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Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
MK Dons badge
Full name Milton Keynes Dons Football Club
Nickname(s) MK Dons, The Dons
Founded 2004
Ground stadium:mk
(Capacity: 22,000)
Chairman Pete Winkelman
Manager Paul Ince
League League One
2008–09 League One, 3rd (play-off semi-finalists)
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

Milton Keynes Dons Football Club (pronounced /ˌmɪltən ˈkiːnz ˈdɒnz/) (usually abbreviated to MK Dons) is an English professional football club founded in 2004 and based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Based at stadium:mk, they will spend the 2009–10 season in Football League One, the third tier of football in England.

The club was relaunched under its current name on 21 June 2004, nine months after the then Wimbledon F.C. moved to Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes Dons is legally a continuation of Wimbledon F.C. However, after negotiation with the Football Supporters Federation, the club agreed to entrust the trophies and memorabilia of Wimbledon F.C. to the London Borough of Merton and to make no claims to the history of Wimbledon F.C. thereafter.[1] This step was taken in part to ensure the recognition of the Milton Keynes Dons Supporters Association by the Football Supporters Federation who had previously boycotted them.





An account of the controversy surrounding Wimbledon's move is detailed in Wimbledon F.C.

In 1967 the Government decided to found a new town in north Buckinghamshire, subsequently called Milton Keynes. They appointed a body, the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, to oversee this development. In 1974, the Corporation took over responsibility planning and development issues and produced a blueprint for growth in the area. This body tried to plan for all future eventualities and wrote into their blueprint a vision for a stadium.[2] The pre-history of Milton Keynes Dons began in 1979 when Ron Noades, the chairman of Wimbledon, entered talks with the Milton Keynes Development Corporation about the possibility of moving Wimbledon to Milton Keynes.[3] At this time Noades purchased Milton Keynes City, and Wimbledon's directors became directors of Milton Keynes City also. The idea was subsequently abandoned and Milton Keynes City was sold on.[4]

In 1991 Sam Hammam, by now the Wimbledon chairman, moved the club out of Plough Lane and into a groundshare with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. This arrangement lasted twelve years, during which time Hammam sold the Plough Lane ground to Safeway and sold the club to two Norwegian businessmen — Bjørn Rune Gjelsten and Kjell Inge Røkke. Wimbledon were relegated from the FA Premier League nine years later and attendances dropped during the following season to an average of just 7,897. The board announced that they were in dire financial straits and claimed that attempts to move the club back to Merton had failed. They subsequently began to search for a new location for the club, and a consortium from Milton Keynes that included InterMK Ltd made it known that they would be prepared to build a new stadium for the club. The club approached the the Football Association to sanction the move, and the relocation was authorised by an FA Commission on 28 May 2002, despite over a year of fan protests against the idea. Days later, the majority of Wimbledon supporters[5][6] broke from the club to form AFC Wimbledon.[5][6]

Although there have been club relocations in the UK, there had never been such a relocation of a professional club within the English pyramid system, and this move attracted widespread criticism. Those who interpreted the League decision as American-style sports "franchises" gave Wimbledon the disparaging title "Franchise F.C.". At the behest of the Football Supporters Federation, the fans of other teams boycotted games against the club and crowds dwindled to non-League levels. On 5 June 2003, Wimbledon went into financial administration with debts of more than £20 million.[7]

During the 2003–04 season, Wimbledon F.C. was run by the administrators and many of the team's players were sold. At the end of a dismal season, the club was relegated to League One. During the summer of 2003, the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes was converted for use as a football stadium, and in September 2003, Wimbledon F.C. moved into the National Hockey Stadium. In June 2004, Inter MK Ltd, led by chairman Pete Winkelman, brought the club out of administration. Upon buying the club, Winkelman announced that he was changing the name of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes Dons F.C.. When the club formally emerged from administration under the new name and ownership on 1 July, Winkelman also announced that he was changing the club's blue and yellow kit to all-white, and introducing a new club badge. The new badge bore the letters 'MMIV', signifying that 2004 was a new start for the Milton Keynes Dons.

