Downes takes over as AFC Wimbledon boss

Wally Downes has been appointed AFC Wimbledon manager, the Sky Bet League One club have announced.

The former Dons midfielder succeeds Neal Ardley, who left Kingsmeadow last month and has since taken charge at Notts County.

Downes made over 200 appearances as a central figure in the Wimbledon “Crazy Gang” which rose through the Football League in the 1980s, before the club was moved to Milton Keynes and replaced in Wimbledon by the new club formed by supporters.

He then spent several years working as an assistant to manager Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace, Brentford and Reading and spent two years as Bees manager in his own right after Coppell left the club. He has also coached at Southampton, West Ham and Indian side Jamshedpur.

Downes told the Dons’ website: “I am very proud to be appointed as manager of a club I love dearly.

“I am now looking forward to working flat out to help to keep the club in League One.”

The appointment was not without controversy, with the club’s announcement referencing social media posts by Downes that are “not consistent with our values”.

The statement added: “We have talked at length with Wally about this (and) we are satisfied that these do not represent Wally’s views. We have agreed a series of actions with Wally that we believe will demonstrate his commitment to the club’s values.”

Downes added: “I apologise for my previous use of social media – my comments were meant to be humorous but on reflection they were a mistake.

“I am very aware of my responsibilities as Wimbledon’s manager and immensely proud to have been appointed.”



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