AFC Bournemouth: Full History of Premier League Return
AFC Bournemouth History and Highlights.
AFC Bournemouth is an English soccer team in the city of Bournemouth, located in the county of Dorset. Its history shows that it is a team that never gives up. Testament to this, they are now celebrating promotion to the Premier League, the highest category of English soccer, for the 2022-23 season.
AFC Bournemouth’s origins trace back to another club named Boscombe St. John’s Institute F.C., founded on January 1, 1890. That club then slipped into obscurity before eventually being reborn as Boscombe Football Club.
During its first season as Boscombe F.C. (1899-1900), the team competed in the amateur Bournemouth and District Junior League. However, by the 1905-1906 season, the team turned professional. That was also when its nickname “The Cherries” was born.
A Time Full of Changes
By 1920, English soccer made some changes by creating the third division of the Football League, which resulted in the team’s promotion to the Southern League.
The club’s first fixture for that season was a game against Swindon Town on August 25, 1923, where they lost 3-1. The first league game at AFC Bournemouth’s home ground, Dean Court, was also against Swindon, where Bournemouth earned their first point with a draw.
In addition, the club underwent a name change that same year. In order to give the club a name more representative of the borough, the club changed to Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic F. C.
First Club Silverware
Shortly after it entered the third division of the Football League, the team won its first trophy in a final against Walsall at Stamford Bridge.
The Late 1900s
In 1972, under the mandate of John Bond, the club changed its name to A.F.C Bournemouth, the name it bears today. But, that would not be the only change. A few years later, the team had a new emblem to represent the club’s progress. This emblem was made in honor of Dickie Dowsett, a great scorer of the team between 1950 and 1960.
Economic problems have also been part of the struggles that the club has had to go through. In 2008, it had more than £4 million in debts and was on the brink of disappearing. In fact, they had even called a press conference to announce the definitive closure of the club.
However, its president, Jeff Mostyn, came up with the money, which was how the club overcame that dark moment.
A Sporting Crisis
However, the problems did not end there, with the club’s financial problems spilling onto the field.
This started with relegation from League One after a 10-point penalty placed them in the relegation zone. Then, in light of its financial problems, the Football League announced AFC Bournemouth would start the 2008-2009 season with another 17-point penalty. In addition, the Football League banned the club from acquiring new players.
The result of the penalty and new player restrictions was that AFC Bournemouth finished in last place that season.
After narrowly avoiding relegation from League Two in the 2008-09 season, Bournemouth achieved promotion to League One at the end of the 2009-10 season. They then finished in the play-off semi-finals in the 2010-11 season and by 2012-13 achieved promotion to The Championship.
In the 2014-2015 season, AFC Bournemouth achieved one of their most ambitious dreams by gaining promotion to the Premier League for the first time after winning in the previous season against Watford. Following this promotion, they managed to stay for five years in the Premier League. But, in 2019-20, they were relegated to The Championship.
Today — Back in the Premier League
Today, AFC Bournemouth has returned to the Premier League after beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the 2021-22 final.
To date, the most important titles won by the club have been champion in the second and third English divisions and champion (twice) in the fourth division. In addition, they also have trophies in the Southern League, the Football League Trophy, and the Football League Third Division South Cup.
AFC Bournemouth Stadium — Dean Court
Until 1910, the team was without a stadium. However, that year it finally found a home ground thanks to a land donation by the Cooper-Dean family, which is the origin of its home ground’s name, Dean Court.
In 2001 the stadium was completely renovated. For sponsorship reasons, the stadium is now also known as Vitality Stadium. It has a capacity of more than 11,000 people.