Club history

When the 2004–05 season began, the team were still being managed by Stuart Murdoch. They started the season badly and Murdoch was sacked to be replaced by Danny Wilson. Under their new manager, MK Dons began to improve and they were suddenly looking good enough for survival. They managed to beat the drop from League One on the final day of the season — but only because of Wrexham's 10-point deduction that had been their penalty for going into administration. The following season, MK Dons struggled all year, and were relegated to League Two. Wilson, meanwhile, was sacked.

Wilson's successor for 2006–07 was Martin Allen, who had just taken Brentford to the brink of a place in the Football League Championship. With a new manager taking charge of a team in a new division, MK Dons looked more convincing than they had done in either of the previous two seasons. They looked like serious promotion challengers for much of the season and were in the hunt for automatic promotion right up to the last game. In the end, they finished fourth and had to settle for a play-off place. They suffered a defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the play-off semi-finals and the promotion dream was over. During the 2007 summer break, Allen terminated his contract with MK Dons to take over at Leicester City in an arrangement that lasted just five games before his contract was terminated.

For the 2007–08 season, former England captain Paul Ince took over as manager. MK Dons reached the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, while topping the table for most of the season. The final was played on 30 March against Grimsby Town — Milton Keynes Dons won 2–0 at Wembley to bring the first professional trophy to Milton Keynes. The club capped the trophy win with the League Two championship, and the subsequent promotion to League One for the 2008–09 season. Following his successes, Ince left at the end of the season to manage Blackburn Rovers.

Ince's replacement was managerial rookie Roberto Di Matteo. MK Dons occupied second position for much of the 2008–09 season, but they lost out to an automatic promotion spot by two points, finishing third behind Peterborough United and Leicester City. They were knocked out of the play-offs by Scunthorpe United, who defeated MK Dons by penalty shootout at stadium:mk. Di Matteo left at the season's end for West Bromwich Albion.[8] His replacement was Ince, who returned a year after leaving.[9]

Supporters club recognition

On 4 June 2005, at the 2005 Football Supporters' Federation "Fans' Parliament" (AGM), the FSF refused the MK Dons Supporters Club membership of the FSF in a debate that, among other arguments, questioned why the Football League had yet to introduce any new rules to prevent the "franchising" of other football clubs in the future[10][11]. In addition, the FSF membership agreed with the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association that the Milton Keynes Dons Supporters Association should not be entitled to join the FSF until they give up all claim to the history and honours of Wimbledon F.C. With this in mind, the FSF began discussions aimed at returning Wimbledon F.C.'s honours to the London Borough of Merton.

Shortly afterwards, following heavy criticism for allowing the move, the Football League announced new tighter rules on club relocation.[12]

At its AGM on 5 June 2006, the FSF again considered a motion[13] proposed by the FSF Council to allow MK Dons Supporters Association membership if the honours and trophies of Wimbledon F.C. were given to the London Borough of Merton. In October 2006, agreement[14] was reached between the club, the MK Dons Supporters Association, the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association and the Football Supporters Federation. The replica of the FA Cup plus all club patrimony gathered under the name of Wimbledon F.C. would be returned to the London Borough of Merton. Ownership of trademarks and website domain names related to Wimbledon F.C. would also be transferred to the Borough. As part of the same deal it was agreed that any reference made to Milton Keynes Dons F.C. should refer only to events subsequent to 7 August 2004 (the date of the first League game of Milton Keynes Dons F.C.). As a result of this deal, the FSF announced that the supporters of Milton Keynes Dons F.C. would be permitted to become members of the federation, and that it would no longer appeal to the supporters of other clubs to boycott MK Dons matches.[15]

On 2 August 2007, MK Dons transferred the replica trophies and all Wimbledon F.C. memorabilia to the London Borough of Merton.[1]


stadium:mk's East Stand in 2007

The club's first stadium was the National Hockey Stadium, which was temporarily converted for football for the duration of the club's stay. Their lease on this ground ended in May 2007.

