Unreliable History

The South Coast team came into being in 1899, but originally came out of Boscombe St. Johns, a team formed by voluntary first-aiders, who had been around for 9 years already. Their original ground was on the site of an orchard, which gave them the nickname of “the Cherries”, as these were their preferred fruit at half-time and their predominantly red strip followed logically from that. They then prodded into playing at a tiny ground at Pokesdown before settling at their present ground in 1910, where as Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic they were elected to the 3rd Division (South) in 1923. Like many of the elderly residents of the area, they resided there for longer than anyone else. After the League had been reorganized, they eventually got out of the Third Division in 1970 – by getting relegated to the Fourth. They yo-yoed between those two leagues for several years, before achieving the club’s best placing during three seasons in the old Second Division.The club’s greatest days have been reserved for the FA Cup. In 1957, they had a great run that saw them beat Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers, major giant-killing feats in those days, to reach the 6th round, where they lost to Manchester United. The Cherries did get their revenge though in 1984, when they knocked the Red Devils, then holders, out of the competition, before a crowd paying record receipts.

It was felt that the club name was too long, so in 1971, it was abbreviated to AFC Bournemouth in an attempt to put them first in any alphabetical listing of league clubs. However, this proved rather controversial because the part of their name that was dropped was that where the ground was located. Many away fans have been disappointed down the years, as they have headed for Bournemouth only to have to ask directions from the old folk traipsing up and down the promenade all day.

History also visited Bournemouth in 1971 in another form, when during the club’s record 11-0 FA Cup victory over non-league Margate, forward Ted McDougall, scored 9 (NINE) of those goals himself. The only other item of note that has involved the club of late is the fact that it is the first community club in Europe. This occurred when Bournemouth came within 15 minutes of extinction, due to debts that had built up. A financial package was arranged with the bank and a consortium of fans (many local businessmen) stepped in to run the club. The change has obviously worked, as the team has gone from strength to strength and for a large part of this season, Mel Machin’s side were pushing for a play-off place. However, the Cherries were pipped for promotion, but did get through to an Autoscreen Trophy final against Grimsby Town at Wembley, although any hopes they had of winning were wiped out by the Mariners.  It is hoped their crop of good youngsters will take their Cherries to greater things.

Season 2000-01 saw the Cherries denied a play-off place on the last day of the season, but on loan striker Jermaine Defoe did score in nine consecutive league games to set a post war record.  When he returned to West Ham, Bournemouth hoped that they can unearth another prolific goal-scorer.

They had to wait a while to find Brett Pitman, who propelled them to promotion to League One in 2010, after the club had battled for years against the Tax Man and debtors to become solvent and  reach the play-offs the following season.  The Football First Stadium really did live up to it’s name, as the team played some neat football under young manager Eddie Howe, but when he left for the Burnley boss’ job, they took that style of play on under stand-in manager Lee Bradbury and how !!

Howe’s return to Dean Court saw the team march through League One and then the Championship to reach the promised land of the Premier League in what was a triumph for fan power, the management style and the efforts of the players.  Their style, attacking and direct brought a new vitality to the top flight and also to their stadium, which was renamed after the life and health insurance company.

Eddie Howe established the Cherries in the top flight, but they eventually dropped off the cake into the Championship and the manager went at the same time, leaving them a new challenge to make a Premier League return under Jason Tindall.  


FAMOUS PLAYERS: – Reg Cutler, Ted McDougall, Dean Court, Phil Boyer, Ray Bumstead, Jamie Redknapp, Kevin Bond, Colin Clark.

