The Premiership Cherries of today’s game have come a long way since playing under the streetlights of Gladstone Road, Boscombe.
AFC Bournemouth can trace its roots as far back as 1890, when the club was originally part Boscombe St. Johns Institute Football Club before it was disbanded in 1899, forming Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic F.C
1910 saw Mr J.E. Cooper-Dean grant the club a lease on an area of wasteland next to Kings Park. The ground was named Dean Court after the benefactor, and the side have played there ever since.
It was at this time that AFC Bournemouth were christened ‘The Cherries’, due to the cherry red striped shirts the side wore on their first game at Deans Court in 1910.
The club changed the name to AFC Bournemouth in 1972, with fans showing support, to ensure that they would be first in an alphabetical list of English clubs and began their quest for premiership glory.
AFC Bournemouth’s road to the premiership:
- January 1984 – Under the management of Harry Redknapp, the club recorded a famous victory over holders Manchester United.
- May 1987 – Redknapp took Bournemouth into tier two of the English league for the first time in the club’s history.
- May 1990 – Lost to Leeds 1-0 and combined with the results of other matches, were relegated to Tier Three of the English League. This resulted in one of the biggest riots in English history. The violence and destruction by visitors to Bournemouth continued over the holiday weekend, causing more than £1 million worth of damage and injury to opposing fans and police officers.
- May 1992 – Mounting financial pressures forced Redknapp to resign. He was replaced by Tony Pulis, who built a much cheaper squad that could only manage two consecutive 17th-place finishes before Pulis walked out of the club, blaming financial pressures.
- May 1995 – Mel Machin was appointed as manager and a late run of form saw The Cherries survive by only two points.
- May 2003 – Sean O’Driscoll replaced Mel Machin and lead the team to Division 3 promotion.
- February 2008 – Bournemouth were forced into administration and uncertainty about their future in English football loomed. They were eventually allowed to compete with a 17-point penalty for failing to follow the Football League insolvency rules.
- May 2009 – Guaranteed their Football League status by beating Grimsby Town 2–1. This miraculous recovery was dubbed ‘The Great Escape’.
- May 2013 – Eddie Howe returned as manager and they achieved promotion to the Championship.
- May 2015 – A 0–3 win away at Charlton Athletic on the final day of the season sealed the Championship title and a first ever promotion to the top flight of English football.
- December 2017 – AFC Bournemouth are in in their third year of Premier League football, placed five from the bottom, battling relegation.