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All Hope Exhausted for Wimbledon
By David Pickles

Plough Lane - Wimbledon

Sadly, I have to report this evening, Wednesday 13 December 2017, that Merton council finally gave AFC Wimbledon the last go-ahead to demolish Wimbledon Stadium and build their long sought-after football ground.

So, that is finally it. No chance whatsoever of the "Dons" racing again, or any other speedway meeting at Plough Lane.

RIP and thanks for memories.

The BBC reported it thus:

AFC Wimbledon can begin construction of their proposed new stadium at Plough Lane after signing an agreement with Merton Council.

The League One club were granted planning permission in December 2015 to redevelop Wimbledon greyhound stadium.

"This is a momentous day for us," chief executive Erik Samuelson said:

"Everyone in football knows how AFC Wimbledon came into being. Now, 15 years later, we've taken a giant step towards going home to Merton."

The Dons intend to build an 11,000-seater stadium, which could be expanded to hold 20,000, along with 602 residential units, retail and commercial space and a leisure club.

AFC Wimbledon have played at Kingsmeadow, in Kingston upon Thames, since they were founded by supporters of Wimbledon FC in 2002.

The original Wimbledon FC were forced to leave their Plough Lane ground in 1991 following the publication of the Taylor Report which, in the wake of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, recommended that top-flight sides should play in all-seater stadiums.

They shared Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace until 2003 when they moved to Milton Keynes, having been given permission to relocate by an independent commission a year earlier.

The club were subsequently renamed MK Dons, while their old Plough Lane home became a residential development.

AFC Wimbledon had two main aims upon their foundation: to return to the English Football League and to move back to Merton, which they see as the club's spiritual home.

They won five promotions in nine years to reach the Football League in 2011 and then won the League Two play-off final in 2016 to reach the third tier.

AFC Wimbledon took over the leasehold of Kingsmeadow in March 2003 and have agreed to sell the ground to Premier League side Chelsea

 

This article was first published on 16th December 2017

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  • David Pickles:

    "I make a very brief comment on this, and as the original author, would be honoured, if that's the word, to see anything in print. It saddens me beyond belief, to think that Plough Lane, as the last London "OVAL" is going to be bulldozed and gone forever. The home, not only of one the most famous teams in speedway, but the annual "Internationale", a wonderful yearly excursion to SW19, to witness not only the greatest names in the sport, but also some of the best and most competitive racing in the history of speedway. RIP Plough Lane, and thanks for many memories over the years."  

     

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