Leeds Utd Could Lose a Treasured Rival in Millwall FC – by Rob Atkinson

What do you call a Millwall fan in a suit? The accused...

What do you call a Millwall fan in a suit? The accused…

Crisis club Leeds – I say “crisis club” because that’s how the Daily Mail and the Mirror and other such quality news outlets refer to us, so it must be true – may be about to suffer yet another shattering blow. A sporting rivalry treasured on both sides of an apparently vast divide could unthinkably be terminated by what would be a tragic relegation for those lovable chirpy cockney barrow-boys and girls of Bermondsey, Sarf Landan – Millwall FC.

How sad it would be to see this wonderful, heart-warming, community club disappear into the obscurity of the lower leagues. Community is such an important word when discussing the Lions of the New Den.  It is at the heart of everything they do. Older fans may remember the days when community singing was a vital element of every Wembley Cup Final occasion – and it’s sad that those days seem to have gone amid a welter of fireworks and other pyrotechnics.  How grateful we are then to Millwall, for their innovation of “community fighting” at a Wembley semi-final, battling among themselves, tearing into each other like playful and blood-crazed sharks as their team stumbled to defeat, heedless of the terror and confusion of those children present. It was a signature spectacle, bringing back in a manner peculiar to Millwall memories of those days when crowd participation was inextricably linked with the occasion itself. This was a few years back now – fortunately, perhaps, Millwall haven’t threatened to get near a semi-final since.

Visitor’s to the environs of Millwall’s homely little ground (local motto “Say it with half a brick”) will also have carried away with them memories of the warm – frequently hot – welcome they were usually afforded.  Nothing was ever too much trouble for the natives, who were regularly available for cultural exchanges on a twelve-to-one basis, with demolition and amateur dental and glazing clearance work frequently offered at no extra cost, together with a complimentary visit to the local A&E department. Back in the day, the very name of the Lions’ former home, The Den, was enough to make any prospective Daniel all too aware of exactly where he was venturing. The address of the old ground, Cold Blow Lane, added its own especial piquancy to the air of goodwill and bonhomie that traditionally surrounded an away fixture at Millwall.

The thought that all of this could be lost to the fans of Leeds United and the other Championship clubs is a sobering one.  And yet the threat is very real; after a series of defeats in December and the first half of January, Millwall were firmly in the danger zone.  That inept run of results has been interrupted by a draw against Reading and an unlikely win at Forest – but the ragged cockernees are still firmly in the mire.

It would be such a shame if even these fairly flea-bitten and toothless Lions ended up plummeting through the relegation trapdoor.   I’m happy to say that a cordial relationship has long existed between this blog and the close-bred supporters of the Bermondsey outfit.  There has even been a bit of banter here and there – it may surprise some erudite Leeds-supporting readers of these pages that the odd instance of respectable IQ occurs even among the ‘Wall fans every now and then. Yes, even from such a limited gene-pool as that in which those chirpy, loveable cockney brick-slingers exist, there are one or two who can string enough four-letter words together to form a simple, declarative sentence.  With their extraordinarily close “family ties” counting – so you might imagine – against any hybrid intellectual vigour such as we in the North enjoy, this seems remarkable.  But, nevertheless, it does appear to be so.

The dialogue between this blog and those in the vanguard of the Bermondsey intelligentsia has usually been  testy on the surface – that’s what rivalry is all about, even between two clubs so far apart on the evolutionary scale – but I’ve always been confident that warmth and humanity have underpinned all of our dealings.  Why, those passionate and committed – or at least certifiable – fans have even taken the trouble to enquire after my family’s health and life insurance, taking great pains to find out all they can about where we live and what security arrangements we have.

When Leeds had their “Black Friday” almost exactly a year back, there were those Millwall scamps, tweeting away in numbers, playfully rubbing my nose in it. But the following day, as Leeds murdered Huddersfield 5-1 and Millwall surrendered 0-3 to Reading, it all went quiet on their side – still, at least they’d made the effort the previous night.  It’s mainly been good, clean knockabout fun with only comparatively few threats of death and disfigurement coming my way – the defining characteristic of these salt-of-the-earth Lions fans. How I would miss all that if their beloved club’s relegation were to be confirmed – as seems sadly* likely. Then again, some welcome consolation would be found in the fact that Millwall’s demise will almost certainly mean the Championship survival of Leeds United after our most difficult season for a good few years.

