BOURNEMOUTH TIL I DIE #010: Micheal Dunne

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Michael Dunne

AFC Bournemouth since 1982 | Match count: 800+

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Q. How did your life-long association with the Cherries begin?

As I recall, I heard the Cherries mentioned on 2CR one Saturday afternoon in the early 1980s. Prior to that I had no idea we had a local Football League team, but I wasted no time in pestering my Coventry supporting Dad into taking me along to the Court.

Q. What was the first match you can remember attending?

We went to a game against Torquay in Easter 1982. Dave Webb was the manager and we were chasing promotion out of the old Fourth Division. The Cherries ran out 4-0 winners and the red and black dye was well and truly cast.

“In fact, they named Bishops Close after him (Ian Bishop) when they built the houses behind the old Brighton Beach End.”
Q. Who would be your first three inductees into a Cherries Hall of Fame?

Steve Fletcher for his longevity, Eddie Howe for his achievements as a player and manger and his lifelong love of the club, and Harry Redknapp for the success he brought to Dean Court when I was growing up.

Q. The most memorable match seen at Dean Court?

There have been a fair few, but beating Middlesborough 3-1 in 1987 sticks out. There was huge crowd, a big build up to the game and an exciting victory in what felt like a title decider. I began the match just to the right of the goal in the South End, but found myself coming up for air in several different locations on the old terrace after the mayhem that followed each of the goals.

Q. Best ever goal seen at Dean Court?

Again, there are a lot to choose from. My favourite is probably Fletch against Grimsby – just thinking about it puts me in the party mood. In terms if pure skill, Josh McQuoid scored a fantastic individual goal against Yeovil in November 2010. I thought it was a bit odd that hardly any of the team congratulated him on such a great effort, but when he left for Millwall a couple of days later, it all made sense.

Go straight to 2m 47s to see the best, and most meaningful goal ever seen at Dean Court

Q. The best and worst ever Cherries kit?

Anything with the traditional red and black stripes finds favour with me. It was so popular when I was younger that it became my school team kit because so many of the children had it. My favourite was the version from about 10 years ago with uncluttered thick stripes, a round neck and Focal Point sponsor – I still wear that one to home games sometimes. The worst has to be the chevroned monstrosity from the early 1990s. It had next to no similarities to our normal kit and appeared to have been designed in some kind of hallucagenic mindwarp..

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.

“It was a bleak time at the Court and his (Jimmy Quinn) brand of football and some of the results were awful.”
Q. The best and worst manager to have sat in the AFC Bournemouth hot seat?

Eddie Howe has taken over from Harry Redknapp is my pantheon of Bournemouth managers recently. To achieve the Greatest Escape, promotion from Leagues 1 and 2 in the space of around 4 years despite being on work experience in Burnley for two of them is outstanding. With a bit of a heavy heart I would say Jimmy Quinn was the worst. I get the feeling it wasn’t all his fault because we were going down the tubes under Sport6, but it was a bleak time at the Court and his brand of football and some of the results were awful.

Q. The best and worst player to have ever graced the lush green grass at Dean Court?

My favourite player is Fletcher, although I think even he wouldn’t argue he was the best. Ian Bishop was excellent in the season he turned out for us in the late Eighties – so good, in fact, that they named Bishops Close after him when they built the houses behind the old Brighton Beach End. As for the worst, I don’t really have a candidate that springs to mind. We used to give Chicken George Lawrence a lot of flak when he played for us in the old Second Division, but then I actually played against him when I was at college and he was the best player on the pitch.

“Simon Francis is solid, quick, gets up and down the pitch and delivers great balls into the box.”
Q. Most under-rated player to have pulled on a Cherries shirt?

I liked Denny Mundee a lot. The way powered into the box from midfield was always impressive. In my memory he was an integral part of the team but looking at his stats on the internet suggests that this may or may not have been the case.

Q. The best player in the current Cherries squad?

Simon Francis. I voted for him in the player of the season poll and was delighted when he picked up the players’ player award. He is solid, quick, gets up and down the pitch and delivers great balls into the box. Eddie Howe hasn’t hesitated to pick him time and again since he came back.

Q. Which player, past or present, would you like to sit down and reminisce with?

Maybe Jamie Redknapp as we were at school together. I’d like to say I taught him all he knew about football, but in truth he just about managed to keep me out of the school team!

Q. How realistic do you think the prospect of Premiership football at Dean Court is?

Who knows? I’m writing this on the day Eddie Mitchell has stepped down and Maxim Demin has become the sole owner of the club.Hopefully this will prove to be a good thing, but I think consolidation in the Championship this season has to be the priority.

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