Wimbledon

Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon is a professional association football club based in Kingston upon Thames, south west London, England. They play in League One of the English Football League, the third tier in the English football league system since promotion in May 2016. They are based at Kingsmeadow, a ground which was shared with Isthmian League club Kingstonian F.C. until 2017, and is now shared with Chelsea Ladies.

The club was founded by Wimbledon F.C. supporters in June 2002 as a direct reaction to the decision by an independent commission appointed by the Football Association to allow Wimbledon F.C. to relocate to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, about 56 miles (90 km) north of Wimbledon. The large majority of Wimbledon F.C. supporters very strongly opposed the idea of moving the club so far away from Wimbledon, feeling that a club transplanted to Milton Keynes would no longer represent Wimbledon F.C.'s legacy and traditions, and, having campaigned against the proposed move, viewed its official sanctioning as the "death of their club". Wimbledon F.C. physically moved in 2003 and then changed the name of the club to Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Although founded in similar circumstances to the 1961 Washington Senators to replace a club which continued its existence elsewhere, AFC Wimbledon has come to be considered a successor or "phoenix" version of the original team.

When AFC Wimbledon was formed, it affiliated to both the London and Surrey Football Associations, and entered the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League, which is the ninth tier in English football. In its short history, the club has been extremely successful, being promoted six times in 13 seasons, and going up from the ninth tier (Combined Counties Premier) to the third (League One). AFC Wimbledon hold the record of the longest unbeaten run of league matches in English senior football, having played 78 consecutive league games without a defeat between February 2003 and December 2004. They are the first club formed in the 21st century to make it into the Football League.

The club are hoping to move into a new ground by 2019 very near Plough Lane, which was Wimbledon F.C.'s ground until 1991. The new stadium will be built on the site of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.