Another game, another prize Guess the Score. Be first to be right, have a UK delivery address and – whoever you support – you will win the mug (a Wimbledon or neutral winner would be found something suitable).
We need to start winning again and we probably didn’t need Wimbledon to have a morale-boosting FA Cup victory over West Ham United.
But in a spirit of friendship, we hand over the rest of this edition of the competition to Gary Jordan*, one of several Wimbledon supporters who responded to a plea for help with the Who are You? interview.
Gary, a published author (see the embedded tweet below for detail and check his Twitter account here), settled for writing a piece about the joys and less joyful moments of supporting his team. Here goes ….
“What’s it like to be a Wimbledon fan?” asks Gary. It was a tired question after a while. Something that was asked in an inquisitive way, as if the person asking was enquiring about some strange phenomenon that only ancient historians would be able to answer.
The reason: we were, and still are, a rare breed. But just as any other supporter of any club up and down the land it’s what you’re born into.
It’s your local club. Your local pride. Through thick and thin you stand shoulder to shoulder with others on the terraces (sadly seats have taken over most stadiums, but the choice could be heading back soon).
A reminder that if you follow the #England national team you may be interested in this book capturing the moments from their ‘70 #WorldCup exit to their exploits in the ‘82 campaign https://t.co/BXAdYNiC4i @PitchPublishing pic.twitter.com/X64Ehfapr2
— Gary Jordan (@Gazjor1) January 27, 2019
Others were also born into the heritage of following the team. For most the idea of supporting Wimbledon was lost. Why not follow another team with more success in the area? After all London is blessed with many clubs with a more successful history of winning.
But what is success? Trophies for sure, but if we were all just glory hunters looking to boast
how big our trophy cabinet is then football fandom would be a very shallow water.
Sunderland have had their own downs in recent times, the future for now though does look bright
and the club does deserve to be in a higher position, if not for its players but for its hardened support. Like say Manchester City and Leeds United who suffered through bad boardroom deals, the fans stood by the club and have strong support wherever they play.
The same, of course, lies at the heart of Wimbledon, now in its current guise with an AFC prefix.
The club is now run by its Supporters’ Trust, due to the now infamous franchising move that led to most fans around the country having a soft spot for us.
On the field the team is enduring its worst since its rebirth but will fight all the way until it’s either safe or mathematically impossible to avoid the drop.
That commitment was shown just this past week when the spirit rose emphatically to knock West Ham United out of the FA Cup and write another passage into our history books. Whatever the result this Saturday I’m sure it will be a keenly fought contest with points vital for both teams for their differing reasons.
* Gary Jordan adds:
Let me predict 2-2. As for me, I’ve been following the Dons since 1985 and am a season ticket holder, so have seen many ups and downs. I’ve been writing about football and other sports for years years with regular contributions to magazines and online.