7th March 2009
AFC Bournemouth legend Steve Fletcher passed the colossal milestone of appearing in 500 football league games for the Cherries on 24th February 2009 against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Steve Fletcher has been an idol, a hero, the talisman of the Cherries for a generation of Bournemouth supporters.
Fletch first joined the club in 1992 from Hartlepool and has certainly had a roller-coaster ride on the South Coast.
He played a role in the Cherries Great Escape season which culminated in the Cherries avoiding relegation on the last day of the season in May 1995, despite only having nine points on Christmas Day!
Fletch went on to play at Wembley in 1998 when the Cherries reached the Auto Windscreens Shield Final. AFC Bournemouth lost the game to a golden goal. But watching the Cherries at Wembley less than one year on from nearly losing the club after it fell into administration was bigger than any trophy.
In 2002 Fletch sustained a career threatening injury. Doctors and surgeons told him that he may never play again. But he did and how he did, returning to action after 16 months, the side relegated from Division Two. Fletch returned and powered the side to a Play-Off Final victory at the Millennium Stadium. Fletch opened the scoring with a crisp volley that sent man, woman and child in the stands to tears.
In 2007, after fifteen years service. The legend was ill treated, when previous manager Kevin Bond opted to axe him from the side. His fifteen years service went unmarked by the club.
However his return a year and a half later, soon boosted attendances and moral at the club, which in turn have dramatically improved performances and more importantly results on the pitch.
To come back, when almost everyone had written you off, sums up the man, the legend…Steve Fletcher.
To celebrate the achievement of 500 Football League games for the club, supporters from the Vital Bournemouth Website organised a presentation for Fletch ahead of the Cherries League Two match against Port Vale on Saturday 7th March.
A donation scheme to collect funds towards the presentation was set up and an overwhelming response from the fans showed how much Fletch means to the supporters of AFC Bournemouth.
When the Big Man was informed of the gesture he said…
‘I would like to thank the supporters for their generosity. I’ve always had a great rapport with them and they were an integral part of me staying here so long and coming back.
Fletch was presented with a Crystal Glass Decanter and six glasses, with presentation tray which included an engraved gold plaque.
The Junior Cherries also made a presentation with a specially designed montage of photos from the game against Dagenham.
Vital Bournemouth would like to thank all supporters for all donations received.