Wanted : new wheel driver

Send all applications courtesy AFC Wimbledon, Kingsmeadow, Kingston-upon-Thames.

A quick bashing out in Heathrow terminal 2 departure lounge for the big news – and no, I don’t mean the FA Cup draw this evening.

So, farewell Walter John Downes. It really feels as though we hardly knew you anyway.

To be blunt, once the FA fined and banned him, he was always going to be spending his future Saturdays in his nearby boozer.

Which is a shame, but he ultimately left the club with little choice. His departure is down to his actions – not the club, not the FA, not the person serving the teas at the Chemflow End.

I don’t buy any of this “We look after our own” stuff a few are coming out with right now – WFC certainly didn’t, and AFCW is merely doing what it’s been forced into by one man.

It’s the end of an era though, one that I think some will find it quite difficult to accept

The reaction so far hasn’t been as angry as I expected though – perhaps the Pompey win has done that?

Those most pissed off appear to be those in the 40-55 age range, probably the least represented demographic and perhaps the most vocal.

Those older than that know there was life before Wally Downes, and those younger probably have had to Google who some of those supporting him are.

The timing of this is interesting. News of the FA Cup draw is tonight, which will bury it, and after we play Burton it fast becomes yesterday’s chip wrapper.

But there’s obviously more to this than some dumb bets – I don’t consider it a coincidence that our form got better post suspension.

Yes, it’s no secret he wasn’t exactly popular with the decision makers, but in that situation you keep your nose clean.

Maybe Walter thought he was untouchable, and that his legend status would still keep him in his job?

Getting banned would get anyone sacked from many clubs as it is, and if there’s problems elsewhere (as the club statement suggests) there’s only one way it’s going.

This season has been bad, and I think Walter’s time has simply passed.

To keep us up in the way he did was nothing short of a miracle, and we will be forever grateful for that.

Yet it seemed to die off this campaign, as though it was never going to get better after that.

Wally was never here for the long term – and certainly not six years like his predecessor – but it’s still shocking that it ended as sudden as it did.

Then again, he achieved a lot with us in less than a year. Keeping us up to begin with, when all seemed lost. The WHU FA Cup win. The last minute equaliser at Luton.

Simply grinding out points when all seemed lost. Thinking about it, it may be no surprise it all fell apart in 19/20 because of how much was done.

He also forced us to face up to how we do things off the field, like transfers, scouting and recruitment. That needs to continue, whoever takes over.

And his very appointment managed to do the seemingly impossible, and break the vice-like grip of a certain individual who never wanted him in the first place.

But what’s done is done, and we move on. It’s AFC Wimbledon, not AFC Wally Downes, and it’s no use losing your shit over his departure.

Just one thing though – if you bought one of the club’s “Wheel” t-shirts at the beginning of the season – you might make a few quid on eBay…