On 18 July 2007, the club's new 22,000 seater, stadium:mk in Denbigh hosted its first game, a restricted entrance event against a young Chelsea XI.[16] The stadium was officially opened on 29 November 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II.[17] The stadium features an open concourse at the top of the lower tier, an integrated hotel with rooms looking over the pitch and conference facilities

The complex also includes a 3,000 seat indoor arena, where the MK Lions basketball team will be based. The completion of this arena has been delayed due deferral of proposed commercial developments around the site.[18]

In May 2009 stadium:mk was named as one of 15 stadia put forward as potential hosts for the England World Cup Finals bid. Plans were announced to extend the capacity to 40,000 should the bid be successful.

League history

Only seasons played by Milton Keynes Dons are given here. For a statistical history of Wimbledon F.C., see List of Wimbledon F.C. seasons.
Statistics are correct as of 2 May 2009.[19]
Season League FA Cup League
Other competitions Top scorer Average
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Name #
2004–05 League One 46 12 15 19 54 67 51 20th R3 R2 Football League Trophy R2S Izale McLeod 18 4,896
2005–06 League One 46 12 14 20 45 66 50 22nd R3 R1 Football League Trophy QFS Izale McLeod 18 5,619
2006–07 League Two 46 25 9 12 76 58 84 4th R2 R3 Football League Trophy R2S Izale McLeod 24 6,033
2007–08 League Two 46 29 10 7 82 37 97 1st R1 R2 Football League Trophy W Mark Wright 15 9,456
2008–09 League One 46 26 9 11 83 39 87 3rd R1 R2 Football League Trophy R2S Aaron Wilbraham 16 10,550


As of 13 February 2010.[20]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 England DF Jude Stirling
3 England DF Dean Lewington (captain)
4 France DF Mathias Kouo-Doumbé
5 Scotland DF David McCracken
6 England DF Sean O'Hanlon
7 Republic of Ireland MF Stephen Gleeson
8 Wales FW Jermaine Easter
9 England FW Aaron Wilbraham
11 England FW Sam Baldock
12 France GK Willy Guéret
13 England MF Mark Carrington
14 England MF Lewis Gobern
15 England DF Danny Woodards
16 England DF James Tunnicliffe (on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion)
No. Position Player
17 England GK Stuart Searle
20 England DF Sol Davis
21 England MF Luke Howell
22 Scotland MF Peter Leven
23 England DF Darren Powell
24 England FW Dean Morgan
26 England MF Luke Chadwick
27 England MF David King
28 England MF Adam Chicksen
29 England MF Mark Randall (on loan from Arsenal)
31 England DF Tom Flanagan
32 England FW Martel Powell
33 England MF George Williams
39 Scotland MF Alex Rae (first team coach)
41 England GK Ashley Harrison

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
10 United States FW Jemal Johnson (at Stockport County)
19 England FW Jabo Ibehre (at Stockport County)
30 England FW Daniel Powell (at Forest Green Rovers)


From the start of the 2008–09 season, no reserve side has been entered into any organised competition or league.[21]

Former players

Notable players

This list contains players who have made 100 or more league appearances or had a major impact on the club. Appearances and goals apply to league matches only; substitute appearances are included. Position given refers to player's "natural" position — in event of more than one natural position, the position where they most often appeared is given. Names in bold denote current players.
Statistics are correct as of 2 May 2009.[22]
Name Nationality Position[A] MK Dons
Apps Goals Notes
Edds, GarethGareth Edds  Australia Midfielder 2004–08 122 10
Lewington, DeanDean Lewington  England Defender 2004– 221 6 [B]
McLeod, IzaleIzale McLeod  England Striker 2004–07 116 54
Platt, CliveClive Platt  England Striker 2005–07 102 27
Wilbraham, AaronAaron Wilbraham  England Striker 2005– 125 35
O'Hanlon, SeanSean O'Hanlon  England Defender 2006– 119 11

