AFC Bournemouth From Bucket Collection To Premier League

     As I stared at the TV screen last night Bournemouth, or Boscombe , as us old timers still call them, were 3-0 up, and my mind drifted back to the days of my youth, 

  
Saturday’s spent in the South End, or the new stand , at Dean Court watching Ted Macdougall score  9 goals in an Fa cup tie against Margate , and an away trip to Exeter on a Tuesday night in the Autumn, sometime in the 70s ,when there were 20 of us on the official supporters coach

  
Bournemouth has always been a fantastic club where the link between players and fans has been seamless.

When Boscombe were in the old 4th division you could find many of the players, and share a pint with them, in the old Cooper Dean pub.

 Sadly some of their performances at that time reflected their divided loyalties between Dean Court and the Cooper Dean

My Mam and Dad bought a house that backed on to the the new stand at Dean Court, it was so close that at the bottom of our garden you could look through a gap and see the whole of one penalty area.

I spent many afternoons kicking a ball against shutters at the back of the grandstand with my mates

The players would have kick about with you after training, giving you tips and always offering words of encouragement.

Often they would run into the office and get you free tickets for reserve team games, it was that kind of club

John Bond in the 70s gave the club a sexy image, the name was changed from Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football club to AFC Bournemouth

Things got really exciting we even had a scoreboard built !

Whatever and whoever came and went the club was still the people and the towns club and it never lost that ambience

In 2008 there were bucket collections at a meeting held in the old Winter Gardens theatre in an attempt to save the club from extinction

The same year they started the season with a 17 point deduction and relegation from the football league seemed an inevitability

That was when Eddie Howe took over he saved the club from relegation.

The rest has all been documented elsewhere, and as the Premier league beckons Boscombe will still be the people’s club ,too much has been shared in adversity and success for that to change.

  
  

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