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Going back home: Extensive interview with Dave Bassett

Dons hero on a new stadium for the club back in Merton

21 March 2018

By Rob Cornell

Dave Bassett, the man behind Wimbledon's remarkable rise to football's top-flight, couldn't be more enthused about the club returning to its community.

Dave, who as manager guided the Dons into the top-flight with three promotions in four seasons during the 1980s, gave an extensive interview, as demolition work began to make way for AFC Wimbledon's new ground at Plough Lane.

"It's brilliant to see the start of the work, which is needed, and the progression of the club to build a brand new stadium," said Dave, who is pictured far left in the image above, with Ian Cooke and children from Smallwood Primary School. "It's ideal. It's going to be great for the area as well and the re-emergence of the team being in Wimbledon, I'm really pleased!

"It's now about the work off the field and the philosophy of getting close to the local schools and the local community, which Wimbledon already do well. There's people out here and you've got to make sure that they grow up and instead of going to Chelsea, or Fulham or any of these other teams, that they think, 'let's go to Wimbledon as they've got a lovely stadium, that's more attractive'. All the opportunities are there, but again it will take hard work."

To see the full seven-minute interview with former Wimbledon manager Dave Bassett, click on the link below to our official YouTube channel.

Affectionately known as "Harry", he's not the only member of the "Crazy Gang" era relishing the day Wimbledon step out again at the club's spiritual home.

"I know for a lot of the players, the youth players like Glyn Hodges, Wally Downes, Mark Morris, Andy Thorn, Brian Gayle and Dave Beasant, Wimbledon was something special because they achieved so much in a particular time," said Dave. "I think everyone is really pleased that the club has got their own stadium and the club is on the move. Mick Smith, Vaughan Ryan, Andy Clement and Kevin Gage – all of them have got a soft spot because that's where their careers took off."

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