A special treat for you this Sunday. TWO football programmes, Hans Segers AND South-West London.


Yes, Wimbledon it is, though last time there I seem to have taken the iconic No.44 down to Summerstown because I enjoy London buses so much.

See the source image

Trainers cost more than my car

American readers may be surprised that top football team The Dons actually began life at Plough Lane in Wimbledon before their extremely well-received move to the soccer hotbed of Milton Keynes IKEA Park.

Back in 1975, the last time my hair was as long as it is today, Plough Lane was jumping as their plucky team received the mighty Atherstone Town as visitors.

A shilling
Entirety of Atherstone pen pictures

Colin Withers had apparently played for all three of Birmingham’s top clubs; presumably Aston Villa, Sutton Coldfield and Romulus.

Talking of Birmingham.

Quite a stop press

Yes, Wimbledon had just become the first non-league side that century to win at a top division club, a feat equalled by Altrincham a decade later at St Andrews.

The adverts in the programme are, it’s fair  to say, to the point.

Nice font, Ye Olde Leather Bottle

Clearly Dickie Guy and co had been over-celebrating on the Young’s Special after their giant killing, as Atherstone took the points back to Bass-land 1-0.

A Cambridge City high point

My only great pub visits in Wimbledon “proper” were the two Pashmina and Prosecco ones in the Village and this beauty near the station. and not for the first time I raid Drunken Bunny‘s collection.

20 years later, Wimbledon had won the FA Cup, established a reputation as England’s most attractive side, and were playing their matches at Crystal Palace  in front of packed crowds.

Encouraged by a £8 ticket offer, 8,241 souls joined me at Selhurst Park on 30/10/94 to see Efan Ekoku punish his former employers with a rain-assisted winner.  8,240 of them failed to solve the very tough “Who Am I ?”

It’s Kevin Keegan

After the successful franchising of the Dons in 2004, a new Wimbledon emerged to reclaim their working class Merton heritage by playing in Kingston.

One of the closest pubs to Kingsmeadow is the Black Horse in Norbiton, a place I’d doubted actually existed.

Bench seating free

In a nod to the famous sketch, the Black Horse has installed the unique fork handle diespense system that Stafford Paul will remember fondly.

Didn’t improve the taste

At Norbiton station I was royally entertained by Wigan fans celebrating their 4-0 tonking of the Wombles of Wimbledon, whose fans must love having to trek miles and miles to watch their team at Kingston. And then paying £4 a pint (£2.40 in Wigan).

For five points, what is the pie-eater doing ?


Slim pickings around Wimbledon, particularly if you tip up on a Saturday night when the pub has been booked for a private function.

They let me in for a quick half

Coronavirus permitting, football will return to Plough Lane soon.

I can recommend a couple of pubs for visiting MK Dons fans, who MUST WEAR FULL TEAM COLOURS to gain admission.

In 2016 we were thrilled by the Wibbas Down, another of those classic ’90s Spoons with ground level toilets, screaming Twilds (see:BRAPA) and overstretched staffing.

Prosecco display

And the By the Horns Tap was great, like a micropub with gorgeously cool beer and a wider age range of customers.

Tellingly, the TV was tuned to motor sport, not “rugby”, a big win. Sure, it was high stools, but I can live with that for 12 minutes.  Milk Stout was astounding (NBSS 4), and two small dogs didn’t jump up Mrs RM as she left, which is a first.

Proper Pubs

Honestly, you can’t tell whether I’m being serious or not now, can you ?



28 thoughts on “WOMBLED

  1. I think that we have already agreed that professional football will recommence on 1 April 2024. Or is that when fans will be allowed in ? Hopefully, BoJo will confirm at 7.00pm.

    Interesting table as at 28 December 1974. Unusual at SFL level to see Barnet struggling, another powerhouse Romford at the foot of the table and Hillingdon Borough nowhere to be seen. Another notable absentee was Wycombe Wanderers, who were still in the amateur Isthmian League at that time.

    Good to see Ron Atkinson still alive and kicking. His brother Graham Atkinson, who played with him for Headington United (now Oxford United) died a few years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not at all, but play a few divisions lower at Histon’s ground, though a move to Sawston (why ?) has been on the cards for a while.
        They could have beaten United into the League in the early 70s with a bit more prestige from FA Cup upsets.


      2. “They could have beaten United into the League in the early 70s with a bit more prestige from FA Cup upsets”.

        A bit like Oxford. For many years, Oxford City were the top side, before Oxford United (nee Headington United) gazumped them in the late 50s and early 60s. Odd to think that Oxford United took the place of the original Accrington Stanley in the Football League.

        All that is not to mention probably the top side in Oxford and Cambridge in the early 50s – Pegasus !

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Yes, Wimbledon had just become the first non-league side that century to win at a top division club…”

    Sorry to be pedantic, but you have overlooked :-

    FA Cup 1st Round Replay : Preston North End 2 Tottenham Hotspur 4 on 13 February 1901

    Spurs went on to become the last non-league side (Southern League) to win the FA Cup.


    1. Were you at that game, Fred, or should I ask Duncan ?

      Anyway, that’s not pedantic that’s spot on. My info came from Wiki rather than Rothmans and is wrong.
      “They then became the first non-League team that century to beat a First Division side away from home by defeating Burnley at Turf Moor.”


    2. The very pedantic might say that PNE were not a First Division side but an only division side at that point ; Division Two came into being the following season, and involved most of the Southern League clubs forming the second division.

      The implications of the southern amateurs joining the northern professionals contributed to the Amateur Football Alliance (AFA) being founded.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fred, you’re getting a bit mixed up. Division Two actually came into being in 1892, so the Football League definitely had two divisions in 1901. It was Division Three that was formed from the Southern League clubs – this being in 1920. Actually in that 1900-01 season PNE were relegated from the First Division.


      2. As were Birmingham in 1986. The biggest cup shock is worth a debate. I’d go firmly for mid-table Isthmian League Harlow beating Division 2 champions Leicester (Lineker and all) after a replay in 1980, during a Leicester run of 6 successive clean sheets. As astonishing as, say, Leeds losing to Histon or Sutton now.


  3. It was obviously Ron Atkinson (not Kevin Keegan), but presumably the 8,240 people who didn’t get the right answer were misled by the factoid in the question, which had The Owls winning Division 1 in 1991 – the same season they won the League Cup. In fact they finished third in Division 2 that year, gaining promotion from that division to the top division of the football league, Division 1, in the season before it became the Premier League.

    It’s probably too late for you to ask for a refund of the cost of the programme.


  4. Kick off 4pm on a Sunday. Must have been the super Sunday offering on Sky that week..Can’t have been many worse offerings since football began in 1992.


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