AFC Bournemouth

Eddie Howe
Nick Name
The Cherries
Vitality Stadium
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AFC Bournemouth

The Early Years

The present football club can trace its roots as far back as 1890 when Boscombe St. Johns Institute Football Club were playing in local football. They disbanded in 1899 and from the remains of that club, Boscombe FC were formed at a meeting under the streetlights in Gladstone Road, Boscombe.

The Club competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League playing at a ground in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. They moved to Kings Park, adjacent to the current stadium in 1902 and were soon emerging as the top team in the town.

After enjoying many local successes, they joined the Hampshire League and were attracting large crowds. In 1910, Mr. J.E. Cooper-Dean granted the club on a long lease some wasteland next to Kings Park.

With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, the club continued to thrive and dominated the local football scene.

It was around this time that the club gained the nickname, 'The Cherries'. There are two main stories on to why the club would be called such a name. Firstly the Cherry Red striped shirts the side wore and secondly, Dean Court was built next to the Cooper-Dean estate which included many Cherry Orchards.

The club signed their first professional player in 1910, B.Penton, who signed from Southampton for a £10 fee. The club then moved in to the South Eastern League but this proved to be a big leap and the side finished bottom of the table.

With the outbreak of war in 1914, the progress of the club was halted and they returned to the Hampshire league in 1919. The club was ambitious and when the Third Division was formed in 1920, they moved up to the highly competitive Southern League as many clubs in that league went on to form the Third Division.

After three years in the Southern League, the club applied for membership of the Football League. The application was accepted and Boscombe would be playing in the Third Division (South) in the 1923-24 season.


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