Perhaps, if they do go down, they’ll be back sooner rather than later.  If not,  then beyond the fixture at Elland Road this coming Valentines Day, which Millwall will be under pressure to win, it’s unlikely that our paths will cross again in the foreseeable future. And, as Millwall normally bring only a few dozen fans to LS11, belying their obviously spurious reputation for being fighting troops (other than among themselves) it appears there will be little prospect of cultural exchanges of banter, or whatever on the February 14th matchday. Which again is a pity – but if North to Elland Road is too tough a trip for the majority of Lions fans, there’s little to be done about that.

It does rather look as though a whole era of friendly competition, mutual badinage and a couple of Cup Final outings in the limelight each year for little Millwall might just be coming to a tragic end. And it’s a pity. But United will find they have bigger fish to fry, the Millwall fans will be able to chalk one scary trip “Nawf” off their calendar, and each club will be able to get used to life in very different circles, with Leeds mixing it with huge clubs like Tuna billionaires Sheffield Wendies and Millwall – or in the local argot, Miwwwaww – bestowing their unique charm on the likes of Barnsley and so on.

So, let us not mourn over what might soon be past.  Let us, rather, be grateful it happened at all.  It was fun pretending we were on the same footing for a while, but all such fun has a natural end, and this may just be it.  Let us, then, shed just one silent, wistful tear – and move on.

* Not really.

56 responses to “Leeds Utd Could Lose a Treasured Rival in Millwall FC – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Essex Lion

    I’ve just wasted 10 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back reading that boring northern rant…..see you next season!


  2. shitferbrains

    “Leeds United will have taken their accustomed place in the Premier League”
    Blah, blah, blah Miwwwaww rool innit.


    • You seem irate – but honestly, you should have seen how many of your inbred cretin friends were queuing up to take the mick out of Leeds when things looked bad for us the other Friday. You reap what you sow – remember?


  3. pmsl… awww you upsetting to racist millwall inbreeds?


  4. Jimmy Saville

    You call it our cup final? Yet you get 30k when you play Millwall.


    • …of which approx. two dozen are Miwwwaww fans. And we like to see you lose. Incidentally, only your unfit-for-publication comments are being refused – if you like to waste your time submitting crap like that, it’s no skin of my nose – but there’s no chance of it seeing the light of day.


    • We get 30 thousand against most teams jimmy , and your point is? Oh and we have the best away support in the land, unlike you lot who brought the grand total of 220 to Elland Rd – Rotherham here you come, bye bye


    • mightyleeds

      Your even shit at trying to take the piss! Its SAVILE you dumb fuckwit!


      • Yeah – and he was a Liverpool fan…


      • He was a fan of whoever would ingratiate himself with society the most, hence his switching to man u when they became “the big club”, including regular appearances on mutv.

        Never a fan of “dirty Leeds” though, that wouldn’t have gone down well when he was mixing in such higher circles as Thatcher, the Tory cabinet and the royals.


  5. Ropey Wyla

    6 easy points a season gone, but at least they will be reunited with wet spam soon and they can let their love unfurl.


  6. Rob this obsession has to stop, why dont you move down south and just come out as a secret Millwall fan. You love us really, just admit it and everything will be fine.

    I cant speak for everyone but I dont think any Millwall Fan really expected anything other than a defeat against the club who were third at the time of playing them.

    It may be 2 points, but I’m confident there are at least 3 worse teams than us in this leauge. If we loose to Yeovil on Tuesday night then I’ll start to panic.

    I think you’ll find its the other south london club who are probably on their way down to Leauge one.

    Perhaps its time for you to focus your attention on the fact that an obvious crook is about to take over your little old club.

    I think in the coming seasons you might have a lot more to worry about than “little old Millwall”


      • PotNoodle

        Is that the best reply you can come up with?

        Or dont you like it when someone brings the focus back to how things are so wrong at your club and how you are obviously about to get another dodgy chariman?

        Even Luke Varney has gone on record saying how shit things are at Leeds these days.

        At least in appointing Holloway we’ve done something to stop the rot. Its a long old season still maybe you should write this when its confirmed we are down.


      • Tell you what – I’ll resubmit it when, as you predict, that’s confirmed. Feel free to read my Varney piece also…


  7. Lion of lee

    Seems it’s every other week your blogging about Millwall now Robert my lad …. One might begin to think you’ve got a thing for us ???

