When Elliott Bolton came off the substitute’s bench for AFC Wimbledon in Germany last weekend, it took him a step closer to completing an amazing journey with The Dons.
The midfielder received a late call-up from Wally Downes for the matches against Kaiserslautern and Kickers Offenbach. At just 17, Elliott made his first team bow as he figured towards the end of both games, but this isn’t even the start of his story.
“I was the first AFC Wimbledon mascot against Chipstead back in August of 2002,” said Elliott proudly. “Joe Sheerin was the captain and he carried me out on to the pitch. I can’t really remember much as I was so young! I’ve got newspapers that we’ve kept up in the loft for so many years and a framed picture.
“My Dad (Neil) was the mascot for the last time for Wimbledon FC (before they were elected into the Football League in 1977) back in the Southern League, so that’s a bit of history there too!”
On being called up for first team action in Germany, said Elliott, who is a second-year scholar: “It was absolutely incredible, I couldn’t believe it! There were only seven of us that got the call-up to go to Germany. I really looked forward to being around the first-team environment. I’ve watched them from the stands, but to be out there with them on the pitch and with the fans singing was incredible!”
Our new under-18s coach Rob Tuvey praised Elliott’s attitude and influence in the dressing room for the young Dons.
“Elliott is the first one in the changing room to remind everyone what our story means,” said Rob. “He’s a Wimbledon fan like me and a couple of others in the squad. He’s an absolute dream to coach and as a Wimbledon fan he understands what it means to everyone.”
Elliott’s special connection to The Dons continued to grow after that historic evening at Kingsmeadow for the Combined Counties League fixture.
“I started off at the age of seven,” said Elliott. “I was invited down for trials at ‘Goals’ and Jeremy Sauer (now Academy Manager) said he really liked me and what I was doing. I got the chance because he said I put myself on the line with a slide tackle to block a goal. He liked my spirit. From then on, I joined the club and I’ve absolutely loved it since!
“I’ve got loads of memories! I’m a season-ticket holder. Probably my favourite memory was the play-off final in 2011 against Luton and seeing Danny Kedwell put the ball in the back of the net. I loved every second of that! I was really emotional when that happened because the club means so much to me.”
Watch the full interview with Elliott and Rob Tuvey below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.