By Tom Lazenby
Mr Dean Scott Lewington born 18/05/1984 Kingston Upon Thames son of Ray Lewington 400 + appearances as a player and coached at highest level so maybe Dean was always destined to be a committed footballer.
Lewington made his Wimbledon first team debut on 5 April 2003, coming on as a last-minute substitute for Alex Tapp in a 4–2 First Division defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, his only appearance of the season.
On 1 November 2003, he made his first start, in a 2–1 win over Bradford City at the National Hockey Stadium, their first victory in Milton Keynes. He scored his first goal on 26 December in a 3–0 win away to Reading at the Madejski Stadium, heading Adam Nowland’s cross for the second of the game.
Having moved to Milton Keynes in 2003, Wimbledon were relaunched in 2004 as Milton Keynes Dons, in the newly renamed League One. The next 4 years saw Dean playing left back week in week out and was probably the first name on the team sheet.
With relegation in 2006 his commitment never wavered, finally getting his hands on the League 2 Trophy and Johnsons Paint Trophy in 2008.
He received the MK Dons captaincy after the departure of Keith Andrews to Blackburn Rovers in August 2008. On 21 March 2011, Lewington led his team to a 1–0 victory over promotion rivals Peterborough United. The Dons reached the play-offs but were defeated by Peterborough. On 2 December 2012, Lewington captained his side against AFC Wimbledon in their highly publicised first meeting. On 12 January 2013, Lewington made his 400th league appearance for Milton Keynes Dons against Bury.
Lewington scored his only goal of the 2013–14 League One season in the last minute of a 3–2 victory over Stevenage at Broadhall Way. The 2–2 draw with Rotherham United at the New York Stadium on 26 April 2014 saw Lewington make his 500th appearance for Milton Keynes Dons in all competitions. To celebrate his 500th appearance for the club, supporters of Milton Keynes Dons got together for the last home game of the season against Leyton Orient, and wore as much orange as possible (due to Lewington’s hair colour). This campaign was dubbed “Orange4Lewie” and gained some publicity from Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.On
3 May 2015, Lewington scored twice and assisted two further goals as the Dons defeated Yeovil Town 5–1 on the final day of the season to earn their first promotion to the Championship. On 20 May 2014, Milton Keynes Dons announced a testimonial match against Nottingham Forest would be played in honour of Lewington’s ten years of service for the club. The match was played on 27 July 2014 at Stadium MK although 4,121 attended the game, of whom 1,286 were from Nottingham Forest. At the time of his testimonial, Lewington had amassed over 500 appearances in League and Cup competitions for Milton Keynes Dons.
Between January and May 2018 Lewington temporarily worked in a player-coach role for the club in difficult circumstances and I can see him eventually taking up a coaching role whenever the Lewington machine decides to hand up his playing boot.
Lewington achieved his 600th league appearance and 700th appearance in all competitions for the club in January 2019 in consecutive games against Crewe Alexandra and Grimsby Town.
With his 800 appearance and 26 goals (I may be proven wrong) now upon us there are no signs of him slowing down or thinking of retirement.
In fact, the new gaffer has praised his commitment to the cause this season while other are struggling mentioning his desire and mentality to still defend as an example of those around him.
Some fans think he should have retired many seasons ago and he has divided opinion on many occasions, but with that said no one can ever question his loyalty and commitment to the club.
Can he reach 900, I think it’s a real possibility now he has moved to a back 3 and I can guarantee at present Russell Martin would love a team full of Lewington’s as the song once went.
The MKDSA would like to thank Dean for being an honorary member and congratulations on making 800, here’s to many more.