House of Payne: Players leave Dons but fans remain real heroes
10:14pm Sunday 8th June 2014 in Sport
Football is all about its heroes and, over the past 12 years, AFC Wimbledon have had more than their fair share – on and off the pitch, writes John Payne.
They have bid farewell to several popular players this summer, including two who have stamped an indelible mark on the club’s history.
Wimbledon fan-turned-goalkeeper Seb Brown,the most fitting hero possible of the penalty shoot-out that saw Dons reach the Football League by beating Luton at the City of Manchester stadium in 2011, has joined Bromley.
Meanwhile, striker Jack Midson, whose goals played a huge part in their last-gasp survival last season as well as being League Two’s joint top scorer in 2011-12, has left for Eastleigh.
Wimbledon fans have had to get used to saying farewell to some of their favourites.
A harsh reality of rising through the leagues so quickly has been a high turnover of players. Despite that, the likes of Kevin Cooper, Gavin Bolger, Robert Ursell, Jon Main are as much part of the folklore of the club as Dave Beasant, Kevin Gage, Glyn Hodges and Vinnie Jones.
Considering the rise from the Combined Counties League to League Two, it would not have been possible for a Wimbledon player to have amassed 501 games for the club like Dean Lewington has for Milton Keynes Dons.
Lewington has been granted a testimonial by the Buckinghamshire side this summer and rightly so. Whether people in south London like it or not, having started out as a Wimbledon player, he has been a stalwart since their move to Stadium:MK.
Sammy Moore looks the best placed of the current squad to achieve some kind of longevity, having signed a contract this summer which will see him add to his 150 appearances for the Dons.
The constant up to now at AFC Wimbledon has been the supporters.
Former managers like Dave Anderson or Terry Brown and pretty much all the players to have worn the yellow and blue know they have been part of something special.
They are not the only heroes.