AFC Wimbledon’s former manager has backed our Drop the Dons campaign and urged “true football fans” to sign the petition.

Dave Anderson was appointed manager by former chairman Kris Stewart in 2004, leading the club to league promotion and a Surrey Senior Cup win in his first season, before being succeeded by current manager Terry Brown in 2007.

During that time, he said, he was “deeply moved” by the stories he heard from Wimbledon fans about how their former club Wimbledon FC was sold off and relocated to Milton Keynes.

He said: “I think that they should give back everything that belonged to the club. They have given back the trophies and medals, now it is time for them to give back the Dons.

“They are slowly but surely trying to buy off what actually happened; dropping the Dons surely needs to be the next part of it.”

He rebuffed suggestions made by MK Dons fans that keeping the Dons nickname was a mark of respect to recognise the club used to be Wimbledon FC.

He said: “That’s the equivalent of slaughtering a tribe and putting the chief’s head on a pike outside the city gates.

“No, that argument is a cop out and I don’t believe anyone think that could be true. Some of them will look for something to cling to but it’s nonsense really.

“I went through the pain that supporters of the club went through.

"Their club was taken from them. How can anyone claim to be a true football fan without recognising that?”

Mr Anderson was one of the first names to sign the petition we launched last Thursday, which calls on MK Dons to drop the Dons from their name.

So far it has been signed by more than 750 people, including many from Milton Keynes who also recognise the football club should drop the Dons.

Stuart Crosbie, who signed the petition last week, told us: "I'm from MK and while I feel the team has been sensitive to the past glories of Wimbledon by giving afcw there history etc so it's wrong to say there not being sensitive to [Wimbledon FC].

"But I sign this petition mainly because I've never wanted the Dons as part of the clubs name!"

Click here to sign the petition for MK dons to DROP THE DONS!