Tom Kelly’s 29th birthday was made extra special by a surprise message from three of our first-team players – and the AFC Wimbledon supporter wasted no time in returning the favour!
Our coach Mark Robinson arranged for Terell Thomas, Luke O’Neill, and Jack Rudoni to wish happy birthday to Tom and it brought about an almost instant response as he purchased a Plough Lane Bond for £3,000.
“Due to the lockdown and not being able to see a lot of friends, my girlfriend asked people I know to wish me a happy birthday via a video message,” said Tom. “One of my friends Mike, who is a neighbour of Mark’s, knows that I’m a Wimbledon supporter, so he asked him to do a video message himself. As well as getting a message from Mark, I got messages through from first-team players and I was gobsmacked! The messages made it a really great birthday for me.
“It had been on my mind for a while to help the club if I could. I was thinking about buying a bond and I also looked at the crowdfunding page when that was up. I didn’t get around to it, but after watching those videos I thought the best way to thank Mark and the players was to support the club and buy a bond! I’ve seen the recent news about the final contracts being signed for the stadium, it’s all looking good now, and it’s a really exciting time ahead.”
Robbo said: “I’ve become friends with our new neighbours and Mike said he was sending Tom loads of videos wishing him a happy birthday. As he’s a big Wimbledon fan they asked if I would do one for him. To make it more special, I asked Luke, Terell, and Rudi if they would do a happy birthday video message and send it to me. Obviously, they were more than happy to do the message and I’m chuffed it had such an impact on Tom. The players look forward to meeting him at a game at the new stadium.”
Tom, who grew up in Balham, said it was his Dad and friend Lewis that really got him into supporting the Dons.
“My Dad moved down to London from Scotland in the 1980s and he used to go and watch Wimbledon at Plough Lane, as well as supporting Arsenal," added Tom. "He was at Wembley in 1988 and he always reminds me how great it was seeing Wimbledon win the cup - against all the odds! Throughout my childhood and teens I must confess I was more into Arsenal, but about four years ago Lewis, a regular in the Chemflow end, took me down to an AFC Wimbledon home match. Since that day I’ve been to countless home and away games, becoming increasingly attached to the club and it’s unbelievable community spirit! I love the fan ownership model at Wimbledon. I think if supporters of bigger clubs knew how much the fans at Wimbledon were involved in key decisions they would be very jealous.”
“Going back to Plough Lane feels like the final piece in the jigsaw for the club after its reformation. It ties the story together, galvanising everyone involved to continue the progress that’s been made, and grow the fanbase further. I am looking forward to going to the new stadium and almost certainly will be getting a season ticket.
“With the recent Coronavirus crisis we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s refreshing to see the AFC Wimbledon community roll their sleeves up, helping those in need when it matters most. I wouldn’t expect anything else from this club, but its perhaps during times of crisis that you notice and appreciate it just a little bit more!”
The Plough Lane Bond is available by visiting the website with options available over 5,10 and 20 years, and interest rates available between 0 and 4%. Capital at risk, full terms and conditions on website.