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Milton Keynes Dons

This article is about the club from Milton Keynes, founded in 2004. For information on its origins, see Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes.
Milton Keynes Dons
MK Dons badge
Full name Milton Keynes Dons Football Club
Nickname(s) The Dons
Short name MK Dons
Founded 2004
Ground Stadium mk
Ground Capacity 30,500
Chairman Pete Winkelman
Manager Karl Robinson
League League One
2012–13 League One, 8th
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Milton Keynes Dons Football Club (/ˌmɪltən ˈknz ˈdɒnz/; usually abbreviated to MK Dons) is a professional football club founded in 2004 and based since 2007 at Stadium mk, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. The club currently plays in League One, the third tier in the English football league system.

Milton Keynes Dons were created on 21 June 2004, nine months after Wimbledon F.C.'s relocation to Milton Keynes in September 2003 and its subsequent administration and renaming. Being in law the same business, MK Dons initially claimed the history of Wimbledon F.C. as its own, but stopped doing so in 2007, in part to ensure the recognition of its supporters' groups by the Football Supporters' Federation, which had previously boycotted the team. Since 2007, the board of MK Dons has maintained that the club is a new one, founded in 2004.

Following Wimbledon F.C.'s relegation, MK Dons played in League One for the 2004–05 season and were relegated again to the fourth-tier League Two after 2005–06. Under the management of Paul Ince, the club won both the division and the Football League Trophy during the 2007–08 season, and were promoted back to League One for 2008–09, where as of 2012–13 they remain.


Main article: Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes


The first season for the club as MK Dons was the 2004–05 season. At the season's start, the team still being managed by former Wimbledon manager Stuart Murdoch, who was sacked after a long run of bad results, and replaced by Danny Wilson half-way through the campaign. Under their new manager, MK Dons managed to stay in League One on the final day of the season — but only because of Wrexham's 10-point deduction that had been their penalty for going into administration. The following season, MK Dons struggled all year, and were relegated to League Two. Wilson, as a result, was sacked.

Wilson's successor for 2006–07 was Martin Allen, who had just taken Brentford to the brink of a place in the Football League Championship. With a new manager taking charge of a team in a new division, MK Dons looked more consistent than they had done in either of the previous two seasons. They were in contention for automatic promotion right up to the last game, but eventually finished fourth and had to settle for a play-off place. They then suffered a defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the play-off semi-finals. During the 2007 summer break, Allen left MK Dons to take over at Leicester City.

For the 2007–08 season, former England captain Paul Ince took over as manager. MK Dons reached the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, while topping the table for most of the season. The final was played on 30 March against Grimsby Town — Milton Keynes Dons won 2–0 at Wembley to bring the first professional trophy to Milton Keynes. The club capped the trophy win with the League Two championship, and the subsequent promotion to League One for the 2008–09 season. Following his successes, Ince left at the end of the season to manage Blackburn Rovers.

Ince's replacement was Roberto Di Matteo. In the 2008–9 season, MK Dons missed out to an automatic promotion spot by two points, finishing third behind Peterborough United and Leicester City. They were knocked out of the play-offs by Scunthorpe United, who defeated MK Dons by penalty shootout at stadium mk. Di Matteo left at the season's end for West Bromwich Albion.[1] His replacement was Ince, who returned a year after leaving.[2] Ince resigned from the club on 16 April 2010, but remained manager until the end of the season.[3]

On 10 May 2010, Karl Robinson was appointed as the club's new manager, with former England coach John Gorman as his assistant. At 29 years of age, Robinson is the youngest manager in the Football League.[4] In his first season in the club MK Dons finished 5th in 2010-11 Football League One. They faced Peterborough United in the play-off semifinals. Although they won the first leg 3–2, a 2–0 defeat at London Road meant they missed out on the play-off final. The 2011–12 season brought similar results to the previous season with the Dons finishing 5th in 2011-12 Football League One facing Huddersfield in the play-offs. Losing the first leg 2–0 followed by winning 2–1 at The Galpharm saw MK Dons lose 3–2 on aggregate against the eventual play-off winners. The away leg was John Gorman's last match in football after announcing his retirement a few weeks beforehand. Gorman's replacement was announced on 18 May 2012 as being ex-Luton manager Mick Harford along with new part-time coach Ian Wright.