Technical staff

Paul Ince England Manager
Karl Robinson England Assistant Manager
Paul Heald England Goalkeeping Coach & Assistant Academy Coach
Alex Rae Scotland First Team Coach
Simon Crampton England Head of Sports Medicine
Pat Holland England Chief Scout
Mike Dove England Director of Youth
Andrew Stone England Sports Scientist
Matt Hillyer England Sports Scientist
Paul Collins England Head Academy Physiotherapist
Joe Aylett England Head Groundsman
Dr Martin Cave England Club Doctor


The first manager of Milton Keynes Dons was Stuart Murdoch, who had previously been manager of Wimbledon.[23] Murdoch only lasted three months before being sacked[24] — his assistant, Jimmy Gilligan, managed the club for a month before Murdoch's replacement was revealed to be Danny Wilson.[24][25][26] Wilson managed to keep the team up during the inaugural 2004–05 season,[19] but failed to repeat this feat during the next season.[19] Following relegation,[19] Wilson was shown the door and replaced with Martin Allen.[27] After Allen's team fell at the play-offs,[19] he left to manage Leicester City.[28] Paul Ince was appointed manager for the 2007–08 season,[29] and proved to be a shrewd appointment as MK Dons won the League Two championship as well as the Football League Trophy.[19] Ince too left after only a season, to become manager of Blackburn Rovers.[30] Former Chelsea player Roberto di Matteo was then appointed in July 2008,[31][32] and left after a season to manage West Bromwich Albion.[8] Ince was reappointed in his stead on 3 July 2009.[9]

Statistics are correct as of 6 March 2010.[32]
Name Nationality From To Matches Won Drawn Lost Win % Notes
Murdoch, StuartStuart Murdoch  England 02004-08-07 7 August 2004 02004-11-08 8 November 2004 21 5 5 11 23.8 [23][24][C]
Gilligan, JimmyJimmy Gilligan  England 02004-11-08 8 November 2004 02004-12-07 7 December 2004 4 2 0 2 50.0 Caretaker[25]
Wilson, DannyDanny Wilson  Northern Ireland 02004-12-07 7 December 2004 02006-06-21 21 June 2006 81 25 32 24 30.9 [26]
Allen, MartinMartin Allen  England 02006-06-21 21 June 2006 02007-05-25 25 May 2007 46 25 9 12 54.3 [27][28]
Ince, PaulPaul Ince  England 02007-06-25 25 June 2007 02008-06-21 21 June 2008 55 35 11 9 63.6 [29][30]
di Matteo, RobertoRoberto di Matteo  Italy 02008-07-03 3 July 2008 02009-06-30 30 June 2009 40 22 7 12 55.0 [8][31]
Ince, PaulPaul Ince  England 02009-07-03 3 July 2009 Present 44 22 4 18 50 [9]


2007–08 Champions[33]
2007–08 Winners[34]

See also


A. ^  For a full description of positions see Football Positions.
B. ^  Dean Lewington had previously played for Wimbledon before the club's rebranding. 7 August 2004 is the date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, and so is given as the date on which Lewington ceased to play for Wimbledon and began to play for Milton Keynes Dons.
C. ^  Stuart Murdoch had previously managed Wimbledon before the club's rebranding. 7 August 2004 is the date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, and so is given as the date on which Murdoch ceased to manage Wimbledon and began to manage Milton Keynes Dons.


