By Rob Cornell
FA Cup winner Lawrie Sanchez believes the move back to Plough Lane will be the launchpad for Wimbledon to attract a new generation of supporters.
“Getting back to Plough Lane will be pivotal in the forward development of the club and hopefully, sometime in the future, I can see them being a Championship club,” said Lawrie speaking after the recent commemorative dinner to celebrate 30 years since his goal helped earn Wimbledon victory over Liverpool in the 1988 final at Wembley.
“It's important that the young kids are brought into Wimbledon, so that we have a fan base longer term and perhaps we can generate 15,000 to 20,000 crowds on a regular basis in the future.
“The jump to the Premier League is a very, very difficult one - especially financially these days - but I certainly can see AFC Wimbledon being a Championship club. If they do, that step back to the Championship will probably be the greatest story in football since the original story of 25 years from FA Amateur Cup to FA Cup. It’ll be the second greatest story after that! Perhaps they can create two of the greatest stories in English football.”
The full interview with Lawrie Sanchez, goal scorer in the 1988 FA Cup Final victory for Wimbledon at Wembley, can be seen below via a link to our official YouTube channel.
The former Wimbledon midfielder was joined by the Dons’ penalty-saving captain Dave Beasant and striker Terry Gibson at the club event, which raised significant funds for AFC Wimbledon Foundation.
Lawrie admitted: “I looked like my son! It’s amazing! Thirty years ago – where it’s gone, who knows?!
“It was probably appropriate that Dave was captain on the day, someone that had played in the fourth tier of English football and played all the way through to the Cup win, so it was appropriate that he held the Cup up.
“There were one or two players from those days still at the club, Alan Cork in particular, people who had seen it at the bottom end and were in and around the club when I first came. Dave and “Corky” were part of that Cup-winning team. I wasn’t an original member of the “Crazy Gang”, I joined it halfway through and the others that came after went on and made it even better, but it encapsulated a moment in time for all of us and it was great that we were able to share it again.
“Terry and I were lucky to work together at Wycombe and then when I went to Northern Ireland both Terry and Dave came with me and at Fulham, for the short time we were there we worked together.
“We’ve had our times together – had our ups and downs – and it’s nice to remember when it was an ‘up’ and that was a tremendous ‘up’!”