Many, many moons ago I stood on the away end at Plough Lane.
Word was that, without a game that day, Chelsea were paying the away end 'a visit' that afternoon. Half-time, by several accounts. They never showed. But being of the more nervous disposition, me and my little massif kept glancing anxiously over our shoulder to see if we could spot the Chelsea's arrival.
For the life of me, I can't remember the final scoreline that day. Just the rusting barbed wire fencing that run around the ground, a shabby excuse for a main stand and an open away terrace with a terminal case of concrete cancer. Large chunks of which were strewn about the steps. Handy, I guess, if Chelsea ever did show.
But, overall, my memories of Plough Lane aren't particularly fond. But then I wasn't a Wimbledon fan. Perhaps for those hardy few, Plough Lane had a 'magic' that none of their once-a-season visitors 'got'. I certainly didn't. It was a hole.
On the pitch, it was a different matter. For out of that hole, of course, came a team and a mentality that would get the better of a mighty Liverpool side one sunny day at Wembley. So, it wasn't all bad.
I mention all this only because on Saturday I found myself sat in the stands at the new MK Stadium in company of my little man, his godfather and his nine-year-old son. The two boys had spent the morning training with the MK Dons Football In The Community team before joining 25 of their new-found pals, plus parents, in a block of seats for the 'MK Army' game against Chester City.
The stadium is the Dons new, permanent home after initially camping out at the nearby National Hockey Stadium. And for those of you who don't know one end of Milton Keynes from another, it's the third exit off the 27th roundabout. Somewhere between B7 and A5.
Just next to the huge ASDA-WalMart shopping centre; albeit we parked next-door, outside the newly-opened IKEA.
It is, as you might have guessed, an out-of-town footballing experience of the Pride Park and Reebok kind. Only this being Milton Keynes, it is more of a in-the-middle-of-town experience than out of it.
Though, in fairness, as new stadiums go, it didn't have quite the same 'out of the box' kit-construction feel that some have; there is evidence of an architect's eye being applied to the whole project. And with the top tier to the sweeping, two-oval construction left empty as the club waits for the better times to roll, there is equally ample evidence of future planning – as befits a club that can get 8,000-odd for a League Two game.
But what is an interesting question as to whether the Football League's first – and only – example of a 'franchise club' has worked? Is the English game better off for the arrival of the MK Stadium on the map of league grounds? Or whether Milton Keynes should, by rights, have been left without a club to call their own?
Some, presumeably, will argue that they are sapping supporters out of the surrounding, long-established clubs like, er, Luton Town; others might humbly suggest that if they are taking a few kids away from following the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea then perhaps – in terms of supporter diversity – the arrival of the MK Dons has done the health of the English game the power of good.
Because – from a purely neutral perspective – you would have to say that it has worked; that you can plant a new club in previously virgin turf and produce a 'product' that will prove appealing to the next generation of football supporters.
You can hear that in their voices. And see that in their faces. This was a young crowd. New and enthused. And now they have a day out at Wembley to look forward to, too.
And, maybe, that's the point.
Like or loathe it, this is the way that football is head. As a packaged form of entertainment in a safe, sanitised, out-of-town environment that makes football ever-more like a trip to the cinema. The facilities, the location, the food – everything is the same. Only the 'actors' are different. It's still a two-hour show with a family audience in mind.
Look at the eight and nine-year-olds sat around you, and none of them would be pining for an open terrace, a stinking urinal and the prospect of Chelsea dropping in.
This is what their world is going to look like.
There are thousand upon thousand of my generation who still have coloured vinyl records stashed away in their bedrooms somewhere; are they any better than an MP3 player?
My first car was a black Mini Clubman with alloy bullbars and JPS trim. It leaked like a seive. Every time it rained, all the water from the roof would run down the front spar, into the passenger foot-well and then over the driver's feet in great, muddy waves every time you turned a corner.
I loved it. But it was a crap car. Would I want to go back to that again? Er, no. And even if I did, could I? Not without huge expense and labour.
Likewise I look at my eight-year-old, look at the MK Stadium and listen to all the old arguments about standing terraces; about going back to 'the good old days'. And they were good old days.
But, for me, a return to standing terraces would only work if you ripped out the bright new shiny bogs, the hot-dog kiosks and the car park shared with Asda.
Those old terraces came as part of a package; of crumbling concrete, stinking urinals and visits from the Chelsea.
And I'm not sure I'd want that for my eight-year-old. And I'm not sure in the kind of safe, cossetted, comfortable little worlds that they all now enjoy whether he'd want that either. Not when he's got an MP3 player one hand, a PSP in the other.
One of these days, football will belong to his generation. Their's will be the voices that are heard. The rest of us will just be wheeled in by our helpers, before being plugged into the audio loop.
And their generation won't go back. Ditch their MP3s for vinyl? Swap their MK Stadium for Plough Lane? Nah. You're havin' a larf…