The launch of Niall Couper’s “This is our Time” book will take place before Saturday’s Accrington Stanley match and we today offer supporters a taste of what they can expect from the AFC Wimbledon story.
In an interview with Wimbledon Vice President and Dons Trust Board member, Iain McNay, Niall talks about the inspiration for his follow-up book to the “Spirit of Wimbledon”. To view the video interview, click on Niall Couper interview. The link also features past interviews which Iain conducted with Wimbledon greats including Dave Bassett, Terry Burton, Dickie Guy and Ian Cooke.
The interview with Niall starts with a look back at THAT meeting of over 1,000 people at Wimbledon Community Centre when Kris Stewart suggested starting a new club.
“One of the things that Kris said is that he just wanted to watch football,” said Niall. “The passion on that night was the coming together of what had been a horrible year of protests, but it brought together some of the great thinkers and campaigners among the Wimbledon fan base. These people brought together the spirit of Wimbledon which had existed for generations and crystalized that into one club, AFC Wimbledon. I totally believe from all my research that those individuals took on what was happening all over the football world and it made AFC Wimbledon flag-bearers of the supporters' trust movement.”
Niall’s book is, of course, named after the famous words which Danny Kedwell apparently said to his team-mates before his winning penalty in the play-off final at Manchester against Luton Town. The chapter about that special day features interviews with several of the players who made history and that sums up Niall’s approach in the book.
“I have tried as much as possible to keep my opinions out of it,” Niall added. “There are bits in there from me when I talk about things from the early days as I was on the board and did the programme. But the main thing was to give the key figures the opportunity to recount the stories that are vital to AFC Wimbledon through their eyes. There are football memories, for example Matt Everard’s header against Herne Bay, I love that moment, but to have that through Matt’s words is really important. Of course, there is the play-off final at Manchester and I have interviewed as many players as possible, including Danny Kedwell, and they recalled what it meant to them.”
The book, priced £15, and published by Cherry Red Books, documents the rise from the ashes of Wimbledon FC through to AFC Wimbledon’s first season in the Football League. It covers all the key stories through the eyes of those involved, including the MacAnthony takeover bid, WISA going face-to-face with Peter Winkelman, the Jermain Darlington affair and Terry Burton’s plot to oust Charles Koppel. Dons legends including Dario Gradi, Dave Bassett, Lawrie Sanchez and Marcus Gayle are also interviewed.
Supporters can visit our club shop on Saturday to purchase the book or buy it online by clicking on “This is our Time”. Along with the usual merchandise, supporters can also purchase a yellow programme binder to mark our 10th anniversary and an AFC Wimbledon crystal champagne glass to toast our first 10 years.