That was until May 18 when 2,000 lucky Dons fans were allowed in for a test event against the Liverpool Under-23s. The result was immaterial, it was more the occasion. What it did prove yet again is that the fans make football.
In the season final issue of Wombles Downunder, Peter Leng was inside Plough Lane to paint the picture and in his vivid account he conveys the emotions: “With fans, at last, watching football in Plough Lane for the first time since May 1991, the stadium really did feel like home. The sense of belonging was immediate. This place was OURS, built through so much hard work and generosity over so many years by so many selfless people to make our collective dream come true.” It’s a lovely read.
Tim Hanson dissects Wimbledon’s season under Mark Robinson, opining: “Under his management, the Dons registered 7 wins, 8 draws and 6 defeats from 21 games. That works out at 1.4 points per game, which if replicated over a full season would add up to 64 points and a comfortable mid-table finish.” Some very pertinent observations of Robbo’s transformation of the Dons.
Tim Nicholls looks at how club recruitment is being changed to build next season’s squad along with his thoughts on the 25-year season tickets, while Steve Dowse extols the meteoric rise of Ayoub Assal, now tied to the club in a new three-year deal.
In the wake of the European Super League shemozzle, Trevor Pearce lays it down in his hard-hitting article. “We’ve seen again recently if you want an owner who has the interests of the club, the game and the fans at heart, then the only answer is to be the owners ourselves.”
Ray Armfield talks about his role in the Stadium Heritage Working Group which is tasked to develop a time-line of club history to run the length of the West Stand concourse, with event-specific photographic montages to illustrate it. while Andy Powell sends in his Dons-related thoughts from America.
And no final issue of the season would be complete without our traditional piss-taking features, the Corkies and the Ivors while Windlesham Don provides his player ratings as the votes come in for the WDSA Player of the Season.
It’s all in WDSA’s latest Wombles Downunder newsletter edition No.246, the longest-running (by far) and respected fanzine devoted to Wimbledon, now in its 36th continuous year. Make the call, come and join us as others have, you won’t be disappointed!!
Wombles Downunder has been chronicling Wimbledon FC since October 1985 …..
“WE were there when Fash was terrorising defences in the old Division 2; we were around when Dave Beasant lifted the FA Cup at Wembley; we witnessed the heart-rending day when the Dons went down from the Premier League, and left Neal Ardley on his haunches sobbing; we raged at the injustice of the hijack to Milton Keynes; we flippin’ burst with pride when AFC Wimbledon rose like a phoenix and we cheered when ‘it took only nine years’ to reach the Football League.”
It’s all in the acclaimed ‘Wombles Downunder’ newsletter and all for just one dollar an issue (six a season). We proudly produce a bevy of testimonials after reading Wombles Downunder …
Terry Brown …. Many thanks Rob who has allowed me the opportunity of reminiscing the most exciting and successful five years of my managerial career. Having read through his previous interviews with Allen Batsford, Harry Bassett and Dave Anderson it was a pleasure to be in such illustrious company… Really pleased with your special interview.
Mick Smith … “Excellent read bang up to date and very informative fanzine. More people should benefit from this type of publication.”
Peter Thistle … “Thanks very much for sending the WDSA Newsletter, which I enjoyed very much. I am wondering now just why I have not subscribed before! The articles are very well written, giving balanced views in a mature and sensible fashion.”
Steve Dowse … “I’m in awe of what you put together from so far away and I look forward to every issue.”
Dave Anderson …. What a terrific read !! Covers the club from back to front. It’s a must if you’re a Don.
Derek French … Thanks for inviting me to tell some of the tales from my days at the Dons. Hope your readers enjoy it. It’s an excellent newsletter indeed, informative and interesting.
Mike Taliadoros (Radio WDON) …. “The newsletter is one of the most essential and informative reads available, not just for our Down Under fans, but for Dons supporters all round the globe.”
Kevin Gage …. “You said I might be surprised by your ‘newsletter’……I certainly was! A newsletter implies a sheet of A4, the type of thing I used to bring home from school! How times change! It’s a great read.”
Phil Godfrey …. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this. 30 years! 218 editions! Astounding…
Sydney Don … Super newsletter Rob, and one befitting of a promotion winning season.
Marc Jones …. “Hats (with dangling corks) off to all who assemble the Wombles Downunder newsletter. We all know it’s more than a ‘newsletter’. Here’s to 30 years more.”
Ian Cooke …. “Thirty years!! REALLY? I have always enjoyed the read and your correspondents are very similar in their views/outlooks to most of the fans I speak to.”
