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“No one like us, we don’t care, we are Millwall, super Millwall, we are Millwall, from The Den”. This is what you’ll hear, bellowed out on a cold Tuesday night, with the wind swirling round the Cold Blow Road End carrying the noise all the way round to the away support in the North Stand. However, this is a different roar to that of ten years ago.
You won’t need me to tell you of Millwall “history”. The press love to hate us as much as the neutral supporter. Many a story has become twisted in to false tales of terror and violence in the many years that I have followed the Lions. But that is Millwall and that intimidation is what separates us with all the other London teams.
Since the “riots” in South Bermondsey after the Play-off game against Birmingham City in 2001, a lot has altered. For the first two seasons after the well publicised game as before mentioned, the club put in place a members only scheme. Every supporter had to purchase a “team card” for £5 in order to watch the team they love. Gates dropped in the first year by approx 3,000 a time and the atmosphere had become an eerie silence. But things, luckily, changed.
Last season saw the relegation of West Ham United, our bitter and most hated rivals. The supporters that had deserted the “team card” or as some say the “Theo Paphitis (club chairman) regime”, had to sign on if they was to watch their team play what I believe to be the most passionate derby in London. Gates were up again, the support as loud as ever, the team progressed miraculously to the final of the FA Cup (pinch me I’m still dreaming!) and as a result reached the UEFA Cup.
At the cup final, the press must have been salivating at the prospect of Millwall supporters ruining English footballs showpiece game. Instead they were treated to the best display of team loyalty this country has ever seen. We sang our hearts throughout not stopping once regardless of the score. A new Millwall was born.
This season, a trip to the Hungarian capital of Budapest awaited the Lions in their first European tour. It nearly went all so wrong. This was the real dark side of football and it was still very much alive and kicking in Eastern Europe. However, we were not to be dragged down to their level and the club I love, and the club everyone loved to hate, for first time did not get tarred by the same brush that has plagued Millwall throughout their history.
No one like us, do we still care? I’ll let you make that decision…
Not know much about football or the clubs. Maureen
L0BSTER_QUADRILLE 26.10.2004 12:54
I'm not into football ! Nice review though ! Philippa. X
KRISPY13 26.10.2004 12:22
I think all football teams have their good and bad elements to them, people/fans either love or hate them for it. But at the end of the day that is what makes it a sport, football would be boring if it didn't have these elements to it. Although you are right that some teams carry more of a stigma than certain others, but that is usually down to the behaviour of the supporters......It is always the few that ruin it for the many....You obviously are true to your team and the colours they fly, and obviously aren't a glory supporter....No offence meant.....Good review matey....Krisp