emotional return and a very special event.