MK Dons experienced their best ever FA Cup campaign in the 2012–13 season by beating a spirited Cambridge City (0–0 and 6–1), League Two AFC Wimbledon (2–1), Championship Sheffield Wednesday (0–0 and 2–0) and Premier League Queens Park Rangers (4–2) to reach the Fifth Round of the competition for the first time ever in their footballing history. Their record-breaking run ended in the Fifth Round at stadium:mk on 16 February 2013, losing 3–1 to Championship side Barnsley.

Supporters' club recognition

On 4 June 2005, at the 2005 Football Supporters' Federation "Fans' Parliament" (AGM), the FSF refused the MK Dons Supporters' Club membership of the FSF in a debate that, among other arguments, questioned why the Football League had yet to introduce any new rules to prevent the "franchising" of other football clubs in the future.[5][6] In addition, the FSF membership agreed with the Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association that the Milton Keynes Dons Supporters' Association should not be entitled to join the FSF until they give up all claim to the history and honours of Wimbledon FC. With this in mind, the FSF began discussions aimed at returning Wimbledon FC's honours to the London Borough of Merton.

Shortly afterwards, following heavy criticism for allowing the move, the Football League announced new tighter rules on club relocation.[7]

At its AGM on 5 June 2006, the FSF again considered a motion[8] proposed by the FSF Council to allow MK Dons Supporters Association membership if the honours and trophies of Wimbledon FC were given to the London Borough of Merton. In October 2006, agreement[9] was reached between the club, the MK Dons Supporters Association, the Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association and the Football Supporters Federation. The replica of the FA Cup plus all club patrimony gathered under the name of Wimbledon F.C. would be returned to the London Borough of Merton. Ownership of trademarks and website domain names related to Wimbledon F.C. would also be transferred to the Borough. The Borough subsequently transferred all trademarks to AFC Wimbledon. As part of the same deal it was agreed that any reference made to Milton Keynes Dons FC should refer only to events subsequent to 7 August 2004 (the date of the first League game of Milton Keynes Dons FC). As a result of this deal, the FSF announced that the supporters of Milton Keynes Dons FC would be permitted to become members of the federation, and that it would no longer appeal to the supporters of other clubs to boycott MK Dons matches.[10] On 2 August 2007, MK Dons transferred the replica trophies and all Wimbledon FC memorabilia to the London Borough of Merton.[11]


The club's first stadium was the National Hockey Stadium, which was temporarily converted for football for the duration of the club's stay. Their lease on this ground ended in May 2007.

On 18 July 2007, the club's new 22,000 seater, stadium mk in Denbigh hosted its first game, a restricted entrance event against a young Chelsea XI.[12] The stadium was officially opened on 29 November 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II.[13] The stadium features an open concourse at the top of the lower tier, an integrated hotel with rooms looking over the pitch and conference facilities

The complex was to include a 3,000 seat indoor arena, where the MK Lions (now London Lions) basketball team would be based. The completion of this arena was delayed due to deferral of proposed commercial developments around the site,[14] leaving the Lions to find a new home away from Milton Keynes.

In May 2009, the stadium was named as one of 15 stadia put forward as potential hosts for the unsuccessful England 2018 FIFA World Cup bid. Plans were announced to extend the capacity to 44,000.[15]

In May 2013, the organisers of the Rugby World Cup 2015 announced that they had selected this stadium to be one of thirteen to host the tournament.[16]


Through the work of MK Dons SET (Sport and Educational Trust), the club works locally (Milton Keynes and the neighbouring towns) in the fields of education, social inclusion, participation and football development.[17] It works with schools, has 14 disability teams playing in regional or national competitions, works with BME (black and minority ethnic) community groups and runs many activities for women and girls. MK Dons also supports the Football v Homophobia initiative (one of only 25 premiership and football league clubs supporting the programme in 2012 and only 30 in 2013).[18]

MK Dons' work in the community was recognised by the award of Football League Awards Community Club of the Year for London and the South East for 2012, and in the award of an honorary doctorate to chairman Pete Winkelman by the Open University in June 2013.[19]

