Numerous Cup winners who have donned the yellow and blue over generations today announced their support for the Plough Lane Bond.
But the clock is ticking. The Bond, which is administered and offered by the Dons Trust, is hoping to raise up £5m by tomorrow’s initial deadline of midnight on 14th February to help cover the remaining costs of the move back to Plough Lane. As of 5.30 pm, that figure had reached over £4m.
Bond organisers Xavier Wiggins and Charlie Talbot said: “Moving towards £5m this Friday would be amazing. The support so far has been incredible, but we still need more.”
Over the generations, Wimbledon have won numerous Cup competitions – in fact looking back at the club’s 131-year history it has been rare for a season to go by where there hasn’t been some sort of cup run.
Lawrie Sanchez will always be remembered for scoring the winning goal for the Dons in the 1988 FA Cup Final. Lawrie played 270 times for Wimbledon from 1984 to 1994, scoring 33 times.
He said: “Today we stand on the verge of achieving that which we have all dreamed of since leaving the borough of Merton all those years ago. The chance to return to Plough Lane as a fan owned club.
“From the beginning this has been the Holy Grail but as in all great quests one final hurdle has to be overcome.
“The solution is the Plough Lane Bond. As always the response has been fantastic but one final push is needed and, to this end, I encourage all of you to dig deep one last time.
“I am joining with you in overcoming this final hurdle and I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Together we can finally return home.”
John Scales and Terry Gibson, who also played in the 1988 Cup-winning side, have already pledged their support.
But the call of Plough Lane isn’t just reserved for that famous cup-winning side. Twenty five years earlier, Wimbledon won the FA Amateur Cup with nearly 50,000 fans cramming into Wembley to see Eddie Reynolds’ four-headed goals defeat Sutton United 4-2. A member of that winning side was Dave Willis, who now nearly 60 years on, is still seen regularly cheering on the current Wimbledon vintage.
Dave said: “I played for the club in the 1960s as an amateur and a professional and played for the Amateur Cup winning side of 1963. It is wonderful seeing the club going back to Plough Lane where we had so much fun. I will be supporting the Plough Lane Bond.”
And of course there have been numerous cup successes in more recent years too.
AFC Wimbledon’s first club captain Joe Sheerin also pledged his support to the Bond. Joe was no stranger to lifting silverware. As well as captaining the side to the Combined Counties League and Ryman First Division South titles, he also lifted the Combined Counties League Cup and the Surrey Senior Cup.
Joe said: “I’d like to pledge my support for the Plough Lane Bond. You can earn up to 4% interest. I will be doing myself it, at 4%, but if you are not as greedy as me you can take a lesser percentage.
“The main thing for me is that we get back to Plough Lane as soon as possible and we stay fan-owned. I want to win everyone good luck. Come on you Dons!”
The Plough Land Bond offers annual returns of up to 4%. Minimum investment starts from £1k with loans running for five, ten and twenty-year terms. Your capital is at risk. Please see the website www.ploughlanebond.com for full terms and conditions and risk factors.