Known affectionately as The Cherries, the small south coast side that is AFC Bournemouth have provided not just their own, but neutral football fans with some great moments in recent years.
Playing wonderful football under Eddie Howe, Bournemouth became Premier League regulars until their unfortunate relegation by the finest of margins at the end of the strange season that was 2019-20.
While the precise date of the club’s inauguration is up for debate, it seems that it was formed in 1899 and was known as Boscombe Football Club.
By 1910 Boscombe was granted a lease near the city build their own football ground, which they did. Dean Court allowed the club to thrive and grow. Eventually, the named changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club in 1923. In fact, this was the same year they were elected to the new Third Division South.
In 1971, more recently than many think, the club finally changed its name to the now-familiar AFC Bournemouth in an attempt to feature at the top of any list of
English league clubs!
A high point was when under Harry Redknapp, Bournemouth secured promotion to Division Two in 1987 which meant they played in England’s second-tier for the first time in their entire history.
The good times didn’t last, however, as in 2008 Bournemouth were forced into administration and the following year only stayed in the Football League by the skin of their teeth, confirming their place on the penultimate game of the season.
From that point on, however, it was all roses. Successive promotions under the excellent Eddie Howe saw Bournemouth ultimately reach the Premier League in 2015, playing terrific football along the way and scoring a ton of goals.
Relegation was cruel for the club at the end of the elongated 2019-20 season, with the future of the manager and many top players left in limbo.
Bournemouth’s Home Stadium
Back in 1910, with the then Boscombe Football Club looking for a purpose-built home, the Cooper-Dean family gifted the land on which Dean Court, the club’s home to this day, was built.
On the site of a former gravel pit, Dean Court was finally ready in December 1910 with a rudimentary 300-seat stand the main feature of a basic old football ground.
Things were gradually improved over the years as the club were in the lower leagues but was rebuilt almost entirely in 2001 with the pitch having been rotated and the stands moved from nearby houses.
Having previously mooted a move due to the 11,000 capacity, it was finally decided in 2014 that the club would redevelop again and sell naming rights. As such, the Vitality Stadium as it is temporarily known remains the home of AFC Bournemouth and provides a great atmosphere despite its diminutive size.
Bournemouth’s Best Recent Players
AFC Bournemouth hasn’t always attracted the proverbial marquee players however they have featured some solid fan-favourites over the years.
While putting in a shift and playing for many years for the club is one thing, in terms of genuine quality Bournemouth’s best historical players have all played at Dean Cort in the last few years.
The club’s promotion from the Championship and time in the Premier League featured the likes of:
- Matt Ritchie,
- Callum Wilson,
- Harry Arter,
- Ryan Fraser,
- Josh King,
- Junior Stanislas,
- Jack Wilshere,
- Nathan Ake,
- Jermain Defoe,
- Nathaniel Clyne,
- Dominic Solanke and
- Harry Wilson.
Let’s hope they hit the big time again soon.
Bournemouth’s honours board is not exactly full, with many of their achievements have come at a lower level.
Never winners of a major trophy in England. In recent times given the changes to the finance within football, it has simply been a badge of honour for the club to be playing regular Premier League football.
Regardless, the club has been able to count the following cups as title wins:
- Associate Members’ Cup (1984),
- The Football League Third Division South Cup (1946),
- Division Three (1987) and
- The Championship (tier two) in 2015.
Despite a limited budget and relegation to the Championship having come about again in 2020, Bournemouth still retains the ability to climb back towards the top with an FA Cup or League Cup run still a possibility.
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