    Biggest small club in the world !

    No one likes us we don’t care !


    • Hardly – but you’d like to think so. My twitter feed was crammed with you lot last Friday – then you lost 3-0, we won 5-1 – and you all went quiet. Sauce for the goose, Lion my lad. And yeah – you lot don’t care – tell that to my poor over-worked server…


  8. Given my political allegiance i really should like millwall,after all one can’t get more working class than the dockers heroes. I can’t though,they revel in rejection and the notion that no one likes them which of course is true. Even their “celebrity” fans annoy the crap out of me. Is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t want to tell danny baker to shut the f–k up or knock the odious rod liddles teeth out?


    • I actually don’t mind Baker – I feel sorry for the poor geeks on on that awful yappy show with the crap sound FX which follows his of a Saturday morning. But as for Millwall and their fans – they come from the cesspool of creation and they have shit for brains. My relatively mild little article has caused my Twitter feed to clog up with Turks carrying knives comments. They’re cretins and morons, to the last inbred one of them.


      • This is my whole point. They’re constantly crapping on about their bvacks being against the wall and “everyone hates us,so we can do what we like”. I remember when we done them 4-1 at ER when wise was our manager. When number 4 went in the handful that were in the corner charged the Leeds fans in the south stand. Up until then they were quiet as mice. As for danny baker,i didnt used to mind him but it became clear that him and his fat mate (who’s at talksport now) don’t waste any opportunity to have a dig at Leeds. As for the abuse you’re getting,are you surprised.


      • Not really – it just doesn’t sit too well with all the holier than thou bollocks some of em spout.


  9. Brian Collings

    Why do you fixate on Millwall.

    I have no wish to be detrimental to the club you love.

    A Millwall supporter for 57 years.

    Please find something else to poke a stick at.


  10. Hi rob thought I would let you in on a little know secret back in the 1960s NASA toyed with the idea of sending a monkey into space or a millwall fan well as you know the monkey won the contest as it had more brains and knew how to peel a banana


  11. Mike Blower

    Why do you repeatedly call Millwall supporters cockneys? It’s just like labelling all Leeds supporters as Lancastrians. Not only is it factually incorrect, it’s geographically incorrect as well. West Ham are the cockeys, please try to visit reality once in a while.


    • It isn’t factually incorrect at all. St Mary le Bow is in central London, as near to Millwall as West Ham.

      According to Peter Ackroyd, who knows these things, the word ‘cockney’ may originally have meant ‘stupid.’ Who’d have thought it.


  12. From a lover of the biggest smallest club of the world I say thanks rob for keeping up our reputation. It must be awful being a follower of the smallest biggest club in the world though rob? Keep up your fixation rob it brightens up everyone’s day.


  13. shakinservo

    Funniest thing I’ve read in ages Rob. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bob Sibley

    Mike Blower should get his geographical facts correct, cockney’s are born within the sound of Bow bells which are in Cheapside, city of London accross the river from Bermondsey,and Not in Bow near West Ham, like saying Leeds is in Knaresborough.
    lighten up lads, I get far worse than this banter from the lads at my two jobs in Harrogate.
    I think it’s a forgone conclusion that if we lose tomorrow against Yeovil and Bolton on Saturday, we will go down and have already said as much to the lads at work.


  15. What is wrong with Rotherham ?
    Andy (Rotherham White)


    • Absolutly nothing Andy , I work in rotherham and I have good friends there , rotherham was the first league 1 side that came to mind and league 1 is where millwall will be next season , having said that the millers are looking good for back to back promotions


  16. “Filthy Rich before long.” How about this:
    The YEP has been told that Cellino’s initial plans for United include a sizeable clear-out of surplus senior players and a reduction of the monthly cost of salaries.
    Cellino hasn’t spent a single Euro on Cagliari. Yes, yes, he bought this Varney or that Varney — his signings aren’t well thought of by Cagliari fans — but he sells too. I live in hope that one day Leeds fans will be able to understand that a simple balance sheet has 2 columns.

    Worth considering here that Green, hardly the worst of Warnock’s Winkers, has gone for the rest of the season and so, presumably, for good. Just weeks ago he was quoted as saying that Brian had told him he was in his plans. It’s hard to believe that the manager has decided he prefers Brown or even Mrs. Norris as midfield cover/options. I guess Cellino has told Brian to get rid, perhaps he’s even using a list drawn up by that scuttling thing Feste or, even worse, his trashy sprog.