League history

Only seasons played by Milton Keynes Dons are given here. For a statistical history of Wimbledon F.C., see List of Wimbledon F.C. seasons.
Statistics are correct as of 2 May 2009.[20]
Season League FA Cup League
Other competitions Top scorer Average
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Name #
2004–05 League One 46 12 15 19 54 67 51 20th R3 R2 Football League Trophy R2S Izale McLeod 18 4,896
2005–06 League One 46 12 14 20 45 66 50 22nd R3 R1 Football League Trophy QFS Izale McLeod 18 5,619
2006–07 League Two 46 25 9 12 76 58 84 4th R2 R3 Football League Trophy R2S Izale McLeod 24 6,033
2007–08 League Two 46 29 10 7 82 37 97 1st R1 R2 Football League Trophy W Mark Wright 15 9,456
2008–09 League One 46 26 9 11 83 39 87 3rd R1 R2 Football League Trophy R2S Aaron Wilbraham 16 10,550
2009–10 League One 46 19 7 20 60 68 60 12th R3 R1 Football League Trophy FS Jermaine Easter 20 10,290
2010–11 League One 46 23 8 15 67 60 77 5th R1 R3 Football League Trophy R2 Sam Baldock 14 8,512
2011–12 League One 46 22 14 10 84 47 80 5th R3 R3 Football League Trophy R1 Dean Bowditch 15 8,794
2012–13 League One 46 19 13 14 62 45 70 8th R5 R3 Football League Trophy R1 Dean Bowditch
Ryan Lowe
12 TBD


As of 30 July 2013.[21]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK David Martin
2 England DF Jon Otsemobor
3 England DF Dean Lewington (captain)
4 Northern Ireland DF Tom Flanagan
5 Northern Ireland DF Lee Hodson
6 Republic of Ireland MF Shaun Williams
7 Republic of Ireland MF Stephen Gleeson
8 Republic of Ireland MF Darren Potter
9 England FW Dean Bowditch
10 England MF Luke Chadwick
11 England MF Alan Smith
12 England MF Ben Reeves
13 England FW Izale McLeod
No. Position Player
14 England MF Dele Alli
15 England FW Patrick Bamford (on loan from Chelsea)
16 Republic of Ireland GK Ian McLoughlin
17 England FW Daniel Powell
18 England MF George Baldock
19 England MF Brendon Galloway
20 England MF Giorgio Rasulo
21 England FW Jason Banton (on loan from Crystal Palace)
22 Republic of Ireland MF Samir Carruthers (on loan from Aston Villa)
23 England DF Jordan Spence (on loan from West Ham United)
24 England DF Antony Kay
50 England GK Charlie Burns

Former players

For a list of all Milton Keynes Dons players, past or present, see Category:Milton Keynes Dons F.C. players.

Notable players

This list contains players who have made 100 or more league appearances. Appearances and goals apply to league matches only; substitute appearances are included. Names in bold denote current MK Dons players.
Statistics are correct as of 27 May 2013.[22]
Name Nationality Position[A] MK Dons
Apps Goals Notes
Baldock, SamSam Baldock  England Forward 2006–11 102 33
Chadwick, LukeLuke Chadwick  England Midfielder 2008– 187 16
Edds, GarethGareth Edds  Australia Midfielder 2004–08 122 10
Guéret, WillyWilly Guéret  France Goalkeeper 2007–11 135 0
Gleeson, StephenStephen Gleeson  Ireland Midfielder 2009– 139 13
Lewington, DeanDean Lewington  England Defender 2004– 387 15 [B]
Leven, PeterPeter Leven  Scotland Midfielder 2008–11 113 22
McLeod, IzaleIzale McLeod  England Forward 2004–07
129 55
O'Hanlon, SeanSean O'Hanlon  England Defender 2006–11 157 15
Platt, CliveClive Platt  England Forward 2005–07 102 27
Wilbraham, AaronAaron Wilbraham  England Forward 2005–11 178 50
Martin, DavidDavid Martin  England Goalkeeper 2003–06
135 0
Kouo-Doumbé, MathiasMathias Kouo-Doumbé  France Defender 2009–2013 121 11
Powell, DanielDaniel Powell  England Forward 2008– 114 24

Technical staff

Karl Robinson First-team manager
Gary Waddock Head of Coaching
Ian Wright First-team coach
Paul Heald Goalkeeping coach
Damien Doyle Fitness coach
Simon Crampton Head of sports medicine
Andrew Sanson Kit manager
Mike Dove Director of youth/Under-18s manager
Dan Micciche Assistant academy manager
Karim Suleman Head academy physiotherapist
Joe Aylett Head groundsman
Dr Martin Cave Club doctor
Dr Turab A Syed Academy doctor
Dr Gary D Jackson Chiropractor


