We’ve clocked a few of these up so far, and they are still coming in day by day, but if you haven’t already considered putting pen to paper, maybe it’s time you told us your story. Just contact Derren at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will send you a list of questions for you to answer. We are especially looking for some of our original supporters from the National Hockey Stadium days and any of you ladies that are also keen to take part, we look forward to hearing from you.
Today we have 24 year old James Rees answering the questions. James is an MKDSA committee member in charge of the MKDSA Archive that was originally set up by Russell Forgham. James also boasts one of the most impressive personal collections of Dons memorabilia, which he will tell you about later in his article. Many thanks to him for taking part.
Tell us a little bit about how you became a Dons fan and what was your first game?
I went to my first MK Dons game against Oldham on the 1st of April 2005 where we drew 1-1, and Gareth Edds scored. I didn’t know anything about who I was going to watch or who MK Dons even were, (don’t forget these are the days before 8 year olds had tablets or mobile phones so I couldn’t do any research). I was just going to experience a game of football as an 8 year old, but I was hooked instantly. My next game was Bournemouth in August 2005, opening day of that season, and we drew 2-2. I got a shirt that day too and I still have it albeit in a child’s size, after that my Gran took me as a child once a month to watch the Dons and she still goes every now and then!
When I got older, I dragged my mate along with me from school Daniel (many may know him as DippyDon) and we became season ticket holders in 2013/14.
What were your expectations for us pre-season, and have you changed your mind on what you have seen so far?
I was hoping for midtable after last season. It was always going to take time to come together under Russ but I’m glad Pete has backed him. The transfer window just gone has shown how much faith Pete has in him. I’d be happy with a late playoff push in all honesty. Not expecting to make them but to see us give it a good shot would be pleasing.
Which Dons player, or players have really impressed you so far this season?
We have the obvious ones in Fraser, Kasumu and Sorinola but I’ve been impressed with Andrew Fisher. I was sceptical when we signed his last season and even when we resigned him, but he’s really made the number one spot his own and hasn’t really put a foot wrong.
Best and worst performances so far this season?
Best performance has to be our home coming game surely? The Dons finally back home and we go and beat opposition 2-0.
The worst performance has to be Peterborough away. I was just disappointed.
What is your favourite Dons moment or moments?
Cliché maybe, but when we beat opposition in the FA Cup in 2012. The build-up was incredible, and we silenced everyone when we beat them. Especially in the way we did.
Another standout memory on a personal note was the Bolton game in 2017 for Milton Keynes’ 50th Birthday. I was at university at the time and was debating whether to travel back from Southampton at 9pm on the Friday night to go. I thought sod it and travelled home in lashing rain and strong gales. I’m glad I did as it worth it just to see that gold shirt alone.
Who is your all-time favourite player and why?
Growing up it was Izale McLeod. I once got gold football boots as a kid just because Izale had some. I played right back. But Darren Potter and Danny Swailes get honourable mentions.
Who is the best striker to have ever pulled the Dons shirt on, and why?
On paper it’s Izale McLeod being the clubs record goal scorer but let’s mention Benik Afobe and Will Grigg for how prolific there both were back in 2014/2015.
Who is a good tip for promotion and relegation in League 1?
Burton, Cobblers, Wigan, and Opposition for relegation.
For promotion I can’t look past Lincoln or Hull City. Playoffs winners will be Portsmouth.
Fisher or Nicholls?
Fisher. I did debate it to myself when Nicholls played the two Cup games in a row. Burnley and Northampton I think but Fisher’s not gone wrong. Yet.
Home games, or away games?
I do love a good away game. An early train and few beers, finding a local pub. The atmosphere is so much better than a home game as well.
All fans love a good awayday, are there any grounds you look forward to visiting again, or perhaps one on your bucket list?
I want to go to Fratton Park, a ground with a rich history. I was gutted we couldn’t go to the Eastleigh away game but it’s a nightmare to park there.
Where do you think MK Dons will finish up this season?
Let’s be optimistic and say 10th.
White shirt, red shirt, or black shirt?
I always tend to like the white shirt but the black shirt this season pips it for me.
Your preferred matchday grub?
A beer and a burger. Sometimes, a bag of Haribo.
We hear you like collecting DONS memorabilia, shirts, programmes etc… how big is your collection and what is your favourite MK piece?
My collection ranges from books, DVDs, programmes, framed shirts, and signed photos.
I have every MK Dons home programme from 2004-2020 and roughly 85% of away games since 2004. This season programme collecting has been a bit hit and miss depending on which club are producing physical programmes. Online programmes are not the same. And most definitely not this video one we do. This collection spans 7 boxes and they are all in season order.
I’ve kept all my Dons shirts from when I was a kid, so technically I have every MK Dons home shirt in existence, not that they all fit me still.
My favourite piece has to be a framed signed squad photo from the Luton Town game in November 2004. The Mrs says it can go on our shelves in our living room!!
Again an honourable mention has to go my books and DVDs, I’m religious over them.
You run the MKDSA Archive pages, how did that all start?
I’m not entirely sure to be honest. It’s just sort of happened. When the archive was first set up I did the research for Russell Forgham for the 2004/2005 season for him, player profiles etc.
I was approached by Colin Butler to come on board over the summer to do something with programmes and soon after I agreed to take over the archive.
Programmes aren’t that sought after by MK Dons fans it appears, so I changed the twitter page to an archive and programme page. We are slowly gaining followers and tweet photos ‘from the archive’. Also, I feel that with such a young fan base we forget or are not that aware of the early days of MK Dons. Those years built the foundations for this club. Research the early days, it’s quite interesting. It’s not like we have much history either!
I’m glad that Wikipedia entry of Wade Small winning the 2004/2005 player of the year award was changed to the correct winner, Ben Chorley. That secretly grated on me for years.
Any other comments?
Sorry to bore you. I hope it was worth your time.
If you’re still reading, follow our twitter page @mkdsaarchive and check out the archive website. Oh and come on you Dons!