1885---131st Anniversary year---2016 'We fear No Foe

Understood by those that matter

Following Millwall FC-- To the ends of the Earth

As I recall
A long time ago,  I cannot remember the year I travelled to Stoke to see Millwall play away at the Victoria Ground. It was a Saturday and I was making the journey by car on my own. The car was a Citroen 2cv, yellow in colour and it had no radio. It didn't have much, no heater, no radio, the exhaust leaked fumes into the thing and it had a top speed of about 60mph with the wind behind it. Cornering was fun. All in all it was a French banger but it was reliable and for £20 quid taxed and tested it got me about for a while.  My wife hated it and called it a clowns car, I must admit I felt like a clown driving it.  As I mentioned earlier I cannot remember the year let alone the month but it must have been late 70's or early 80's perhaps around the time of the Falklands war. My young son who must have been about five was to stay at home and I was to make the journey on my own. I must admit I do not like going on my own to Millwall home games never mind Millwall away games but I fancied going to this one as I had never been to the Victoria ground before and after all it wasn't too far.

The day of the game
 It was on a Saturday as it was a 3o/c kick off so I left early enough to enjoy a leisurely ride to Staffordshire. After a hearty breakfast of a couple of fags and a coffee I left London behind and headed across London and aimed the French creation up the M1 and into the northern mist. After a while the Watford Gap was behind me and the engine was singing a happy tune at about 50mph, lorries were overtaking me and without a radio to listen to I was isolated from the outside world. I remember stopping somewhere for a pee and some grub and because I was early I decided to come off the motorway as I was bored with it and tackle some of the A roads etc. around Birmingham and beyond.
I cannot remember this part of the journey but I made it to Stoke in what I thought was in good time.
I followed the signs to the ground and I eventually saw the floodlights in the distance. As I was early I decided to park away from the ground where it was quiet and take a slow walk to the ground. As I walked along the streets towards the ground I noticed that there was lot's of cars parked up but it was very quiet, no people about, very odd. As I walked nearer the ground I saw a few Plod and heard a roar of a crowd.
This crowd was in the Victoria ground and it sounded as though the game was under way. I scampered into the ground through a open gate and made my way to the back of the terrace behind one of the goals. It was here I came in contact with prehistoric man. After about 30 seconds the ref blew his whistle and the crowd turned and I was swept along with them and I was outside the ground.

After the game

I concluded that it must have been a 12 o/c kick off and what a Plonker I am. I got back in to a warm engine car and drove out of the town. As I had no radio I could not listen to the football round up so I never knew the score to I got home that evening and I was knackered.  I can say that I have watched Millwall play Stoke at the old Victoria Ground but only for 30 seconds. And by the way we lost 1-0 but I was impressed with the Citroen it just kept going, well worth 20 quid.  


A tale of two half's, and I missed one

I wouldn't have visited Shrewsbury if it wasn't for football but I cannot remember the year let alone the score.

Once again I arrived at the wrong time to watch Millwall play but this time I was late. Arriving at half time after a long journey could have been a problem as the place was locked down and I couldn't get anybody's attention. Myself and my young son was starting to panic as the cheer when up for the teams as they come out for the second half.
The Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllll chant drifting out of the ground and we had to get in. At this time a Copper come out of one of the doors for a crafty fag and we nabbed him. This bloke was a diamond he took us round the back and we went in a door, he then took us around the ground and into the away end. He got us in for nothing and then went back outside to finish his fag.  It still makes me smile when I think of his country bumpkin accent. GEEZER


 Play off final  1st leg 2010
The Pink Stand "weird"

A 0-0 draw at Huddersfield, the away end.       pics  danny x



Without sounding like Uncle Albert.....before the war, Millwall were one of the best supported teams in England and had a huge passionate following that were treated to some magnificent games both home and away which not only included league football but included some pulse racing FA cup exploits. You can read about these games and watch old Pathe News clips of the Millwall team playing in front of massive crowds  at the Den . The place was packed to the tops of the floodlight pylons and still they came. These fans were supporting a team that had never been in the top flight and they were matching if not beating the fan turnout of old established top flight teams of the day. Thousands and thousands of local people who did not travel far to watch Millwall play made sure that the Den was stuffed full and official records show that crowds approaching fifty thousand massed on the terraces.  North and south of the river Thames, The Dockers, River Men and Factory Workers made their way to Millwall on match day and when you see them all in the old news reel clips it warms "me cockles"

