AFC Wimbledon kick off historic league campaign with backing from Mayor

11:00am Saturday 6th August 2011

Football players from AFC Wimbledon have been handed a print of an 165-year-old engraving showing a traditional scrappy Shrove Tuesday match in Kingston’s marketplace.

They will kick off their first ever football league game today against Bristol Rovers at the Kingsmeadow stadium at 12.45pm.

The team was handed over to director Erik Samuelson and players including goalie Seb Brown and midfielder Ricky Wellard by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Kingston to celebrate the clubs rise to the football league in just nine years.

Councillor Patrick Codd, mayor of Kingston, said: “This is one of the most remarkable sporting achievement in recent times.”

Matches were played in Kingston between the Thames Street team and the Town’s End team, usually lasting from 11am to 5pm, until they were banned in the 1860s because of injuries and damage to property.

AFC Wimbledon was started by fans mourning the loss of Wimbledon when it moved to Milton Keynes and changed its name.

The club they share a ground with Kingstonian play in the Isthmian Premier League.

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