It was 2am this morning. I suddenly woke with a feeling that something was wrong. A weight heavy on my shoulders. What was it? I couldn't get back to sleep. I got up, poured a glass of water and stared through the kitchen window. What's bothering me? I moved to the porch, sat in a chair and closed my eyes. No good, still couldn't sleep. A nagging anxious feeling filled my body from head to toe. I started to sweat. I got up and paced the porch, wracking my brain for a clue as to why I was an early hour mess, standing outside in a sweat, worrying. Then like a bolt of lightning, it hit me. I spotted a frisbee in the middle of my lawn and boom...The horror ripped through my body in an instance and I started to shake. One month from the start of the season in League one and I know absolutely nothing about...Milton Keynes!
Why 'Know thy enemy?' Click. Know already? Move along, nothing to see here...
The bastard love child of Peter Winkelman and Wimbledon. A town that will ruin your tires. Concrete cows and bad commercials, trying to attract visitors and prospective residents. It can only be Milton Keynes and the MK Dons.
Roundabouts. I lost count watching this.
So once Winkelmen broke the hearts of Wimbledon fans in 2004 (the few there were) and forced them to abandon ship and start their own team, the MK Dons appeared, not far from a roundabout, at the National Hockey Stadium.
The Dons started life with -10 points, the punishment for taking Wimbledon into administration. Stuart Murdoch was fired as manger and replaced by Danny Wilson. A trip to League Two followed and Wilson was replaced by the eccentric Martin Allen. Allen took his new team to the play-off finals in 06/07 but failed to get to the final. He was offered the mangers job at Leicester and took it.
2007/08 saw Paul Ince take the reigns. He won the League Two title and the Football League Trophy with a Wembley win over Grimsby Town. Ince's work didn't go unnoticed and he was poached by Premier League side Blackburn Rovers. MK Dons appointed ex Chelsea legend Roberto Di Matteo to replace Ince. Last season the new man took his side to 3rd after competing for the top spot for much of the season. The Dons lost in a play-off semi final for the second time in 3 years. Di Matteo followed Ince and Allen in heading to a bigger club. West Brom came knocking this summer.
Two days ago Paul Ince was re-appointed as manger after a spell out of the game.
Stadium MK opened in 2007 and holds 22,000 punters, although the average gate for the Dons last season was just 10,550.
The new town of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire was officially designated as a 'town' in 1967. Many new towns had appeared after World War 2. Places such as Stevenage, Harlow and Hemel Hempstead. New towns were built near London, designed to deal with the over flow of people left without housing at the end of the war. Milton Keynes lack of history is evident from the 60's and 70's style buildings. A concrete and glass center, surrounded by countryside.
A population of 184,000 inhabit the town and wear down their tires on a myriad of circular lumps in the road called roundabouts. Designed to keep traffic flowing, the roundabout serves a purpose. Milton Keynes has more than anywhere else, leading to nickname 'roundabout city'.
In the 80's Milton Keynes wanted to attract people to move there and used a very well remembered and wide spread advertising campaign to do so. The ad's educated the country to a place they really knew nothing about. The roundabouts and concrete cows of Milton Keynes are now well known.
So there you have it. The new town of Milton Keynes and the MK Dons.
Nice balloon kid.
Come shopping to Milton Keynes!