Demolition work has begun on the future site of English lower league soccer side AFC Wimbledon’s new stadium – a sight that its fans have been waiting for since 2002.
The south London-based club, which was reformed over 16 years ago after the original Wimbledon FC relocated to Milton Keynes where it subsequently rebadged and renamed, will finally find a home at Plough Lane, Wimbledon, a place the club calls its ‘spiritual home’.
The historic moment saw bulldozers begin to tear down the greyhound race track in the London borough of Merton – a site just yards away from that of the club’s original stadium, which is now a residential area.
The event was attended by AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson, as well as former famous faces of the club including former manager Dave Bassett and player Ian Cooke.
“Our fans have been waiting a very long time to return to the borough of Merton. Supporters have not only waited patiently, but they have also actively played their part in helping this to happen, making representations to the borough about the importance of a new stadium and making their views known at London and national level,” said Mark Davis, chairman of supporters organization The Dons Trust.
“I’m delighted that their patience and commitment is now being rewarded with tangible progress on the ground. We look forward to a new football stadium starting construction once the site is cleared and to AFC Wimbledon playing a proud role in the sporting and cultural life of the borough.”
The new stadium, which will replace the old greyhound race track, will have an initial capacity of 9,000-10,000 – and permission to increase this to 20,000 – and has a planned completion date of 2019.
Credit: Sheppard Robson
March 21, 2018