AFC Wimbledon are the true phoenix club, formed and owned by supporters who have been on an incredible journey from the Combined Counties League to League Two over the past eleven years. The climb from the ninth tier of the English football pyramid was by no means smooth. Plenty of rocky obstacles blocked their path, but they overcame them, and in just nine years they had five promotions, an English record for consecutive games unbeaten, and were back in the professional leagues. In 2002, Dons supporters saw their team, the 1988 FA Cup winners, moved 56 miles north to Milton Keynes, away from their south London base. The supporters refused to accept this and, despite being told by the football authorities that a new club 'would not be in the wider interests of football', they set up AFC Wimbledon, and went from visiting Manchester City to Sandhurst Town. The next nine years were a rollercoaster, mostly full of thrilling ups but many gut-wrenching dips as well. This is the story of how a football club in south London, frowned upon by the authorities, rose from the ashes to yet again become a force in English football.
Graham Moody worked for four years as the sports reporter for newspapers in south London such as the Croydon Guardian and Surrey Comet. He was the reporter for AFC Wimbledon for 18 months from February 2011, and covered their promotion to the Football League. He lives in Earlsfield, London.