  1. ^ a b Merton given back Dons trophies
  2. ^ A contemporary visualisation showed the prospective stadium at the foot of Campbell Park: the space is now a cricket pitch and pavilion.
  3. ^ Noades, Ron (2001-04-01). "I looked at MK in the 70's". BBC. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  4. ^ Crabtree, Stephen (April 1996). The Dons in the League 1977-1982. Buckingham: Sporting and Leisure Press. ISBN 0860235580. 
  5. ^ a b "Dons get Milton Keynes green light". BBC. 2002-05-28. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  6. ^ a b White, Jim (2003-01-11). "Pitch battle". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  7. ^ Dons' move to city in doubt (MK Citizen, 9 June 2003)
  8. ^ a b c "Baggies confirm Di Matteo as boss". BBC. 2009-06-30.,,10794~673609,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  9. ^ a b c "Ince reappointed as MK Dons boss". BBC. 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  10. ^ FSF Annual Report for 2005 Motion 1 on pages 6
  11. ^ FSF Annual Report for 2006 minutes pages 44/45
  12. ^ "Rule changes from League's AGM". The Football League.,,10794~673609,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  13. ^ FSF Annual Report for 2006 Motion 6 (pages 6)
  14. ^ Accord on history and honours of Wimbledon F.C. WISA website.
  15. ^ FSF press release "MK Dons agree to return Wimbledon trophies to Merton - and sanction amendments to football statistics" ]
  16. ^ Dons open stadium against Chelsea. BBC. 19 July 2007.
  17. ^ The Queen visits Milton Keynes. BBC. 30 November 2007.
  18. ^ Winkelman can't guarantee arena! - MK Citizen 26 November 2008
  19. ^ a b c d e f Richard Rundle. "Football Club History Database - Milton Keynes Dons". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  20. ^ "Profiles". Milton Keynes Dons F.C..,,10420,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  21. ^ Reserve team sacrificed to concentrate on first team MK News
  22. ^ "Soccerbase - The Internet Soccer Database". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  23. ^ a b "Murdoch takes reins". BBC. 2002-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  24. ^ a b c "Murdoch axed by Dons". BBC. 2004-11-08. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  25. ^ a b "Farewell to Jim and Martyn". Milton Keynes Dons F.C.. 2004-12-22.,,10420~604606,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  26. ^ a b "Wilson named Milton Keynes boss". BBC. 2004-12-07. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  27. ^ a b "Dons appoint new manager". BBC. 2006-06-27. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  28. ^ a b "Allen named new Leicester manager". BBC. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  29. ^ a b "Ince unveiled as new MK Dons boss". BBC. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  30. ^ a b "Blackburn appoint Ince as manager". BBC. 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  31. ^ a b "Di Matteo appointed MK Dons coach". BBC. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  32. ^ a b "Manager History for MK Dons (formerly Wimbledon)". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  33. ^ "Bradford 1-2 MK Dons (Match Report)". BBC Sport. 2008-04-26. 
  34. ^ "Grimsby Town 0-2 MK Dons (Match Report)". BBC Sport. 2008-03-30. 

External links

Preceded by
Doncaster Rovers
Football League Trophy Winners
Succeeded by
Luton Town
Preceded by
Football League Two Champions
Succeeded by

Simple English

Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
Full nameMilton Keynes Dons Football Club
(Capacity 22,000)
ChairmanPete Winkelman
ManagerPaul Ince
LeagueLeague One
2008/09League One, 3rd

Milton Keynes Dons F.C. are an English football club. They are also known as MK Dons.

They play their home games at a stadium called Stadium:MK which is in Milton Keynes (about 45 miles or 75 km north of London). The club began again in 2004 from the remains of Wimbledon F.C., which had moved to Milton Keynes in 2002 and then gone bankrupt.

The team manager is Paul Ince.

League highlights since 2004

In the 2007/08 season, the Dons came top of Football League Two and won the Football League Trophy. They were promoted into Football League One.

In the 2008/09 season, the Dons came third in League One, but failed to win the play-off between the next best three teams and themselves. So they stay in League One for the 2009/10 season.

League position

2004/05League One20th
2005/06League One22nd
2006/07League Two4th
2007/08League TwoChampions
2008/09League One3rd



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