THE HISTORY OF WIMBLEDON FOOTBALL CLUB
1949
1949-50

Wimbledon's Diamond Jubilee season opened with some sparkle, with a League double over Ilford and representative honours for Stannard, called up for the Isthmian League's game against a touring Nigerian XI.

Stannard was to slam a hat-trick against Hounslow in an FA Cup replay before a first qualifying round marathon against Kingstonian.

Crowds of 10,600, 7,800 and 4,300 saw three evenly balanced clashes - Wimbledon slumping disastrously in the third, throwing away a 3-1 lead to lose out 6-3. Frankie Lemmer opted to join bottom of the table Tufnell Park in the September, but was unable to prevent his old Wimbledon team-mates recording a 3-2 League success and runaway 8-2 London Charity Cup win, through hat-tricks from Wallis and Stannard and two goals from Vic Bird.

Eleven points from the next seven matches took Wimbledon into third place in the table, five points adrift of early leaders Leytonstone. It was Leytonstone who brought to an end Wimbledon's London Senior Cup hopes, with Redhill repeating the dose in the Surrey Senior, but there was better progress in the Amateur Cup.

Ron Head scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Kingstonian, while over 250 fans took to the road to see the club triumph over Sheffield at Hillsborough. One supporter even cycled there and back, returning in time for a Sunday lun­chtime pint, but despite goals from Jack Wallis and Charlie Smith, eventual winners Willington ended that Cup run, 4-2.

All Wimbledon's efforts were poured back into a serious assault on the League tide. Thirty-three-year-old Head had announced his decision to quit football, "for family reasons" earlier in the season, but he bowed out with a valuable goal in a 3-2 win over Tufnell Park that took Wimbledon up to third place, still four points adrift of Leytonstone.

Two from Stannard earned more points against Clapton in a midweek game, setting the scene for a possible Championship decider with the leaders on the Saturday.

It was that man Stannard again who put Dons en-route, reacting smartly when Bird's shot came back off the woodwork and although Stather leveled for Leytonstone, Bird swooped for a second just before half-time. And it was Stannard who put the issue beyond doubt, with a fine diving header from Jock Woods' cross 10 minutes after the break.

After doing all the hard work, however, Wimbledon lost the chance of going joint top with a 4-1 defeat at Kingstonian. Stannard, with two against Woking and another four in a 5-0 drubbing of Dulwich, gave Wimbledon some hope, but Leytonstone clinched the title with a victory over Kingstonian.

They could even afford the luxury of dropped points in their final game, with Wimbledon finishing on a high through Freddie Gauntlett's winner against Walthamstow.

The club's end of season dinner was a fine affair, as they celebrated their 60 years in some style. Players from way back in the 1890’s attended, including Horace Anstee, brother of Eddie, for 10 years the Old Centrals' skipper. And there was a tribute, too, to the late Mr. Gill-Knight, the club's previous landlord. He never worried about the rent, said president Stanley Meadows and purchased the South Stand from Clapton Orient personally.