Popular defender decides to call it a day
Andy Frampton has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35 and the defender says he was thankful for the opportunity to finish his career at his hometown club.
Andy is pictured above saluting Dons fans after his goal against Burton Albion last season.The defender’s excellent displays in his first season with Wimbledon meant that he became a very popular player with Dons fans after making 34 appearances in 2013/14 and scoring four goals, including a memorable double in the 4-0 win against Portsmouth.
However, it has been a tough 2014/15 campaign for Andy due to injuries. Following an operation on his ankle in January, Andy initially intended to “fight tooth and nail” to prolong his career, but he has decided that now is the right time to hang up his boots.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Andy said: “I am gutted, but it is a decision I have made with my family and I believe it is the right time. To come back for this season and go on for next season became a hard ask. Not so long ago I did a session on my own as part of my rehabilitation, it was not a particularly heavy session, but for three days afterwards I had a bad reaction.
“I was not the most skilful player or the quickest, but I played with my heart and every challenge and every pass meant the world to me. I have had great ups and downs, but I have fantastic memories of being a professional footballer. It has been a privilege to be one of those people lucky enough to have played football for a living.”
Andy was handed his debut as a 19-year-old by Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace and he went onto have spells at Brentford, Millwall and Gillingham, along with loan stints at Swindon and Leyton Orient. Highlights of his career included helping Millwall to promotion into the Championship with a 1-0 win against Swindon at Wembley in 2010 and winning the League 2 title with Gillingham in 2013.
The Wimbledon-born centre-back joined his hometown club in the summer of 2013. Despite his contribution not being as significant this season, he captained AFC Wimbledon to a first win against Milton Keynes in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and scored a vital equaliser at York City that would eventually lead to that memorable FA Cup tie against Liverpool.
Of course, in recent times, Andy, who lives in Wimbledon Park, has also supported the club’s bid for a new stadium back at Plough Lane and he helped launch the “Write Now” campaign to encourage people to write letters of support to Merton council.
Andy added: “I have enjoyed my time at every club I’ve been at, but none more so that at AFC Wimbledon. They gave me the chance to carry on playing when I thought I was finished. To come back to the town where I was born and play for the club has been great. I wish AFC Wimbledon all the best moving forward and I really hope the club can get back to Plough Lane in due course.”
Neal Ardley said: “It has been a difficult time for Andy. He suffered an ankle injury at the start of the season that has been tough for him to come back from. We have watched the pain Andy has gone through to try and come back, but unfortunately he broke down again and decided it was the best decision to retire.
“Last season he was close to being our player of the year. We put him in as captain for the JPT game at Milton Keynes and at least that provided a real highlight for Andy during a tough season. He was a great leader for us and is a great man.”
All at AFC Wimbledon wish Andy Frampton every success for the future.
Dons Player subscribers will be able to watch the full seven-minute video interview with Andy on our premium channel soon.