For much of their 116-year existence, Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic, still their official title under the trading name AFC Bournemouth, have reflected the perception of the town as a nice place for a quiet retirement or a weekend beside the sea.
One statistic which perfectly sums up their sleepy image is that from 1923, the year they were elected to the Football League as a Third Division club, until 1970, when they finally went down, they were neither promoted nor relegated.
Until the last two seasons, any impact they have had on the English game has largely been confined to the FA Cup.
In 1971 Ted MacDougall scored nine goals in an 11-0 win over Margate — still a record individual tally for the competition.
Then in January 1984 their young manager Harry Redknapp guided Bournmeouth to a 2-0 win over the holders Manchester United, still their most famous victory.
But this season they have been making headlines almost every week as they race towards a place in the Premier League.
Under another young manager, Eddie Howe, a former player, in his second spell in charge at Dean Court, the Cherries are pushing for promotion to the top flight for the first time.
If they make it, as seems likely, it will complete one of the most remarkable transformations by any club in recent times.
Seven years ago their very existence was in doubt.
Mired in debt, they were placed in administration and going nowhere in League Two, the English game’s bottom tier.
They are within touching distance of a third promotion in six seasons with their success built on a flowing attacking game that has produced a club record 109 goals in all competitions, with Howe, architect of these achievements, still only 37.
He first took over as player-coach when he was 29 before becoming the club’s permanent manager in 2009.
After moving to Burnley in January 2011 Howe returned as boss in October 2012 and neither he nor Bournemouth have looked back since.
“The players have been magnificent from the first day to this,” he said after their 2-2 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
“They’ve given everything. They are the most professional side I’ve worked with and the most talented. The boys have done us proud so far and they’ve just got two more games to finish it off.
“We can only look forward with real excitement and enthusiasm for what are going to be two massive games for this football club, the biggest in the club’s history.
“We’ve been involved in this titanic battle at the top of the division all season. Everyone is fighting for the same prize and we hope we can win promotion again.”
In October, Bournemouth set their record league victory when they won 8-0 at Birmingham City and they have also thrashed Blackpool 6-1 and Fulham 5-1 away and Cardiff City 5-3 at home in the Championship and beat Rotherham 5-1 away in the FA Cup.
The goals have flowed from strikers Callum Wilson (22), Yann Kermorgant (17) and Brett Pitman (14) while the midfield has contributed 44 goals, including 12 from Matt Ritchie.
Redknapp, who led the Cherries to promotion from the third tier in 1987 before embarking on an illustrious career that saw him take charge of London clubs West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur among others, still lives in the area and is delighted.
Redknapp, now 68, made Howe his first signing for Portsmouth when he was manager at Fratton Park in 2002, and he told the BBC: “I had 10 years at Bournemouth and was the most successful manager in their 100-year history.
“Eddie Howe has come along and blown me out of the water. He is fantastic — I love watching them play. If I wasn’t involved next year, I’d buy a couple of season tickets and watch them every week.”
He told Talksport: “I’ve been going along to watch them with my grandchildren and I love the football they’ve been playing. I hope they go up.”
Bournemouth, who are second in the Championship standings a point behind Watford, will do that if they beat Bolton Wanderers next Monday and Charlton Athletic in their last match on May 2.
If they are promoted the party that follows is likely to keep the whole town up all night and not just the youngsters.
(Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Ken Ferris)