AHEAD of the big kick-off this Sunday, here are 11 things you may or may not know about Argyle’s first opponents, AFC Wimbledon...
1. AFC Wimbledon were formed on the May 30, 2002 in protest to the relocation of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes, who are the now-Championship side Milton Keynes Dons.
2. Even though they share their name with the world famous tennis tournament, Wimbledon actually are homed in Kingston-upon-Thames, five miles west of Henman Hill and Centre Court.
3. Despite this, Wimbledon does have a strong link to the area; the club mascot, Haydon, is a Womble from Wimbledon Common, the famous TV and children’s book furry characters originally designed by author Elisabeth Bereford.
4. Haydon is named after the Haydons Road rail station nearest to Wimbledon FC’s old stadium Plough Lane, and actually has played on the for the team in a ‘legends’ fixture back in 2007, and even ran the London Marathon in 2010.
5. The 2015-16 season will be the club’s fifth consecutive season in the fourth tier, having been the first club formed in the 21st century to reach the Football League, in 2011.
6. Wimbledon play their home games at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, otherwise known as Kingsmeadow, which has a capacity of 4,850. Their record attendance came this year, when 4,784 fans saw them lose 2-1 to Premier League giants Liverpool.
7. Arguably their most famous current player is last season’s top scorer, Adebayo Akinfenwa. Akinfenwa is known to be the strongest footballer in the popular video game FIFA, and can benchpress 200kg.
8. Akinfenwa himself is familiar with Devon, having spent the 2004-05 season at Torquay United. ‘The Beast’ scored 14 goals in 37 games for The Gulls at League 1 level.
9. Argyle have tasted victory just once in their eight meetings with Wimbledon, where goals from Onsimor Bhasera and Nick Chadwick gave us a 2-1 win at Kingsmeadow in March 2012.
10. In the BBC television series ‘New Tricks’, the crime detective Brian Lane was a big fan of AFC Wimbledon, and was often seen wearing a scarf with the blue and yellow colours associated with the club.
11. The author of the best-selling novel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, John Green, has sponsored Wimbledon since 2014. He flew over from his Indiana home to watch their FA Cup tie with Liverpool, who Green supports.