With the Champion Cherries about to go global, All Departments will be highlighting a smattering of curios from our largely modest history over the close season.
Only a handful of books have ever been published about AFC Bournemouth. The seven described below can all be found in Bournemouth Central Library.
In 1949, the Cherries celebrated their 50th anniversary as a football club. To mark the occasion, PH Yeats penned the Golden Jubilee Handbook, which promised to give a ‘comprehensive record’ of Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic’s first half century. Ten years later, Tony Pullein celebrated the club’s Diamond anniversary by writing Up The Cherries, an account which includes the famous 1957 run to the FA Cup quarter final. Both books look in detail at Boscombe’s journey from their formation to becoming an established Football League club and the development of Dean Court, as well as featuring many great black and white photographs.
Some 28 years passed between the publication of Pullein’s club history and the appearance of a successor. On the back of Bournemouth’s 1987 Third Division title triumph, Leigh Edwards and John Treleven compiled the Official Club History & Championship Souvenir. This long overdue update includes the John Bond era, the bleak days of the late 1970s, and the 1980s renaissance under Dave Webb and Harry Redknapp. A forerunner to their 2003 publication, the booklet also features detailed season by season statistics.
Trevor Watkin’s key role in saving Bournemouth from liquidation in 1997 provides the rich material for Cherries In The Red, the first book about Bournemouth that is not merely a club history. Regardless of your opinion of Watkin’s tenure at Dean Court, the forensic account he provides of possibly the club’s darkest hour is essential reading.
The club’s centenary in 1999 provided the inspiration for Kevin Nash to add a fourth club history in the shape of Cherries: The First Hundred Years. Detailing the end of the Redknapp era, the near extinction of the club in 1997 and the following season’s trip to Wembley, the book includes memories from some of the key figures in Bournemouth’s history.
In 2003, John Treleven and Leigh Edwards published the indispensable The Definitive AFC Bournemouth. Packed with painstakingly compiled statistics, this superb piece of work also includes an A to Z of pen pictures of Cherries’ players.
In 2005 Robert Neesam published Champagne Cherries, a fan’s account of the triumphant 1987 Third Division Title winning season. Drawing on a diary he kept as a young man during the season in question, Neesam describes match by match how Harry Redknapp led a team devoid of stars to the second tier for the first time in the Cherries’ history.