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A.F.C. Bournemouth

From Academic Kids

Template:Football club infobox AFC Bournemouth is an English football team currently playing in Football League One.

The side plays at the Fitness First Stadium (Dean Court) in Kings Park, Bournemouth. The club has been in existence since 1899. Its nickname is The Cherries. The team usually plays in red and black stripes, however, their kit for the 2004/05 season is predominantly red.

Detailed History

AFC Bournemouth were founded in 1899 and were first called Boscombe FC. Boscombe played in the Kings Park area where The Fitness First Stadium at Dean Court is situated today. In 1910, the team, who changed in the Portman public house, were given the nickname The Cherries after their red and white striped tops and the fact that they were located near some cherry orchards. Boscombe's first professional player was B.Penton who they bought from Southampton F.C. for just 10.

Their first season was not very glorious as they finished bottom of the Southern League. By the 1923/24 season Boscombe made their way to the football league, but were welcomed with a 3-1 defeat at Swindon Town F.C. on August 25th. Their first ever league point was in their first match at home in a 0-0 draw with Swindon Town F.C. again. 6,614 people saw the team on that day, so if you consider how much work goes into promoting the club nowadays, that was a good crowd. During 1923 Boscombe changed their name to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club.

Bournemouth got their first taste of glory as they beat Walsall F.C. in the Third Division Cup (south) at Chelsea F.C.'s Stamford Bridge shortly after the end of the Second World War.

Success came Bournemouth's way again in the 1956/57 season as they achieved giant killers status, going on a tremendous FA Cup run. They knocked out Burton Albion, Swindon Town F.C., Accrington F.C., Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur before bowing out to Manchester United 2-1. That match with the Red Devils resulting in a record attendance at Dean Court, which is still to be beaten at Bournemouth, of 28,799. For their efforts they were presented with "The Giant Killers Cup".

In 1970 the club had fallen down to the fourth division but came straight back up under the management of John Bond. Phil Boyer, Ted MacDougall and Mel Machin were the stars of the season. MacDougall netted 49 times in the 1970-71 season and added a further 9 to his career tally a year later against Margate in the Cherries' famous 11-0 victory in the FA Cup.

On their return to Division 3, B&B AFC changed its name to A.F.C Bournemouth. In 1975 the club went back down a league and crowds had dropped to just 3000. Ted MacDougall was sold and Bond departed Dean Court, joining Norwich City. Bond was replaced by John Benson as manager of the club. This all added up to the start of the great debts at the end of the century.

Six years after departing, MacDougall rejoined the Cherries on a free transfer from Southampton F.C.. Benson was replaced by Alec Stock and things were on the up after his first game. The Cherries thumped Doncaster Rovers F.C. 7-1 but the good fortune didn't continue as Bournemouth finished a terrible season in 18th place.

In the 79-80 season, MacDougall abandoned the sinking ship joining, Blackpool F.C. as assistant manager. A season later, David Webb joined the Cherries as player-manager. Although he won the Cherries promotion in his second season, he was soon given the sack.

Harry Redknapp, now one of football's well known and friendly faces, stepped into the managerial hot-seat for the first time, taking over as caretaker boss before Don Megson was appointed manager. At the end of his first season the Cherries sat in 14th place. He became another manager to leave Dean Court after a very short spell as a bad start to the 83-84 season saw Megson resign.

Harry Redknapp was given the job and he managed the Cherries to a great cup run, in which they picked up a very famous win which is still talked about today. Bournemouth knocked cup holders Manchester United out of the competition, winning 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup, but they finished the season in a poor 17th place. The next season saw a complete turn around under Redknapp and by 1987, the Cherries had won the Associate Members Cup and the Division Three championship.

Unfortunately, the club were relegated from Division Two in 1990, losing to Leeds United on the final day of the season as some of the Elland Road pack famously trashed Bournemouth's town centre and beach (many of the vandals were later banned from attending Leeds matches). They would have survived if Middlesbrough had been beaten by their local rivals Newcastle United, but Boro unexpectedly crushed Newcastle 4-1. Two years later Redknapp resigned after failing to make the playoffs twice.

