Giving Orient fans a voice
Leyton Orient Fans' Trust
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Wimbledon is Dead. Long Live AFC Wimbledon...

by Doug Harper
The 13th of July this year saw AFC Wimbledon play their second ever game, at Dulwich Hamlet. The club, formed by members of the Dons Trust and the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association in protest at Charles Koppel's planned move to Milton Keynes, had played their first ever game at Sutton in front of a staggering 4500 fans four days earlier.

It had been decided that there would be a meeting before the Dulwich match for the various Trusts, so that we could discuss what could be done to help AFC Wimbledon further, and what could be done if this situation were ever to happen again. About 40 people, including AFC Wimbledon chairman Kris Stewart, attended the meeting and at least seven different trusts were represented.

One of the most positive aspects to come out of the troubles that Wimbledon fans have suffered is that with some dedication and hard work, they have shown all fans that it is possible for fans to own their own club in such adversity. This has really put Milton Keynes Wimbledon on the back foot. They have lost the core of their support and judging by the feeling of the fans I spoke to at Dulwich, the other Wimbledon is no more. As it is, Koppel has not been able to move to the Milton Keynes hockey pitch, as it is not yet up to league standard.

It may seem like a drastic step, but these fans were facing a worse-case scenario. I have always wondered how I would feel if something similar happened at LOFC and it came very close (as we all know just a few years back, albeit it different circumstances) but at least now we have hope. But football is a precarious sport and although we are stable now, who knows what may happen a few years down the line.

AFC Wimbledon have had coverage in all areas of the media both local and national, but this is a campaign that must be kept up and support must continue. It is hoped that there will be banner that will be used by all home fans who play Milton-Keynes-Wimbledon, which will be handed to the next club who plays them.

There are also a number of other ideas to stop the campaign going stale. If the campaign goes to plan, expect to see banners in prominent places at many Premiership games, and also at England games, starting with the game against Slovakia. I can safely say that the atmosphere at Dulwich on Saturday was unique, I was at the birth of a new club with fans who were despairing only two months before. This really must work, if only to show those who run the game that football fans are at last having a major influence (thanks to Trusts) and will not take everything that is thrown at them.

Any comments? Email me at

For more information about AFC Wimbledon, see their website at

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