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Event captures club ethos

4 May 2016

Sponsors evening raises more funds for club

Commercial Director Ivor Heller paid tribute to excellent backing from Wimbledon supporters once again at a very successful kit sponsors dinner last night.

The full AFC Wimbledon squad and management joined fans in the back bar for a celebration just three days after Neal Ardley’s men clinched a play-off place.

As well as fans having donated plenty of funds to the club through sponsorship this season, a raffle held last night raised £800 for the We Are Wimbledon Fund.

Ivor said: “I have to say thanks once again to supporters for being such valued sponsors of the club. The people here tonight are a real part of this club. There are volunteers here, fans who do all kinds of jobs around the club, and everyone who puts their name to shirt sponsorship really helps. I look at match programmes for other clubs and often see gaps where they cannot get all their shirts sponsored, but we cannot have enough players! Even ‘Rocket’ (Robin Bedford) our Kit Man gets sponsored!

“We have all the players here and the effort the players have put in has been exceptional. I also have to mention the management team because they have to deal with the egos and quirks of players and mould them into a team. It’s been a thrilling season for this football club.”

Our photograph above shows brothers Arron and Kye Margeison with Neal Ardley at last night’s event and plenty of other pictures are in in our gallery above.

Aaron said: “We are old Plough Lane boys and we grew up watching Neal as a kid when he was a player coming through. It’s great to see him now as manager. The quality of the players we are getting in now with the likes of Lyle Taylor and Paul Robinson is amazing.”

Simon Bailey, who is pictured with Paul Robinson in our gallery, jointly sponsors the defender with his friend Paulo Bartlett. Simon has been involved with sponsorship since the early days of AFC Wimbledon and the first player he sponsored was Neil Robson.

“Since AFC Wimbledon started we just wanted to help the club out,” said Simon. “My Dad was a big fan as long ago as the 1950s and he went to the FA Amateur Cup Final in 1963. I now have two sons Dylan and Lewis and they support the Dons too. They don’t have any choice!”

In his speech, Neal Ardley praised his squad for their dedication after sealing a play-off place and he saluted backing from supporters since the reformation of AFC Wimbledon.

“The management try to create a structure here of how we go about things, but I’ve never worked with such a dedicated squad. In a way they are self-manageable. They know what makes us tick and how we have to play. They are so determined to bring success to this football club.

“We have to try and calm them down at times because they are so fired up. Hopefully, that takes us all the way to Wembley. As long as they give everything – in the same way that our fans have in the last 14 years – then that’s all you can ask for. We will do our best to finish the season on a high.”

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