    Not getting too worked up about Green here, but such is our poverty in midfield that I think he’s the best option in between Murphy and Mowatt.

    Agree about Varney, Hughes, and those chirpy Cockney cnuts from Millwall. Maybe they’d like Brown to help them marshall their forces for the relegation struggle. Don’t agree about the criminal who wants to buy a new toy/milch cow.


  17. Millwall, know all, say all, sod all and xxxx all!


  18. Sorry Rob, for using the xxxx word, but I am afraid that intellect is wasted on them!


  19. jjmack1974

    Rob is a comedy genius even if he does live in a fantasy world… If millwall achieve the double over Leeds and drag them into the relegation dog fight then I just hope it is not enough to send you over the edge with your insane fascination of a little club from sarf London ..


  20. aussieleedsfan

    Could i be the only leeds united supporter that lived and worked in bermondsey? Well i think it was around that area just off old kent road or the murder mile as it was known. Now i am reminiscing a bit but i had some great mates that would regularly go to the den and the fighting they got up to blew my mind. Their whole week was spent planning what train station they could meet the opposing fans at just to punch on. Boys as young as 16 looking to fight grown men. Anyway im just saying that although i never understood their love for violence outside of that they were my mates and good ones at that.
    Still i hope leeds kicks there arse on valentine’s day.


  21. FFS Rob we only 5 points ahead, if you think we’re safe then you’re deluded. Long way to go before you start taking the piss when we’re in a relegation fight too.


  22. Bertie "Pikey" Baker

    Rob – how are you my friend? Have you been busy with more important stuff then? As you haven’t paid us any attention lately down here at Miwwwaww.

    Well done Rob on the blog. Keep it up, and I’ll try to do the same, though that last batch of viagra I blagged is running out fast.

    Wanna buy some lucky heather or some pegs??


  23. steve foster

    Sorry to disappoint you but chances are we will stay up to irritate you for a another season and as your not going anywhere fast it could be a so called rivalry for a while yet.oddly I don’t dislike Leeds any more than many other clubs and I’m not among tiny minority of Millwood who sing songs about looking out for Turks carrying knives and wouldn’t wear a galatasary shirt if I was paid not many bother going to Leeds anymore because of the stupid ticketing arrangements that’s why Millwood boycott the game these days


  24. As one of the ‘more erudite’ Miwwaww fans you kindly mention above (you cheeky Northern twunt), thanks for fanning the embers of our rivalry. I always look forward to a day when we can tear your once successful side apart, and remind you of the doldrums you now find yourselves in.

    In all seriousness, a very funny article, even if me and mine are at the butt end of your humour!


  25. So Robs back for another troll around the net, to satisfy his perverted fascination with the mighty Lions. Just incase you didn’t know Rob how about publishing this injustice. Yet again your South Yorks “Police” force have insisted that it can not or does not have the minerals to let Millwall attend a game at Elland Road. For my regular commute I travel a 230 mile round trip to the Den for every home game. Thanks to your finest nonces in blue. I have to drive to the Den and get a coach from the ground to some motorway service station in Yorkshire to collect a ticket supplied by your club to the police. So your club makes the likes of me do a 530 mile trip just for the pleasure of seeing us beat Leeds again, in the hope that none of us will turn up. I know you don’t give a toss, but are you and your club not to mention you useless police force really that scared. Come you Yorkshire lads grow a pair.

    I’ll se thee xxxx


  26. Here’s a little comment from an outsider. I’m an oldschool football fan and admire the clubs with limited financial possibilities and still have a great support, in good and in bad times. I’ve visited both Millwall and Leeds several times. To my surprise i noticed that you are more a like then you both will ever admit. The city of Leeds is one big Bermondsey and a lott of their fans Rob are just als toothless and brainless as their mates in South Bermondsey, and i mean that as a compliment. However Rob, I’ve travelled all around Europe and have seen a lot of clubs and their fans and came to the fllowing conclusion. Leeds is massive, considering the fact they play in the champion league, but Millwall is insane. It really is the biggest small club.

    Keep up the comments Rob, you’ve got a good rivalry going on. Treasure it. 👍


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