“If this was the script for a Hollywood movie, no one would believe it,” is the view of the man behind a comprehensive new book about AFC Wimbledon’s meteoric rise since forming ten years ago.
Niall Couper, author of ‘This Is Our Time: The AFC Wimbledon Story’ chronicles the birth of the Dons after the death of Wimbledon FC, which was eventually moved to Milton Keynes in 2004.
The 600-page book, which immediately sold out its first 408 copies at its launch on September 29, includes interviews with the movers and shakers behind the creation of the club, as well as controversial figures who talked about their role in the club.
It includes Sam Hammam, who reveals his hurt after being "unfairly" blamed for Wimbledon FC's departure from Plough Lane in 1991.
And Glenn Mulcaire - who became famous during the phone hacking scandal as an investigator for The News of the World newspaper - talks about his pride of being the club’s first ever goal scorer.
Mulcaire, nicknamed "Trigger" says: “I can’t quite explain it, but I had a feeling from the moment I woke up that something special was going to happen that day. It’s a feeling I had never had before.”
Mr Couper, a former sport journalist for The Independent, was inspired to write the book after last season’s victory by the club in the 2011 play-off final, which confirmed a Wimbledon club would again be represented in the Football League (the fourth tier of English football).
He said: “It took about a year to write and it gave us a chance to include all the different voices as a record of everyone’s opinion about what happened.
“It is the ultimate footballing story of David and Goliath, and if this was the script for a Hollywood movie, no one would believe it.
“That’s why it’s such a unique club and Hollywood should make a movie. [Former manager] Dave Anderson has already said Brad Pitt should play him, while we could probably convince Danny DeVito to play [commercial director] Ivor Heller.”
WHAT THEY SAID....
Sam Hammam (on being held responsible by fans for Wimbledon leaving Plough Lane): “I remain the father of Wimbledon and I wanted to be their hero. But sometimes your children hurt you, and that is the situation between me and the new Wimbledon. I feel bitter about it and I feel it was unfair.”
Erik Samuelson (now the club’s chief executive, hearing as a fan that Wimbledon FC was being moved to Milton Keynes): “My stomach went through the floor. I couldn’t believe it.... I wondered around in a haze. There was nothing else on my mind. I felt physically sick.”
Danny Kedwell (after scored the winning penalty which won the club’s promotion to the Football League): “The biggest disappointment was what happened when I walked off the pitch. I wanted to be in the dressing room, celebrating. I wanted to be with my team... but I was dragged off for a [random] drugs test.”