Singapore Don …. “Thanks for the newsletter: an excellent read as ever. It’s always such an interesting and engaging set of articles, and great to read others’ views and opinions on tactics, players and so much more. Thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Jason Steger … Lots of info; good stuff. You do a great job. It’s good value.
Paul Jeater ….. “30 years is a remarkable achievement, for any football publication, let alone one based in a different continent from that in which the Club that its focus is located. What makes WDSA newsletter so special is that it recognised the need to go ‘online’ ahead of the race and that it also complements rather than competes with other AFC Wimbledon fanzines.”
Rob Cornell (Radio WDON) ….. “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being interviewed for the WDSA newsletter. It’s an excellent, well researched and well established magazine for Wimbledon and AFC Wimbledon supporters everywhere!”
Thanks again to @OnyaDon for essential reading during these times. @WDownunder has in-depth, up-to-date content on every aspect of #AFCW – the oldest, established and the best fanzine around for Dons fans. Saving the Carlton Fairweather interview to enjoy later! #AFCW ⚽— Rob Cornell (@Dons_Sayer_WDON) April 8, 2020
Richard Fairbairn (Aberdeen, Scotland) ….. “Great fanzine, nicely written and it gives me some insights that it’s just hard to pick being a remote supporter.”
Sophie Waldron ….. OMG…. it looks incredible!
Howard Fry .. Love reading your wondrous fanzine….
Stephen Crabtree (The Historical Don) … “If you want in-depth, up-to-date, critical comment on every aspect of AFC Wimbledon then the Wombles Downunder newsletter is for you. Each issue Rob gets together a range of writers to examine the parts of the club other publications do not reach. Always well informed, at 200 not out it will no doubt be at the crease for many years to come.”
This is a cracking read which oozes energy, spirit, optimism and never-say-die attitude. It’s about football but could be any community activity. Well done @WiggoProp, Woody @charlietabloid @NiallCouper THE FANS BEHIND THE PLOUGH LANE BOND https://t.co/LTbVtqmQd5 via @WDownunder— Jonny Whitehead (@jonnyw71) May 1, 2020
Erik Samuelson… “I’ve always been impressed by the quality and the range of topics from Dons fans around the world. WDSA brings them all together and produces a very high quality newsletter (and website). Long may it continue. My only grumble is that during our interviews he always manages to get me to say a bit more than I meant to, while respecting genuine confidences.”
Ray Armfield .. “The biggest compliment I can pay is that I’ve often read exclusives and discovered news about our club via a newsletter compiled on the other side of the world.”
Rob Bushaway (Derbyshire) … “I have often commented that the news provided by the fanzine was much more informative than the national press. It’s been brilliant and fair to say it still is.”
Andy Powell (Devon Womble) … “I stepped inside Plough Lane to watch my first Wimbledon match sometime late in 1972/1973 (against Nuneaton Borough if memory serves me right), but beyond the fragments of sage wisdom in the local pub about our performances, and a constantly biased press; it was always hard to know much about what was really going on inside the boardroom, inside the dressing room, or occasionally, on the pitch (!) Now, almost 40 years later all I have to do is subscribe a token amount of dosh and I get Wombles Downunder newsletters loaded with the sort of stuff I suspect few club supporters get yet most crave. Where are you hiding the webcams Rob? Probably the best £10 I’ve spent in years.”
Bobby Gould … “I have printed off the three pages of your Dons’ newsletter containing my interview and thoroughly enjoyed the read. Hope your loyal readers enjoyed it as much as I did .”
Mike Richardson … “It’s great. It’s one thing I do read thoroughly.”
Paul Harman … “Thanks for a great magazine. With the advent of technology, the Wombles Downunder newsletter is still required reading. I print each edition and spend the next couple of days reading the magazine.”
Tony Shipman …. “I’ve been meaning to subscribe to your newsletter for some months but didn’t pull my finger out until now. $6 bucks is a great deal and I will read it with interest.”
Iain Sandford …. “I think the newsletter’s fantastic. Full of really interesting and well-informed content and measured, balanced opinion pieces. The Harry Bassett interview was a particular joy. So yes, a terrific read and well worth the investment.”
So if you’ve been meaning to take out a subscription there’s never been a better time to discover the many delights of Wombles Downunder. Here’s your chance, you’ve read what the others say so don’t miss out on a consistently quality read … what are you waiting for?
To get your email PDF subscription to the comprehensive and widely-read Wombles Downunder fanzine and its many pages of quality reading simply follow this link and you will soon become a devotee as are many others around the world — UK, Europe, Asia, South America, United States and Australasia. Now in its 36th year and still very much a thoroughly good read ….. and so much MORE than just a newsletter!!