A.F.C. Bournemouth is a football club playing in the Championship, the second tier in the English football league system. The club plays at Dean Court in Kings Park, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset and have been in existence since 1899.
Nicknamed The Cherries, the team traditionally played in red shirts with white sleeves until 1971, when the strip was changed to red and black stripes, similar to that of A.C. Milan. A predominantly red shirt was chosen for the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons before announcing a return to the stripes for the 2006–07 season due to fan demand.
After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Football League in the 2008–09 season, Bournemouth were promoted to League One at the end of the 2009–10. After making the League One play-off semi-finals in 2010–11 and achieving a mid-table finish in 2011–12, Bournemouth won promotion to the Championship at the end of the 2012–13 season, putting them in the second tier of the league for only the second time in their history.
Although the exact date of the club's foundation is not known, there is proof that it was formed in the autumn of 1899 out of the remains of the older Boscombe St. John's Lads’ Institute F.C. The club was originally known as Boscombe F.C.. The first President was Mr. J.C. Nutt.
In their first season 1889–90 Boscombe F.C. competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League. They also played in the Hants Junior Cup. During the first two seasons they played on a football pitch in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. From their third season the team played on a pitch in King's Park. In the season of 1905–06 Boscombe F.C. graduated to senior amateur football.
In 1910 the club was granted a long lease upon some wasteland next to Kings Park, as the clubs football ground, by their president Mr. J.E. Cooper-Dean. With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, the club continued to thrive and dominated the local football scene. Also in 1910 the club signed their first professional football player B. Penton.
Around about this time the club obtained their nickname 'The Cherries'. Foremost there are two tales on how the club gained this pet name. First, because of the cherry-red striped shirts that the team played in and, perhaps more plausible, because Dean Court was built adjacent to the Cooper-Dean estate, which encompassed numerous cherry orchards.
For the first time during the season of 1913–14 the club competed in the F.A. Cup. The clubs progress was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of the war and Boscombe F.C. returned to the Hampshire league.
In 1920 the Third Division was formed and Boscombe were promoted to the Southern League, with moderate success.