Our former defender Fraser Franks is hoping to be involved with a reunion of the promotion-winning squad for that historic day in Manchester ten years ago.
The global pandemic put paid to hopes of a landmark occasion for the squad that won promotion back to the Football League, with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Luton Town.
“I’m still in contact with the majority of those boys,” said Fraser. “We were hoping to plan a ten-year reunion, maybe we can do an eleven-year one instead. I can’t believe it’s been ten years. That is still the highlight of my footballing career – the best memory that I’ve got. I didn’t even play in the final as I was injured, I was on crutches!
“That group and that togetherness that we had and the love that I had for the club was unbelievable.”
Our picture above shows winning penalty-taker Danny Kedwell, Ed Harris and Fraser with the promotion play-off trophy at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Fraser went on to play for Welling United, Luton, Stevenage and Newport County. He also captained the England C team on several occasions. However, he had to retire at an early age in 2019 due to a heart issue at the time.
“I’m very well,” said Fraser when we caught up with him at Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Morecambe. “I can’t believe how many of the same faces are still at AFC Wimbledon! It’s amazing to see so many familiar faces. It’s a club that I still absolutely love.
“I’m scouting. I’m in the recruitment department at a Championship club. I coordinate the northern scouting. I’m based in the north now. I met my wife (former S Club 8 singer Stacey McClean) seven years ago now and we moved up here.
“I’m still very much involved in the game, but I’m not 100 per-cent sure what the future holds. I’m 30 years-old, I don’t know what kind of role it will end up being, but I want to remain in football and I’m still finding my feet in that respect.”
Fraser has stayed in close contact with our Head Coach Mark Robinson since he was forced to retire from the game.
“He was with the Academy when I was with the club,” said Fraser. “It speaks volumes of him that he was one of the first people that messaged me. I hadn’t spoken to him in a long time, but I always had a great deal of respect for him. I’d seen the players that had started to come through the Academy after I’d left, I’d seen how genuine he was, he reached out to me.
“It’s amazing to see what he’s done with this group and I’m so pleased that he’s in charge of the first-team of this club.”
You can see the full catch-up with our former defender Fraser Franks below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.