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Q. How did your life-long association with the Cherries begin?
It all started back in the 70’s when I was really young. My grandad was a season ticket holder in the Main Stand and used to take me along on the odd occasion. Memories of the time are sketchy but it was enough to grab my interest and start my love of AFC Bournemouth
Q. What was the first match you can remember attending?
Honestly, I cannot remember the first match I attended, it was a long time ago. What I can remember is that my grandad always took a cushion as the wooden benches were hardly the height of comfort. I think I remember the Cherries losing quite a lot and apparently they got relegated. What match I do remember going to see is a reserve match against Arsenal but cant remember the score.
Q. Who would be your first three inductees into a Cherries Hall of Fame?
I think the first two would be pretty obvious Ted MacDougall and Steve Fletcher. SuperMac for his goal-scoring prowess, though I never saw him play, but heard the tales from my grandad and friends. My dad told me the other day, for the first time, that he was there when Ted MacDougall scored his record-breaking 9 goals in the FA Cup.
Supa, simply because he is AFC Bournemouth through and through, And, he has scored some of the most vital goals in the club’s history. The third inductee would have to be John Bailey. He is the only Cherries player to have scored at the old Wembley and the only Cherries player to have scored at Wembley full stop.
Q. The most memorable match seen at Dean Court?
There have been a few, especially in the last few seasons. The game against Grimsby in 2009 with Supa Fletch scoring that very memorable goal to keep us in the league still gives me goosebumps. However, the second leg of the Auto Windscreens Trophy Southern Final against Walsall was one of the most nerve-racking games I have ever been to. All was going well at half-time, but a couple of goals for the opposition didn’t help the cause, or nerves. I can remember Franck Rolling scoring, followed by what seemed like an eternity until the final whistle. Then the pitch invasion and celebrating into the night. F**king brilliant
Q. Best ever goal seen at Dean Court?
Perhaps, not the best ever goal seen at Dean court, but one of the most memorable for me was Chris Leadbitter scoring against Chester City in the Great Escape season. I was behind the goal in the South End and I could see the ball curling into the top corner for our first point of the season.
The best goal has to be Brett Pitman’s out of this world volley against Burton Albion. A dull game lit up by a superb finish.
Q. The best and worst ever Cherries kit?
Some may consider the purple away shirt from the 1993/94 season as one of the worst shirts ever, However, I still have that shirt and I would class that as the best ever shirt that has graced Dean Court.
The worst shirt would probably be the home version of the shirt when the sponsors were Exchange and Mart. Wasn’t a big fan of the 2008-10 kit. In general I like the away shirts more so than the home shirts.
Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.
Q. The best and worst manager to have sat in the AFC Bournemouth hot seat?
This is a simple one. Eddie Howe has to have been the best manager since I have supported the club. He has done an amazing job in his two stints at the club and there is probably more to come.
Just thinking about this manager makes my blood boil, he in my opinion was even worse than Paul Groves. He was f**king cluess and produced some of the worst football ever seen at Dean Court. Yes, its Eddie Howe’s predecessor Jimmy Quinn.
Q. The best and worst player to have ever graced the lush green grass at Dean Court?
There have been some very good players to have pulled on a Cherries shirt. Luther Blissett, Wade Elliott and Rio Ferdinand to name a few. But in my opinion Jermain Defoe has to be the best player I have ever seen. He was obviously far too good for Division 3 and you knew he was going to go on to greater things.
The award for the worse player is a category that is well stocked. There is one player who I’m sure was called Purkiss who played a few games, he was pretty shit. He may not have been the worst player ever, but Paul Telfer was pretty terrible when he joined. Chukki Eribenne was poor, but as least he always looked like he was trying.
Q. Most under-rated player to have pulled on a Cherries shirt?
There have been a couple of players that I think probably didn’t get he credit they deserve. Pauls Woods was a class act but never seemed to get the adulation or respect that some lesser players have. Jon Bailey was another player who was incredibly hard-working and skilled, an essential part of the team who I thought could have gone on to a higher level.
Q. The best player in the current Cherries squad?
The current Cherries line-up is packed with more talent than we have had for a long time. Ryan Allsop looks like he is going to be a very good keeper. Simon Francis is Mr Consistency, but for me the best player is Shaun MacDonald. He is closely followed by Charlie Daniels and Brett Pitman.
Q. Which player, past or present, would you like to sit down and reminisce with?
I think the Big Man would definitely be an interesting proposition. He would be the ideal man for me, because his career has coincided with much of my time at Dean Court. We could talk about his goal at Cardiff, his goal against Grimsby, the many strike partners and perhaps the truth about some of our managers.
Q. How realistic do you think the prospect of Premiership football at Dean Court is?
If you had asked me this question before the 6-1 defeat at Watford, I would have said it could be with us next season. However, it seems that the Cahmpoship may be harder to get out of than I first thought. But, If Eddie Howe and Max Denim stay, there is the distinct possibility that one day, maybe for only one season, that Premiership football could be at Dean Court in a couple of seasons. I could then die a very happy man.