Liverpool tie is fitting reward for AFC Wimbledon’s pioneering spirit

Plum FA Cup match puts a spotlight on a club that has become a beacon of light in British football

Throughout the extraordinary rise of supporter-owned AFC Wimbledon and of Wimbledon FC – until their character curdled and was taken to Milton Keynes – romantic idealism has been twinned with determination.

The old club’s spirit is forever ingrained in football’s history at the pinnacle of their achievement: the 1988 FA Cup victory over Kenny Dalglish’s stellar Liverpool. The new club have already forged a story as remarkable in their way, starting out in the Combined Counties league in 2002 after the fans overwhelmingly rejected the FA-sanctioned “franchise” of the club to Milton Keynes, then winning five promotions to clamber back to the Football League in 2011.

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