Ahead of the historic game vs Bolton, the Club and Dons Trust honoured fans past and present and thanked them for the part they played in the journey of Wimbledon’s football club.
The statement was followed by a minute’s applause leading up to kick-off. We have reproduced those words below.
As we gather here today, about to witness Wimbledon’s football club play a home game in front of fans for the first time in 30 years, we would like you to join us as we take a moment to remember those who cannot be with us on this historic day.
We’re talking about the players, the staff, the volunteers and most of all the fans who played their part in making sure Wimbledon still has a football team to call its own for future generations to enjoy in the years ahead.
They didn’t get to be here to see us make that dream come true, but friends, family and fellow fans live on in our hearts.
All of those who watched us, travelled the length of the country to support us, campaigned for us, wrote letters for us, raised money for us, gave their time and effort for us – we thank you and we will never forget you – and we hope you are proud of what we have become.
And thank you also, of course, to every single person here today and around the world who has contributed to the journey of Wimbledon’s football club. From Old Centrals to Wimbledon FC to AFC Wimbledon, this is the club that refuses to be beaten. The club that defies the odds. The club that is the greatest story in football.
Our legendary Commercial Manager, the late Eric Willocks explained what a football club is for when he said “our fans collect memories”. So we remember all those who’ve shared this journey with us and give them our thanks as we all collect more memories back at Plough Lane.
The journey was long, some people were wrong, we’re AFC Wimbledon and you brought the Dons home.