THOUSANDS of faithful fans turned out to give Dean Court a muddy but marvellous send-off The Daily Echo-sponsored farewell family fun day on April 29, 2001, saw thousands of people of all ages flooding into the soon-to-be-demolished home of AFC Bournemouth.

While downpours early in the day saw the hallowed turf rapidly turn into a mudbath, the chance to rub shoulders with Cherries stars past and present, buy up pieces of football history and even score a goal or two ensured the curtain came down in style.

The event raised more than £10,000 for charity – double the amount anticipated.

More than 2,000 people entered through the gates within the first couple of hours, and at one stage they even ran short of raffle tickets.

One of the most popular draws was a penalty shoot-out contest, where visitors could pay to pit their wits against the club's reserve and youth team 'keepers - or popular former Cherries goalie Jimmy Glass.

Elsewhere on the pitch, a bouncy castle, ball pool and other attractions for youngsters did frantic business, while fans snapped up memorabilia ranging from framed photographs and T-shirts to seats and chunks of turf.

Many members of the Bournemouth squad from the time, such as Wade Elliott and Richard Hughes, joined in the fun, signing autographs and helping to conduct tours of the main stand after volunteers could not cope with the massive demand.

And misty-eyed memories were revived as all-time great club striker Ted MacDougall presided over an auction of stadium furniture, including the dug-out seats and dressing room benches.