Football suspended, the men go off and fight, my Dad and what's left of his family gets bombed out of their house in Plaistow. The Den gets bombed and things are looking bleak. My dad said to me years later, but I think he may have said it in jest..."It was great, it was legal to shoot Germans"
We all know the outcome of the war, victory was achieved and a good knees up followed. Things changed, lots of people moved out, my dads family and some of his bombed out neighbours got moved to Bromley, others were moved out into Essex. I would have thought this would have happened all round the docks and along the river in that area and I know of people that are the off spring of Bermondsey migrants who were moved to Kent near Maidstone. Cars, Cinema, Holidays,and TV followed, people were doing more and expecting more, after all they thought that they deserved it.

While the Dad was out shopping with Mum in their new car, Johnny was at the football with his mates.This of course was happening right across Britain and perhaps because the youngsters thought the were hard done by missing out on having a bash at the Germans they decided to have a bash at each other. As the years rolled on and into the seventies things were dismal I can remember watching Millwall play on a freezing cold night against York City when there was less than 3000 there.The low crowd attendance was not solely due to the division they were in and the opposition they played but also a steady decline in supporters that were not turning up because they did not want to put up with the undisciplined behaviour of some of the younger fans and for that matter quiet a few older ones because why should they? after all they had home comforts and there was other things to do. With the home and away nonsense against Ipswich and Luton the Lions were in the mire and problems at other games had the media in a frenzy, stereo typing everybody that followed Millwall. With this stereo typing continuing up to this present day being a Millwall supporter is lively at times to say the least.

I have heard this mentioned a few times on the Millwall supporters forums, it is said in context to Millwall's huge army of fans they take to big cup games and play off games at Wembley and the like. It is usually said in such away that it is used to knock the people that only turn up for this big games. I look at it another way, that massive pre-war fan base is still out there but most of them do not live in Millwall or Bermondsey any more, they live further a field in the UK and around the world. A lot of these people have a soft spot for the Lions because they are the 2nd and 3rd generation kin of the flat capped supporters that can be seen in the old Pathe News reels. You can see a mini reflection of this at nearly every midweek game at the Den where the attendance is normally a couple of thousand down on a Saturday game.This I believe is because of getting into the ground in time for kick off when you have to travel far after you finish work etc. is just not do-able. I have been to games at Wembley watching Millwall and the 47000 we took to see us play Wigan in the Auto windscreen cup was just awesome, the 45000 we took to see us play Scunthorpe in a league one play off in 2009.was once again awesome and of course there is cup final at the Milleniam stadium in Cardiff which there was yet another massive turn out. The Wembley game against Swindon in yet another league one play off final saw a crowd of 73000 and Millwall supporters at that game numbered about 38000. I may as well mention the semi final at Old Trafford when we beat Sunderland, another massive turn out. I would never knock these supporters of Millwall only turning up for the big games because I am happy in the fact that I know what the reasons are and also it gives me joy knowing that the media who like to portray Millwall as a little club which is supported by a few thousand yobs just can't handle the fact that this is not the case, and even when there is no trouble at most games they have to mention the smallest thing or something that happened years ago just to cement the idea in peoples minds that all Millwall supporters are all ruffians, crazed despots and mass murderers.

New years day 2011 a packed East Stand against the Palace

The idea of writing this post was really to say, there's Millwall supporters out there all around Britain and the world and I for one won't be knocking them when they turn up for the big games. Every single one of them has a reason for not coming to every game and every single one of them has a reason why they support Millwall, and I think that I would be correct in saying they are all proud to say they support Millwall.

3rd tier of English football 73.000 supporters
A section of the 2010 Millwall play off crowd at Wembley, Millwall take close on 40.000 supporters to watch them beat Swindon Town.

I have more on the play off final which includes pics on the home page of this site and on my other Millwall site 7 Windmills. There is a link in the right hand side bar of this page.