A.F.C. Bournemouth and The Vitality Stadium:
A.F.C. Bournemouth’s roots date back to 1890 and Boscombe St. John’s Institute Football Club, which disbanded in 1899. From the remains of that club, Boscombe Football Club was born and began to compete in the Bournemouth and District Junior League, playing at a ground in Pokesdown.
Local success followed and the club moved to King’s Park, which is adjacent to the club’s current home, in 1902.
Estate owner J.E. Cooper-Dean leased some wasteland, formerly a gravel pit, next to King’s Park to the club in 1910 and the new ground there was named Dean Court after J.E. Cooper-Dean. It is thought that he was also partly responsible for the club’s nickname of ‘The Cherries’ as they grew in abundance on his estate neighbouring the new ground.
The club’s name was again changed, to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club, in 1923, the year in which the club was elected to the Football League.
The club adopted the name A.F.C. Bournemouth in 1972.
In February 2008, A.F.C. Bournemouth went into administration, suffering a ten-point deduction which put the club in relegation trouble. With debts of around £4 million, the club almost went out of business completely.
When Eddie Howe joined A.F.C. Bournemouth, he was the third manager in the 2008-09 season and the club had just been declared insolvent for the second time in two years and deducted seventeen points for failing to exit administration. Named the Football League’s manager of the decade earlier this year, Howe was the overseer of the three promotion pushes required to take A.F.C. Bournemouth on a remarkable journey back from the brink to the dizzy heights of the Premier League.
Dean Court, as it will always be known to fans of the coastal side, was recently re-named The Vitality Stadium for sponsorship purposes. The stadium, which is by far the smallest in the Premier League, with a capacity of just under twelve thousand, was completely rebuilt in 2001 so it is relatively modern. Away fans are accommodated in part of the East Stand, which runs the length of the pitch, where they can enjoy good views of the action from their allocated seats.
How to get there:
Depending on traffic, a journey from Birmingham to Bournemouth by car should take approximately three hours.
For directions to Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, click here.
Use postcode BH7 7AF for sat navs.
Crosscountry run hourly direct services between Birmingham New Street and Bournemouth Central and the journey takes three hours and seven minutes.
Bournemouth Central is thirty minutes’ walk from the stadium. Leave the station by the south exit, which faces Asda, and turn left towards the main road. Turn left again and walk straight up Holdenhurst Road for approximately twenty-five minutes, until you reach a roundabout at which you turn right into Kings Park Drive. The ground is on the left.
Where to drink:
For those away fans wishing to drink in the centre of Bournemouth, some distance from the ground, there are two options this Saturday: Walkabout, which you’ll find at 156-164 Old Christchurch Road or The Christopher Creeke, a Wetherspoon’s pub, located at 2 Holdenhurst Road.
Christchurch Road, which is approximately fifteen minutes’ walk from the stadium, will probably be the destination of choice for most travelling Villans this Saturday as it is home to four establishments where away fans will be welcomed.
Sugar Spice Bar & Kitchen, located at 560 Christchurch Road, will welcome family groups of away fans.
Away fans can drink in Mello Mello Bar at 677 Christchurch Road, the Sir Percy Florence Shelley, another Wetherspoon’s establishment, at 673-675 Christchurch Road or Shark Bites Bar at 682-684 Christchurch Road.