Tony Pulis took over as manager and the club were slipping further and further down the league and into deep financial trouble. Pulis left just before the start of the 1994-95 season, and without having an official manager (reportedly the senior players were taking turns in picking the team), the team underwent the worst start of any team since the reformation of the league. In December, former player Mel Machin took to the hot-seat. At the end of the season, the club completed the "Great Escape" with help from Steve Jones, Steve Fletcher, Scott Mean and of course, Mel Machin. The club were in severe danger of dropping a division, spending virtually all season in the relegation zone (combined with the fact that, in order to reduce the number of teams in the Premier League, all divisions had one less automatic promotion spot and one more relegation spot), but a Steve Jones winner in the penultimate game of the season gave Bournemouth a victory over Brentford F.C. and the club were now out of the relegation zone. On the last day of the season, fans went wild as the Cherries beat Shrewsbury Town F.C. 3-0 to stay in the Second Division. Goals from Jason Brissett, Scott Mean and Steve Robinson gave Bournemouth the victory and Mel Machin was the most popular man in Bournemouth after saving the club from relegation.

Machin picked up some great signings on loan and on free transfers and Bournemouth were gradually improving. During 1996 and '97 however, the off-field drama was more important than the playing side of things. The club were now in debt by 3 million and the receivers moved into Dean Court. The future looked non-existent. Fans and residents of Bournemouth came together to help save the Cherries and donations to a trust fund amounted to thousands of pounds. The club were 15 minutes from going out of business when Trevor Watkins stepped forward and announced that the Trust Fund were going to take over the club. On June 18th, Watkins gave a speech that was music to the ears of all Boscombe fans:

"I'm pleased to announce that just after 4 o'clock the assets of AFC Bournemouth...have been transferred into the hands of the community"

This made Bournemouth the first "Community Club" in Europe and Watkins was now chairman of AFC Bournemouth.

In 1998, Bournemouth completed a very special year with their first visit to the Twin Towers of Wembley Stadium for the Auto Windscreens Shield final. Bournemouth took 34,000 people to the match and although they lost 2-1 to Grimsby Town F.C. in golden goal extra time, nothing could take away the achievements of the past year. Twelve months later the club finished the season 7th, one place away from the playoffs with only one goal needed in the 0-0 draw with Wrexham on the final day of the season to put the Cherries into the top six.

1999 was one of the worst seasons in a while. Although the main danger was cleared off the field, money was still needed to pay off debts. By now Matt Holland had been sold to Ipswich Town F.C.and he was followed by Ian Cox, who joined Burnley F.C.. An injury crisis was one of the main reasons that Bournemouth once again missed out on the playoffs, finishing mid-table.

Mel Machin stepped down to Director of Football and Sean O'Driscoll (one of the players who had been picking the team in late 1994) was promoted from coach to manager. This happened at the start of the 2000/01 season and with Bournemouth plunging into trouble fast, it seemed like a bad move. But due to a dramatic reversal of fortunes, Bournemouth managed to become main challengers for the play-offs. A heart breaking draw with Reading F.C. on the final day of the season prevented Bournemouth from making the top six, but the side set a new consecutive scoring record for league games, thanks to a 19 goal contribution from Jermaine Defoe, on loan from West Ham United.

There was great expectation going into 2001/02, but Bournemouth, who started the season at Dorchester Town F.C. while Dean Court was rebuilt, once again got off to a slow start and never really got going. The injury to Steve Fletcher was a major blow, and the opening of the new Fitness First Stadium failed to bring much luck. Despite their best efforts, they were relegated on the last day of the season after Eddie Howe left for Portsmouth F.C., (although after an injury plagued Pompey career Bournemouth resigned him for free in November 2004). The financial state was once again a major worry as the focus went off the poor footballing matters, and now the Cherries are looking for funds desperately with BARR Construction owed money for the new ground and the debts mounting.

On 23 February 2004, in a 6-0 win over Wrexham, James Hayter broke the Football League record for the fastest hatrick ever, 2 minutes, 20 seconds, beating the previous record set in 1943 by 10 seconds.

Famous Players

External links

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