As AFC Wimbledon prepare to celebrate their first anniversary back at Plough Lane, a group of supporters are crowdfunding to celebrate the club’s rich and varied history.
Wimbledon in Sporting History (WiSH) are hoping to raise £12,000 by the end of October to produce an ambitious display titled ‘The Greatest Story Timeline’ to bring some colour to the new stadium.
Documenting the club’s highs and lows, it will take fans on a visual journey from the club’s inception on Wimbledon Common back in 1889 to its meteoric rise through the football league a century later.
All the relevant text and imagery from the all important moments will be included, including their famous FA Cup win over Liverpool, to re-forming and being without a permanent ground to the glorious return to their spiritual home of Plough Lane.
Lifelong Wimbledon fan Matthew Couper is heading up the project and explains how the idea came about.
Speaking exclusively to London Football Scene, he said: “At the moment you go into Plough Lane and there’s blank walls everywhere.
“I come from the creative sector so I produce lots of art work on walls. I went into the stadium and saw so many blank spaces and I went, ‘we’ve got to do something with these walls!’
“So I thought, ‘we need to do something in the main part of the area where most of our fans are.’”
The club’s current men and women’s first teams have already pledged to put money into the crowdfunder in order to put the design together.
And, as with all things Wimbledon, fans will also be at the heart of it, able to have their own photos included as part of the new display for as little as a £10 donation.
“We’re a fans’ club and the imagery should be made up of fans!” explained Couper.
“We the fans have taken the initiative to develop this programme and the club have said ‘here’s some walls you can use’. They’ve really listened to us. This is really going to be for us.”
Another impressive feature of the display will be on another wall, which will show several iconic images from Wimbledon’s history in photo mosaic form.
The twist is visitors will be able to see the main image from afar, but as they get closer will notice it’s made of many individual photographs of Wimbledon fans.
That immersive experience is what Couper is looking forward to seeing the most and believes even the most passionate Wimbledon fan can rediscover parts of the club’s history which they may not have been around to experience.
Couper added: “Because we haven’t had a permanent home for 30 years, a lot of people today don’t know about our history. Some people don’t even know how we were re-formed.
“I just want people to have a real connection to the club and realise we have this amazing history that we should celebrate.
“I want fans to have a real sense of pride in the achievements of the club – not just in recent years. What happened in the 1950s or whatever is part of who we are today. It’s been an amazing story.”
The timeline is expected to be placed on the west wall of the main concourse and revealed either at the end of the year or the start of 2022.
If you would like more information or to donate, visit the The Greatest Story Timeline crowd funder page.