While AFC Bournemouth may have recently become a settled Premier League club since their promotion in 2015, it wasn't too long ago that they were fighting for survival at the foot of the English football ladder.

The Cherries were stuck in League Two for much of their modern history until a young 31-year-old Eddie Howe led them to promotion in 2010, with this marking the start of their extraordinary journey up towards the top-flight.

And when looking back at their modern history, it's hard to not get drawn to their clutch players. Those who stood up in the big games for the club and delivered a performance that many still talk about today.

So with that, let's go through the seven best big game players for Bournemouth, starting with a club legend...

James Hayter

A player who always gave it his all for the team, James Hayter was the goalscoring source the Cherries depended upon in the early 2000s.

Graduating from the Cherries' academy, he made his debut in 1997, and particularly shone during the final years at the club. His contributions became particularly crucial when he scored over 20 goals in the 2005/06 campaign to keep Bournemouth in League One.

Leaving for Doncaster Rovers in 2007, Hayter finished with 108 goals in just over 400 games for the south-coast side, and is still remembered fondly by supporters.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring a crucial penalty to help Bournemouth secure a vital 2-0 win that helped preserve their League One status in 2007 at home to Tranmere Rovers.

Junior Stanislas

Junior Stanislas

He may not play regularly under Howe, but Junior Stanislas has always popped up with important goals whenever he's asked to produce one.

The former ​Burnley winger joined in 2014 and has been a useful squad player for the Cherries. He's particularly stepped up in the Premier League, with outstanding performances that have won the club vital points to help retain their top-flight status.

With the club currently in the relegation zone, Stanislas may be counted on to step up and produce vital contributions to keep Bournemouth up once again this season...whenever it re-starts.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring two late goals, with his second coming in the 98th minute, to secure a 3-3 draw with Everton in 2015.

Brett Pitman

Brett Pitman

Another striker to have come through Bournemouth's youth ranks, Brett Pitman has been key to the club's rise, by helping the club achieve promotion from all three Football League divisions.

He made his debut in 2005 and left five years later, having just helped the club gain promotion to League One by scoring 28 goals. The forward returned in 2012, and scored another 19 to ensure the club was promoted to the second division, before again being a key contributor for the Championship-winning side during the 2014/15 campaign.

It's fair to say, that none of Bournemouth's recent success could have been achieved without the goals of Pitman, who now plays at south-coast rivals Portsmouth.

Most Clutch Moment: His goal in a 3-1 victory over Carlisle United, which secured Bournemouth's League One promotion in 2013.

Callum Wilson


The current star of the team, Callum Wilson has been vital to the Cherries in the Premier League.

Arriving in 2014, the striker scored twice on his debut against Huddersfield Town. It was a sign of things to come, with the England international scoring 20 goals to help Bournemouth win the 2014/15 Championship title. When fit, his goals have been crucial to the club staying afloat in the top-flight since their promotion.

If the team are to climb out of the relegation zone (if the season is resumed at all), Wilson will again be expected to provide the important goals needed to remain in the ​Premier League for another year.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring two goals, including a late equaliser, to earn Bournemouth a 3-3 draw at south-coast rivals Southampton in 2019.

Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie

A talented winger who can easily score or assist others on command, Matt Ritchie is remembered as a key player who helped get Bournemouth to the Premier League.

Leaving Swindon under controversial circumstances, he became a regular under Howe and the creator-in-chief for the Cherries. The Scot was particularly crucial to the 2014/15 Championship winning team, with 15 goals and 17 assists during that campaign.

While his time at ​Newcastle hasn't been as successful so far, Bournemouth fans will still fondly remember him for his key contributions in getting the club to where they are now.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring twice to seal promotion to the top-flight for Bournemouth in a 3-0 victory at Charlton in 2015.

Steve Cook

Steve Cook

The heart of the Bournemouth defence, Steve Cook has always delivered for the team whenever he's been asked to.

The centre-back joined the club on loan in 2011, before making it a permanent move a few months later, and has been almost an ever-present since for Howe. He's done it all, from making superb, well-timed tackles, to scoring key goals for the Cherries in division he's represented the team.

You couldn't ask for a better defensive leader, who's contributed at both ends for the south-coast side.

Most Clutch Moment: It has to be his equaliser, and then his match-winning assist, to give Bournemouth a thrilling 4-3 win over Liverpool in 2016.

Steve Fletcher

Steve Fletcher

One of the greatest who has ever played for ​Bournemouth, Steve Fletcher never shied away from a big game and would always bring the goods.

He joined the club in 1992 and spent 15 years at the club, with his goal-scoring key in keeping the team afloat in League Two. Having left for Chesterfield in 2007, he returned to Dean Court in 2009 and remained there for another four years, cementing his place in the club's history.

It's hard to think of a more clutch moment, than the one he delivered, that will be remembered forever in the hearts of Cherries' supporters.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring a late winner to preserve Bournemouth's Football League status in a 2-1 win over Grimsby Town, during the 2008/09 season.