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England star Declan cheered on the Dons to a vital victory

Good luck to the Three Lions tonight

11 July 2021

Take a good look at the photo above and see if you recognise a famous face among all those joyous AFC Wimbledon fans.

The photo (captured by our former club photographer Paul Willatts) was taken after our supporters swarmed on to our old Kingsmeadow pitch in 2013. We'd just beaten Fleetwood 2-1 on the last day of the season and escaped relegation to League Two.

Focus towards the front of the photo and the beaming young lad immediately in front of the two stewards - with his arms stretched out.

Look familiar? It should do because tonight you'll be roaring him on as our England heroes face Italy in the European Championship Final at Wembley.

That smiling face belongs to West Ham's defensive midfielder Declan Rice, now a key component in Gareth Southgate's engine room.

Declan grew up close to our old Kingston ground and regularly attended matches when he was a boy.

In an interview on West Ham's website he recalled:

“It’s crazy what has happened to Wimbledon. Obviously they were a successful club back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, then the new club was formed and now seeing them moving forward and going back to Plough Lane is great for them.

“They’ve got a great fan base and you could hear them from my house whenever they were playing!

“It was a five-minute walk from my house and I’ve been to a few games down the years, with probably the most memorable being when they faced Liverpool in the FA Cup in January 2015. Liverpool won 2-1 and it was a good game.

“I also went to a game when they beat Fleetwood to stay in League Two and we all ran on the pitch and all sorts!

“I know some of their lads’s a good club.”

It goes without saying we'll all be urging you on tonight, Declan, as you bid to end 55 years of hurt.

All together now:..

Come On England!

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