FAMOUS FANS : – Mel Bush (pop promoter), Stu Francis (former presenter – Crackerjack)


Club Records

Formed 1899

Turned Professional 1912

Became a Limited Company 1914

Previous names 1890-1899 = Boscombe St. Johns
1899-1923 = Boscombe FC
1923-1971 = Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic FC

Previous grounds 1899-1910 = Castlemain Road, Pokesdown

Nickname “The CHERRIES”

Club Colours HOME : Shirts – Wide Red and Black stripes, black collar and red & black cuff
Shorts – Black with Red/Black gradient side stripe
Socks – Black with Red turnover
AWAY : Shirts – Sea Green with seascape picture
Shorts – Jade with Sea Green piping
Socks – Jade with Sea Green turnover
THIRD : Shirts – White with grey raglan sleeves; Sea Green collar and cuffs
Shorts – Sea Green with wide white side stripe
Socks – White with Sea Green turnover

Record Football League Win 8-0  v  Birmingham City  The Championship  25.10.2014

Record Football League Defeat 0-9    v Lincoln City    Division  3           18.12.1982

Record Cup Win 11-0   v Margate    FAC R1        20.11.1971

Record Fee Paid £25,000,000 to Levante (Spain) for Jefferson LERMA (7th August 2018)

Record Fee Received £41,000,000 from Manchester City for Nathan AKE (5th August 2020)

Record Appearances 726  –  Steve FLETCHER (1992-2009 & 2010-2013)

Record Football League Appearances 493  –  Steve FLETCHER (1992-2007)

Record Premier League Appearances 168  –  Steve COOK (2015-2020)

Record goal-scorer in a League season
42  –  Ted McDOUGALL  Division 3   1970-71

Record all-time League goal-scorer  202  –  Ray EYRE  (1924-1933)

Record all-time goal-scorer  229  –  Ray EYRE  (1924-1933)

Record Premier League goal-scorer 48  –  Josh KING (2015-2020)

Most goals in a League season 98  –  2014-2015  (The Championship)

Most goals in a match 4 –  Jack RUSSELL  v  Clapton Orient  Division 3 (South)  07.01.1933
4 –  Jack RUSSELL  v  Bristol City  Division 3 (South)  28.01.1933
4 –  Harry MARDON  v  Southend United  Division 3 (South)  01.01.1938
4 –  Jack McDONALD  v  Torquay United  Division 3 (South)  08.11.1947
4 –  Ted MacDOUGALL  v  Colchester United  Division 4   18.09.1970
4 –  Brian CLARK  v  Rotherham United  Division 3   10.10.1972
4 –  Luther BLISSETT  v  Hull City  Division 2   29.11.1988
4 –  James HAYTER  v  Bury  Division 2   21.10.2001

Most League points in a season 3 points for a win :  97  Division 3   1986-87
2 points for a win :  62  Division 3   1971-72

Record Home Attendance 28,799   v Manchester United    FAC R6         02.03.1957

Most Capped player while at club Gerry PEYTON    7   (Republic of Ireland)

Youngest Player  Jimmy WHITE  –  15 years and 321 days  v Brentford   30.04.1958


Stadium details 

Address :  Vitality Stadium/Dean Court, Bournemouth  BH7 7AF

Telephone :  01202 395 381

Capacity : 11,364
Away Allocation :  1,500-2,000
Pitch size :  114.8 yards  x 74.4 yards (105m x 78m)

Official website : http://www.afcb.co.uk

Travel to Dean Court

By Car:
From North and East: Take the A338 into Bournemouth and turn left at “Kings Park” turning. After the slip road go straight forward at the mini-roundabout into Kings Park Drive – a car park is 500 yards on the left and the ground is nearby.
From the West: Use the A3049, turning right at Wallisdown Roundabout to Talbot Roundabout. Take the first exit at Talbot roundabout, then left at the mini-roundabout. Go straight on at the traffic lights then right at the mini-roundabout into Kings Park for the ground.

By rail :
The nearest railway stations are 

Pokesdown Station, Christchurch Road BH7 6DL (1½miles; 20 minutes walk).  Head along Christchurch Road (A35) and after 350m turn right onto Gloucester Road.  Continue until you reach a roundabout, where you go left with the Indoor Bowls Centre on your left on Kings Park Drive.  When you come to a mini-roundabout, you will see the ground ahead of you.
Bournemouth Central, Holdenhurst Road BH8 8HX (1½miles; 30 minutes walk)

By bus :
Holdenhurst Road.  Then take bus numbers 68,33 or 25, which stop at the Queens Park pub which is close to the ground.