The first manager of Milton Keynes Dons was Stuart Murdoch, who had previously been manager of Wimbledon.[23] Murdoch only lasted three months before being sacked[24] — his assistant, Jimmy Gilligan, managed the club for a month before Murdoch's replacement was revealed to be Danny Wilson.[24][25][26] Wilson managed to keep the team up during the inaugural 2004–05 season,[20] but failed to repeat this feat during the next season.[20] Following relegation,[20] Wilson was shown the door and replaced with Martin Allen.[27] After Allen's team fell at the play-offs,[20] he left to manage Leicester City.[28] Paul Ince was appointed manager for the 2007–08 season,[29] and proved to be a shrewd appointment as MK Dons won the League Two championship as well as the Football League Trophy.[20] Ince too left after only a season, to become manager of Blackburn Rovers.[30] Former Chelsea player Roberto di Matteo was then appointed in July 2008,[31][32] and left after a season to manage West Bromwich Albion.[1] Ince was reappointed in his stead on 3 July 2009.[2] Paul Ince resigned as Manager on 16 April 2010, stating "a reduction in funds for next season was the reason behind his decision to leave", although he will remain with the club until the end of the 2009/10 season.

Karl Robinson was appointed manager of League One team Milton Keynes Dons on 10 May 2010, having previously been the club's assistant manager under previous boss Paul Ince.[33] At 30 years of age, he was the youngest manager in the Football League and former England coach John Gorman was named his number two. He was also the youngest person to ever acquire a UEFA Pro Licence at the age of 29. At the end of the 2011–12 season Gorman retired and was replaced by former Luton player/manager Mick Harford. At the same time, ex-Arsenal and former England international Ian Wright was also enlisted in a part-time role to provide assistance with coaching duties.

In January 2013, Robinson turned down an offer to manage Blackpool FC, a well established Championship and former Premier League team, in favour of his continuing commitment and loyalty towards MK Dons, something which has endeared him to the fans of MK Dons.[34]

Statistics are correct as of 27 May 2013.[32]
Name Nationality From To Matches Won Drawn Lost Win % Notes
Murdoch, StuartStuart Murdoch  England 7 August 2004 8 November 2004 21 5 5 11 23.8 [23][24][C]
Gilligan, JimmyJimmy Gilligan  England 8 November 2004 7 December 2004 4 2 0 2 50.0 Caretaker[25]
Wilson, DannyDanny Wilson  Northern Ireland 7 December 2004 21 June 2006 81 25 32 24 30.9 [26]
Allen, MartinMartin Allen  England 21 June 2006 25 May 2007 46 25 9 12 54.3 [27][28]
Ince, PaulPaul Ince  England 25 June 2007 21 June 2008 55 35 11 9 63.6 [29][30]
di Matteo, RobertoRoberto di Matteo  Italy 3 July 2008 30 June 2009 40 22 7 12 55.0 [1][31]
Ince, PaulPaul Ince  England 3 July 2009 10 May 2010 44 22 4 18 50 [2]
Robinson, KarlKarl Robinson  England 10 May 2010 Present 167 77 42 48 46.1


2007–08 Champions[35]
2007–08 Winners[36]

Club records and achievements

Record home attendance: 19,506 v Queens Park Rangers, FA Cup Third Round, 7 January 2012 (stadium:mk)[37]
Record home league attendance : 17,717 v Leicester City, League One, 28 February 2009 (stadium:mk)[38][39]
Youngest Football League Manager: Karl Robinson (b. 13 September 1980) May 2010 – Present
Trophies Won : Johnstone's Paint Trophy 2008 (beat Grimsby Town 2–0 at Wembley Stadium)
Most prolific player : Dean Lewington 400+ League One/Two matches with MK Dons[40]
Best FA Cup Progression : Fifth Round, 2013 (lost 3–1 to Barnsley on 16 February 2013)
Youngest Player: Giorgio Rasulo – 15 years and 10 months[41]

See also


A. ^ For a full description of positions see Football Positions.
B. ^ Dean Lewington had previously played for Wimbledon before the club's rebranding. 7 August 2004 is the date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, and so is given as the date on which Lewington ceased to play for Wimbledon and began to play for Milton Keynes Dons.
C. ^ Stuart Murdoch had previously managed Wimbledon before the club's rebranding. 7 August 2004 is the date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, and so is given as the date on which Murdoch ceased to manage Wimbledon and began to manage Milton Keynes Dons.


External links

  • Official website
  • Official Supporters Association website
  • MK Dons news on MKWeb
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