MK Dons vs AFC Wimbledon: What the grudge match means to fans
Watch MK Dons vs AFC Wimbledon live on Sky Sports Football on Saturday from 11.30am; Kick-off is at 12pm.
Last Updated: 07/09/19 7:21am
MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon meet for the ninth time on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football.
It is a rivalry that does not need explaining, and even MK boss Paul Tisdale has admitted in the build-up that "it's not just another game" for his side.
The two have already met this season in the first round of the Carabao Cup, with MK winning a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw, but this will be their first league meeting since January 2018.
Since then, MK have been relegated from League One and then won immediate promotion back from League Two, while AFC Wimbledon enjoyed a remarkable run to secure survival at the back end of last season, preserving their third-tier status.
Here, a fan from both clubs tells us what the rivalry means to them...
'It is a rivalry no other fans can relate to'
MK Dons fan Harry Wright
Milton Keynes Dons vs AFC Wimbledon. Yes, AFC Wimbledon. Not Wimbledon. They are two different things. This weekend's latest clash between the two is as important as ever and MK are looking to kick-start their season after a mixed start.
The match means so much more than 90 minutes. The way they treat us at their ground is just a cry for attention and sympathy. It always has to be about them.
It is a rivalry no other fans can relate to. They are not just down the road and it was not born over time. This rivalry is still in its fledgling years. For them, we took the heart out of their community. For us, they abandoned their club, they left it to die and let someone else pick up the pieces, then had the arrogance to believe they deserve a say in what happened to it.
Milton Keynes Dons are my local team. I was born 25 minutes away, a club arrived on my doorstep when I was seven and I supported them as any local fan should. But as I grew older, I heard us called a 'franchise', 'club stealers', 'plastic', and that we should not exist.
But I feel AFC Wimbledon are now making a name for themselves for all the wrong reasons, whereas we will always be the real winners because we have an identity, a philosophy and we are making our own history. They still have not decided what theirs is.
It's not just the fans who are engrossed in this fixture. Fans from far and wide across the Football League are fascinated by it. As the years go on the tide is changing and more people are realising AFC Wimbledon are not all they make themselves out to be.
Long may it continue.
'It is not even a derby, it is an unwanted obligation'
AFC Wimbledon fan Chris Philips
Every time we face MK Dons, I can't help but think back to May 28, 2002. The day the FA sanctioned the relocation of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes.
The move crushed me. However, before they had even played a 'home' match in their new town, supporters of Wimbledon had set up a new non-league club to continue their south west London legacy in the lower reaches of the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon was born.
The FA famously stated that our formation was 'not in the wider interests of football'. Those words fanned the flames, motivating us to succeed, and feelings have run high ever since.
As AFC Wimbledon climbed the ladder of success, the inevitability of the two clubs meeting finally manifested in a tense and vitriolic cup tie in Milton Keynes in 2012.
Victory went to the home team on that occasion. But a few years on, AFC Wimbledon rose above MK Dons for the very first time in the league, helped by a stunning 2-0 midweek victory in their first-ever league meeting in south west London. Everything clicked on the night. It was pure magic.
"Where were you when you were us?" That is what we sing to them whenever we meet. It is barely relevant anymore, though. In fact, if you had set out to find 'us' amongst them at their first 'home' game in 2003 you would be an investigative genius. Wimbledon supporters stayed home and still reel from their use of the nickname 'The Dons'.
Our start to the season has not been good but form is pretty much out the window for this. The real Dons are visiting Bucks again. But to us, this match is not even a derby, it is an unwanted obligation. A grudge match.
More importantly, though, it is an opportunity to get that elusive first win of the season.