By foot :
Walk west along Holdenhurst Road for 1
½miles, which should be around a 30 minutes walk to reach King’s Park, in which the stadium is sited.



The Championship Champions 2014-15

League One Runners-up 2012-13

Division Three Champions 1986-87

Division Three (South) Runners-up 1947-48

League Two Runners-up 2009-10

Division Four Runners-up 1970-71

FA Associate Members Cup Winners 1984

Auto Windscreens Shield Finalist 1998




Vincent KITCHER 1 August 1914 – 31 May 1923

Harry KINGHORN 1 August 1923 – 31 May 1925

Leslie KINGHORN 1 July 1925 – 1 July 1928

Frank RICHARDS 1 July 1928 – 31 May 1930

Billy BIRRELL 1 August 1930 – 30 April 1935

Bob CROMPTON 1 June 1935 – 1 February 1936

Charlie BELL 1 February 1936 – 31 May 1939

Harry KINGHORN 1 August 1939 – 31 May 1947

Harry LOWE 1 August 1947 – 28 February 1950

Jack BRUTON 1 March 1950 – 31 March 1956

Fred COX 1 April 1956 – 1 July 1958

Don WELSH 1 July 1958 – 28 February 1961

Bill McGARRY 1 March 1961 – 1 July 1963

Reg FLEWIN 1 September 1963 – 1 April 1965

Fred COX 1 April 1965 – 30 April 1970

John BOND 1 May 1970 – 27 November 1973

Trevor HARTLEY 30 November 1974 – 2 January 1975

Tony NELSON (care-taker) 2 January 1975 – 23 January 1975

John BENSON 23 January 1975 – 1 January 1978

Alec STOCK 25 January 1978 – 1 December 1980

David WEBB 1 December 1980 – 10 February 1982

Don MEGSON 9 March 1983 – 19 October 1983

Harry REDKNAPP 19 October 1983 – 9 June 1992

Tony PULIS 9 June 1992 – 5 August 1994

John WILLIAMS (care-taker) 5 August 1994 – 1 September 1994

Mel MACHIN 1 September 1994 – 19 August 2000

Sean O’DRISCOLL 19 August 2000 – 10 September 2006

Joe ROACH/Stuart MURDOCH (care-taker) 10 September 2006 – 13 October 2006

Kevin BOND 13 October 2006 – 1 September 2008

Jimmy QUINN 2 September 2008 – 1 January 2009

Eddie HOWE 26 January 2009 – 16 January 2011

Lee BRADBURY 28 January 2011 – 25 March 2012

Paul GROVES 26 March 2012 – 3 October 2012

Eddie HOWE 12 October 2012 – 1 August 2020

Jason TINDALL 8 August 2020 –



League Record

The Football League structure has historically been as follows : – 

1888-1892 1892-1920 1920-1921 1921-1958 1958-1992 1992-2004  2004 to date

First tier Football League Division One Division One Division One Division One Premiership Premier League

Second tier Division Two Division Two Division Two Division Two Division One Championship

Third tier Division Three Division Three
(North) and (South)
Division Three Division Two League One

Fourth tier Division Four Division Three League Two


Elected to Third Division (South)    (Third Tier) 1923

Third Division (South)    (Third Tier) 1923-1958

Third Division    (Third Tier) 1958-1970

Fourth Division    (Fourth Tier) 1970-1971

Third Division    (Third Tier) 1971-1975

Fourth Division    (Fourth Tier) 1975-1982

Third Division    (Third Tier) 1982-1987

Second Division    (Second Tier) 1987-1990

Third Division    (Third Tier) 1990-1992

Second Division    (Second Tier) 1992-2002

Third Division  (Third Tier) 2002-2003

Second Division    (Second Tier) 2003-2004

League One    (Second Tier) 2004-2013

The Championship    (Second Tier) 2013-2015

Premier League    (First Tier) 2015-2020

The Championship    (Second Tier) 2020-