30th May 2012 – 10th anniversary of the formation of AFC Wimbledon

I (as WISA Press Officer) wrote this early in June 2002 following various Wimbledon Independent Supporter Association meetings after the Three Man FA Commission sanctioned the theft of Wimbledon FC on the 28th May 2002. Two days later on the 30th May 2002 a huge meeting took place at Wimbledon Community Centre, and now 10 years later, we can look back at what was achieved by so few for so many – sounds very Churchillian.

The original with spelling mistakes can be found here: http://www.wisa.org.uk/cgi/l/articles/index.cgi?action=show&id=124
I am sure you will find others too and some grammamtical errors for good measure!

WISA Wimbledon News Article

WISA Article Thursday 6th June 2002 By Laurence Lowne

28th May 2002 will go down as the day that Wimbledon FC Ltd was removed from the conscious mind of Wimbledon supporters.
30th May 2002 will go down as the day Wimbledon supporters reclaimed their heritage.

On Thursday the 30th May almost 1,000 Wimbledon fans packed into the WISA agm at Wimbledon Community Centre. After much passionate debate lasting over 2 hours, the members agreed to create a club called AFC Wimbledon and to make an application to the Ryman League to join Division Two in time for this coming season.

In the space of 48 hours, despair has been replaced with hope.

It is intended to initially groundshare with a team local to Merton, create a team with a forward thinking manager and harness the disenfranchised fanbase that follows Wimbledon.

This is a massive opportunity for supporters, businesses, the media and local government to be in at the start of a revolution as the fans reclaim the game that has been disastrously treated during recent years. This is the opportunity to build a club of the community.

Right now the priority for AFC Wimbledon is to raise £20,000 which is a commitment to the cause and must be in place by the 12th June 2002. Supporters are being asked to pay £200-00 as a Season Ticket advance – many are contributing more. This will ensure sufficient funds are in place to pay for the groundshare, registration fees and licence to play during the first year.

Once the funds are in place, an application will be made to the Ryman League to join the reorganised Division Two on the 17th June 2002, which is 25 years to the day since Wimbledon FC were elected to Division Four of the Football League – poignant or what?

Within 4 years AFC Wimbledon could be promoted to Division Three of the Football League – we have done it once before, we can do it again. And we are going to have great fun attempting it – the excitement is infectious.

Kris Stewart (WISA Chair) commented: ‘This is the opportunity for the fans to demonstrate their love for the name Wimbledon. We call upon every person who has a connection with the name of Wimbledon to stand up and play their part today, tomorrow and forever. You could have the skills we need, please get in touch.’

WISA and The Dons Trust are bringing a team together to make this happen, but it is vital that people with experience and knowledge of non-league football are brought in to act as a guiding hand. There are a surprisingly large number of people within the Dons ranks who have retained connections with non-league football and these business-people will have a vital role to play in the formation of AFC Wimbledon.

It is not possible just now to confirm which ground we will be sharing, but we can assure all supporters that the facilities will be excellent.

So what can you do right now?
· Invest £200-00 or more in a Season ticket advance (see Dons Trust column for details)
· Help spread the word about AFC Wimbledon
· Volunteer your services – please either call 020 8540 7396 or send an email to afc@wisa.org.uk – there is a lot a to do
· Attend all events being organised – Dons Trust at Mitcham Carnival this Saturday
· Write letters, send emails and call the phone-ins relating to the theft of the shell of our Club by the MK Imposters (if you need addresses, please send a request and a large sae to WISA PO Box 32923, London SW19 4FN)
· Display a poster in your shop window

The £20,000 being raised right now by the 12th June 2002 will be used to secure the groundshare, pay for registration and the licence to play.

It is the first stage of fundraising – there will be further requests and a need for funds. There will be a number of Dons Trust events during the summer. One for all supporters comes on the 17th June, when we shall celebrate 25 years to the day our election to the Football League Division Four. That could become a double celebration, since it is the date that the Ryman League hold their AGM and consider our application for membership. Clear indications are that following their reorganisation they would welcome us (they didn’t – editor)

This is an exciting time for Wimbledon supporters; it provides a focus for our energies, but do not for one second think that we have given up the fight to retain our name, badge and history.

WISA will be following a two pronged attack.
1) to work towards the solid creation of AFC Wimbledon
2) to fight the MK impostors for what is rightfully ours

An information release will soon be in the hands of members outlining our plans for the next few months and will include an application for membership. Please renew and ask three other supporters top join as well. Your membership is needed more today than ever before, and if you can renew early that would be fantastic, and a donation too – even better.

In closing I would like to pay tribute to Kris Stewart, Ivor Heller, Marc Jones and Trevor Williams, who have worked really hard over the last 10 days putting this together – as Kris says: ‘sleep is for wimps’. I can tell you sleep has been at a premium for a quite a number of people recently and will be even more so over the next few weeks.

Testimonials for Combyne Group & Laurence Lowne

Testimonials are the life blood of any business, and down the years, Combyne Group have been fortunate to receive a few, and here are a selection.


Laurence is extremely credible and generous with his experience and knowledge. Business is all about relationships and it is refreshing to collaborate with someone who is genuinely accessible, open and willing to help. I can see why this mentality has resulted in so much busines success.

