Stand Tall and Stand Proud

My beloved fellow Dons fans, this Sunday will be a momentous day.

There are many amongst our visitors who have used the build-up to this match to try further their own agendas.  There are many who have used it to attempt once again to exert pressure and influence over our club.  The friends that they have in the media, though not as many as before, are still numerous, and together they are a formidable force.  They have much power, and we have none.

But this day will not be about them.

This day will be about us, and what we have created together, in spite of the venom and bile that has been directed towards us.  This will be a day for us to stand tall and strong as we unite together, beaming with pride at all that we have achieved. From a club in freefall to league survival against all expectations, promotion back to League 1, the glory of victory at Wembley, three League 1 play-off semi-finals and praise thoughout the footballing world and the wider community for our club, both on and off the pitch. Perhaps more significantly, the building of a fan base strong enough to withstand anything that has been, will be and indeed, ever could be thrown at us.  A fan base that continues to grow stronger by the day.

Some of us followed the Dons here from London, some rediscovered a love of live football once the Dons arrived, and some have discovered a love of live football for the first time.  No matter how we got here, there is one thing that unites us, and that is our love for the Dons.

The people who have demonised us for ten years know nothing of us.  They know nothing of the bonds that have developed between us throughout their attacks, nothing of the camaraderie that connects us to each other and to our club, and they know nothing of the depths of the passion that our club stirs in us.

They wanted us to die yet we live.  They wanted us to falter yet we grow stronger.  They wanted us to feel shame yet we feel only pride.

On Sunday, as you walk towards the stadium, if you see visiting supporters, smile at them.  As easy as it would be to mock our visitors for their hypocrisy in attending a match against us, having asked so many to boycott before, we must not.  We must see the positive side of this, shake them by the hand, thank them for coming and thank them for changing their minds. Let them know how pleased we are that they’ve come to view us in a more positive light, and let them know how much we appreciate their money.  Welcome them to the home of the Milton Keynes Dons.

Once inside the ground, stand tall and stand proud – stick your chests out and sing, shout, whistle, clap and scream your lungs out in support of the Dons.  May not one single one of us go home without making themselves hoarse. Win, lose or draw on the pitch, this day can be nothing other than a victory for us, so enjoy it.

This is our club.  This is our team.  We are, and will always be, The Milton Keynes Dons.

Come on you Dons!