Dickie Guy, the legendary Wimbledon FC goalkeeper and AFC Wimbledon president, was honoured by Merton Council last week with the freedom of the borough. He was initially presented with the award on Wednesday night in a special ceremony in front of full council and family, receiving an accolade granted to just 23 other people such as Virgina Wade and Andy Murray.
The ceremony was then repeated on the pitch at Plough Lane on Saturday, ahead of AFC’s League One clash with Plymouth Argyle.
The 72-year-old, who turned out for the Dons more than 600 times between 1967 and 1978, including a mindboggling 275 consecutive appearances, was given the award by Cllr Michael Brunt, Mayor of Merton, and speeches were made by Cllr Mark Allison, leader of Merton Council, leader of the Conservative group, Cllr Nick McLean, and former council leader Cllr Stephen Alambritis.
The mayor remembered watching Guy play during his final season at the club, keeping a clean sheet for the non-league club in the 1977-78 FA Cup third round against First Division Middlesbrough – Guy was famed for his cup exploits, denying top tier sides such as Leeds and Burnley in a much-storied 1975 run.
Cllr Allison said: “It is an honour for me that the first freedom of the borough given in my time as leader of the council is to Dickie, and how proud I am to have helped to make it happen. The whole community around Merton and AFC Wimbledon knows how great a man he is.”
Cllr McLean said: “Dickie has given a lifetime of service to our local community and especially to football here in Merton. As he has shown, when we all work together we can achieve great things and help our community.”
Cllr Alambritis, talked about Guy’s talismanic status for Wimbledon fans, saying: “Freedom of the borough is the highest honour we can give and is bestowed on few people. It is awarded to people who have provided outstanding service in the borough. Dickie has stayed loyal to Wimbledon since his finest hour in 1975 in the FA Cup against Leeds, and stood shoulder to shoulder with fans when they launched AFC Wimbledon in 2002.”
A separate ceremony will also take place on Saturday 18 at Plough Lane ahead of AFC Wimbledon’s League One game against Plymouth, when Guy will be able to show his award off to fans.