Lucinda Carney of Actus Performance Managment Systems – 12 August 2012

Laurence epitomises the concept of giving before you receive. He has offered unconditional support to my business and myself out of the pure nature of who he is. I feel privileged to have met Laurence, to share in his energy and have an insight into his vast network of contacts and those who value his contribution. Thank you Laurence and all the best to those who will benefit from meeting Laurence or continuing associations with him in the future.

Peter Urquhart Monge Tout 14 November 2007


Laurence is a pleasure to work with. He is extremely committed and focused. He is a rare networker who really will deliver on what he promises. Highly recommended.

David Bosley BosComms 22 October 2007


Laurence is one of the REAL networkers. Never a day goes by without him actively referring or recommending – and I would like to THANK him so much for having given thought to my business on so many occasions. Thank you Laurence – one in a million

Caroline Slater Inspired Seasons 14 July 2007


What a great guy! Laurence came to my rescue by responding to my blog and spent his own precious time sourcing some information, which in turn resolved my predicament with my telecoms. Thank you very much Laurence.

Kate Packer 25 July 2006


Laurence has a quietly powerful presence. Obviously expert in many areas yet with a self-assured humility, and happy to give advice and information freely. An efficient networker, who showed me how to “do networking” in a connecting and effective way. Direct, honest, giving. Thanks Laurence.

Fergus MacLelland 24 July 2006


An all round good guy, and just the person to sort out your telephony problems. One of the very few who will actually tailor make a solution for you, and give you advice based on your needs. He can also do this for non-telephony problems – and might just save you money there as well!

Angus Whitton 3 July 2005


For a good tariff deal for you or your SME business on many items from a nice guy, who has his heart in the right place, especially where football is concerned – speak to Laurence!

Ian McAllister 9 May 2005


Laurence is knowledgeable, helpful and saved us £££s as he promised. He is that rare person who always does what he says he’ll do. Oh, and people really do take him much too seriously!

Jackie Barrie Comms Plus 26 January 2005


I’ve known Laurence for a few years and have always found him to be very helpful and a great networker.

I recently referred Laurence to someone who had a load of problems with a telephone system and number and he was very prompt in taking on the task, even making a call on a Sunday. He has conducted the business in a most professional manner and although it looks like a remedy can’t be sorted that’s no reflection on Laurence.

I have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone.

Roger Vanstone Recruit 12 – February 2009


(Hope this doesn’t embarrass him too much, modest as he is)

I first met Laurence about two years ago and found him to be extremely helpful with introductions across a whole host of industries, businesses, government and not-for-profits. A true professional, very friendly, excellent to spend time with and, on top of all that, he has some really great products that, if you want to save money, are definitely worth checking out.

An entrepreneur and networker par excellence! One of the very best. No surprise to see him so high in the Ecademy rankings in the UK and Globally; a true reflection of him as an individual of integrity and as a successful business man who is very much to be admired.

Phil Shepherd January 2009


Laurence’s help seems so natural and effortless it would be easy to take him for granted . . . which is why I thought I must get around to posting a testimonial after all this time! He has just switched our personal energy, telephone & broadband over making an instant saving on standing charges not to mention the reduction in on-going costs that we have to look forward to. We enjoy the clear, concise and economic bills from Utility Warehouse. On top of this he has passed a number of referrals to CCLeasing for vehicle sourcing & finance – whilst we might not have tied down a deal yet, I know with Laurence’s patience and contacts it is only a matter of time. Thank you Laurence.

Sally Hull Nutrimetrics October 2008


I can’t believe I haven’t posted a testimonial for Laurence before now.
I was prompted to do so as I’ve just had a call from a potentially useful contact who called because Laurence suggested that he do so. Many thanks for keeping me in mind Laurence.

Embarrassingly I have a feeling that it isn’t the first time that’s happened but I don’t think I’ve recorded my thanks here before.
That’s the sort of guy he is. Friendly, supportive and that inscrutable ‘smile’.

I should also note that Laurence was very patient with me almost two years ago when he helped me make the move across from BT and Bulldog to Utility Warehouse for our telephone and broadband services. I reckon that’s saving me over £300 a year. He’s also been on hand to help smooth out a couple of little problems when they’ve arisen. Quietly, efficiently and professionally. Thanks again Laurence.

Mark Lee August 2008


Gosh, I did not realise that I have not posted a praiseworthy testimonial for Laurence. I like his holistic and professional manner and how he deals with people. He puts people’s feelings first.

in fact he came to my work place last year, to help me join Utility House, he was very patient, down to earth and very helpful. He saved me time, money and everything else when I needed a broadband service. If you are looking for cheaper Broadband, a man you can trust, then go no further, call Laurence, he will fix it.
Many Thanks Laurence

Andre Zizi July 2008


Definitely worth talking to – knows a huge amount about telecoms and will always go the extra mile to give you prompt responses.

An excellent business person.

Pip Martin January 2007


Thank you Laurence, for your time and valued input regarding the telecoms industry and our business in general. You have helped me focus.

All the best, Vincent

Vince Polding August 2006


Fantastic guy!

When I was looking to attend a breakfast meeting in Croydon, not only did he recommend one and let me have directions, but he even talked to me about attendees and arranged for someone to pick me up fom the train station!

For someone attending from out of the area (Manchester) that was extremely helpful.

Now that’s what I call outstanding!

Andy Preston October 2005

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