AFC Bournemouth have returned to the Premier League after two seasons in the Championship. They were only relegated in 2020 having enjoyed five seasons of top flight football.
Bournemouth is a large town on the south coast of England. It is in the county of Dorset and is quite famous in the UK for having a long sandy beach. Bournemouth is a popular holiday destination for tourists from the UK and abroad. On a busy weekend, Bournemouth’s beach attracts over 100,000 visitors and over 750,000 ice creams are sold on Bournemouth’s seafront every year.
AFC Bournemouth was founded in 1899 as Boscombe, out of the remains of an older club, the Boscombe St John’s Institute football club. Boscombe is a suburb of Bournemouth, east of the centre. As well as having a stretch of beach and Boscombe pier, the suburb is where AFC Bournemouth’s stadium, the Vitality Stadium is located. The Vitality Stadium has a capacity of 11,700, and this season will be the smallest stadium in the Premier League. The club’s badge has Bournemouth’s red and black stripes and also a footballer heading a ball. The picture is to honour Dickie Dowsett, who is one of Bournemouth’s all-time top scorers.
The club was known as Boscombe for over 20 years before changing their name to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club to better represent the town. In 1971, the club changed their name again to AFC Bournemouth. The AFC recalls the older name of the club, it represents Athletic Football Club, but it does not stand for Athletic Football Club. The AFC is part of the name and not an abbreviation. The name was changed by Dickie Dowsett who was the club’s commercial manager and an ex-player. He insisted that the AFC should not stand for anything because that way, the club would appear in alphabetical league lists above Arsenal and Aston Villa and is why the club is the first in the list of clubs on the Premier League and Premier Skills English websites. However, when people talk about the club, they usually just say Bournemouth.
AFC Bournemouth’s nickname is the Cherries. While there is some debate about the origin of the nickname, most people believe it came from the cherry-red striped shirts that the club played in. They are also still referred to as Boscombe by some fans. These days, AFC Bournemouth still play in cherry red and black stripes. Their kit looks very similar to the AC Milan kit.
Their first season in the Premier League was a struggle, but the team avoided relegation and in their second season, they finished in 9th place which was their highest ever league finish. In the following years they managed respectable 12th and 14th place finishes before slipping to 18th place in 2020. They made the playoffs in the championship in 2021, but lost to Brentford. In 2022, they finished in second place so won direct promotion and return to the Premier League.
Did you know....?
J.R.R Tolkien, the author of Lord of the Rings, and Christian Bale, the Oscar-winning actor, both used to live in Bournemouth!