Legendary stars of Wimbledon FC Dave Beasant, Roy Law and Lawrie Sanchez were welcomed by Merton Council today (Wednesday, 27 February) to officially open the new permanent exhibition of memorabilia from the team’s glory days.
Adding even more magic and excitement to the opening event, the Football Association kindly loaned Merton Council the FA Cup for the occasion.
Forty-four years after Roy Law held the FA Amateur Cup and 20 years after Dave Beasant lifted the FA Cup following Wimbledon’s 1988 win against Liverpool, fans are now able to see the club treasures back on home turf. Specially-designed glass display cases in Morden Library will house many items including a miniature FA Cup from 1988, the football from the first game played by Wimbledon FC following the club’s 1977 promotion to the Football League, archive photography, and match programmes.
Merton Council Leader Councillor David Williams said: “We are delighted to see all these fabulous pieces of memorabilia that Wimbledon FC worked so hard to achieve on permanent display where they should be – here in Merton. It will be a privilege for us to meet the stars of those great years, and for them to formally open the exhibition for everyone to enjoy has been a truly wonderful experience.”
At the opening, Dave Beasant, the only man in history to save an FA Cup Final penalty at Wembley and the Captain of the triumphant Wimbledon team said: ‘It was a magnificent day for all the lads, for all the Wimbledon fans and all the people of Merton. I’m just proud to be a part of it.
‘I fancied my chances with the John Aldridge penalty. I had faced seventeen that season, so I’d had plenty of practice and I just went and guessed right.
‘When I was presented with the FA Cup, by Diana, Princess of Wales, I was so very proud of the team and effort put in by manager Bobby Gould and former England coach, Don Howe.
Football legends return home 20 years after FA cup win (cont.)
‘Nothing prepared me for the next day. We went on an open top bus tour through Wimbledon and over 25,000 people turned out, with banners, flags, bugles and horns. The bus stopped outside the Town Hall and we appeared, with the precious FA Cup, on the balcony, to a welcome I’ll never forget.
‘That’s why I’m delighted that the Cup memorabilia, the FA replica Cup and all the history and honours of Wimbledon Football Club have been returned, at last, to their rightful home, Wimbledon. Merton Council has kindly given this history pride of place in the Civic Centre and I’m proud to launch the