Getting to Know Millwall FC

EnergyBet has just entered into an exciting 2-year partnership with South-East London based Millwall FC – one of Britain’s most fascinating and famed football clubs. So, we thought we’d put together a few interesting facts about The Lions!

Millwall, just not in Millwall

Did you know that Millwall FC doesn’t actually play in Millwall, and haven’t done so since 1910! Yep, though the club originally formed as Millwall Rovers, in the Isle of Dogs area of London’s Docklands way back in 1885, they have long been based south of the River Thames, in Bermondsey.

Blue and White Forever

Ever wondered where Millwall’s iconic blue and white colours come from? They are very reminiscent of the Scottish flag for sure, and that’s for a good reason! When the club formed as Millwall Rovers, it was pretty much the company team of JT Morton – an Aberdeen based preserve manufacturer that had expanded by opening a canning factory on the banks of the River Thames just over a decade earlier.

Changing Grounds, Changing Names

Interestingly Millwall have had three different names. First off was, as we’ve seen, Millwall Rovers, then they became Millwall Athletic in 1889. Their present name of Millwall Football Club wasn’t adopted until 1920. It wasn’t just the names that changed in the early years either: Millwall had no fewer than four different grounds on the Isle of Dogs, before moving to the famous Den stadium, and then finally to the New Den – that is, once again, simply known by today’s fans as the Den.

Famous Fans

Millwall’s fans are well-known for their dedication and passion, easily being amongst the most loyal in English football, and they also have their fair share of celebrity fans, from notable Londoners to Hollywood A-listers, including comedian, DJ and writer Danny Baker, boxer David Haye, actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Emilio Estevez, Gary Oldman and Blake Harrison (of The Inbetweeners fame), TV presenters Michael Barrymore, Gregg Wallace (Masterchef) and Claudia Winkleman, entertainer Des O’Connor, journalist Ron Liddle, musician Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), and the singer Morrissey. Now that’s quite a star-studded supporters club!

Record Scorers and Victories

Who holds the goalscoring record for The Lions? That would be Neil Harris, who notched up an impressive 138 goals, passing previous record holder Teddy Sheringham’s total of 111 back in 2009. We wonder if anyone from the current squad will be smashing this record at some point in the future? Millwall’s biggest ever victory margin was achieved in 1927, when they beat both Torquay United and Coventry City by 9-1 at the Den, but we’re sure there’s another, even bigger victory lying ahead!

Home-Grown Talent

Unusually for a contemporary English club, The Lions currently have a squad dominated by home-grown talent, with no less than 20 English players, 2 Northern Irishmen, 1 Scot and 1 Welshman, though there are also players hailing from as far afield as Ireland, Australia, Canada, Nigeria and Antigua and Barbuda.

League Achievements

Currently playing in The Championship, the second tier of English football, The Lions have played 90 seasons in the Football League (1920-21 to 2016-17), during which time they’ve been promoted eleven times and, unfortunately relegated ten times – moving up and down between the second and third tiers of the league. However, for a brief period of glory from 1988-90, Millwall did play in the First Division. A memorable occasion for Millwall, was reaching the FA Cup final and qualifying for the UEFA Cup, in 2004 – The Lions had previously reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1900, 1903, 1937 and 2013. Another notable moment was winning the Football League Group Cup in 1983.

Londoners and Proud

Millwall, as a club, epitomises that indefatigable London spirit – with a ‘no surrender’ attitude and a down-to-earth view on life. To underline this, the official club song, “Let em’ Come” by Roy Green is played as The Lions and the visiting team walk on to the pitch at the Den. Written specially for Millwall, the song’s lyrics reflect traditional London culture, including that unsettling local delicacy of jellied eels, and drinking a glass of beer before a match.

Over the years Millwall have also used such musical gems as “London Calling” by the Clash and “Town Called Malice” by The Jam, to get fans warmed up, and the epic “Rockin’ All Over the World” by Status Quo is played after every home win. One things for sure, Millwall aren’t afraid of making some noise!

Long Running Rivalry

No discussion of Millwall would be complete without a mention of local rivalry. Out of all the football clubs in England, The Lions share perhaps the most intense rivalries of all – especially with West Ham United! In fact, the clubs have seldom met in recent years, as they play in different leagues, with the majority of matches played long ago, before the First World War (60 between 1899 and 1915)! In total, they’ve clashed 99 times, with Millwall winning 38, drawing 27 and losing 34. But, if there is one thing that The Lions are proud of, it is history, so the rivalry looks set to continue, though with a distinctly friendlier nature than in the far past!

The Future

As we’ve seen, Millwall FC are a fascinating club with a colourful and proud history, and EnergyBet is absolutely thrilled to be partnering with such a determined team and dedicated fans. With so many matches lying ahead, in a very competitive league, no one can predict the future, but we’re confident that The Lions will be giving it their very best, with that true London spirit, and EnergyBet will be with them every step of the way!

 

Kodija Shoots Rangers

Man of the moment Jonathan Kodija scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa saw off a resilient QPR at Villa Park to maintain their excellent run.

Kodjia scored his seventh goal in seven games as Aston Villa picked up a fourth win in a row against a QPR team that simply wouldn’t roll over and die.

For Villa that is 7 wins out of the last 8 games and although they remain 11th place they have conceded just the one goal in that period of time.

Albert Adomah had already hit the post for Villa before Ivorian Kodjia blasted low into the net from Leandro Bacuna’s pass.

The rest of the half was low key though Villa could have extended their lead after the break, Nathan Baker’s header cleared off the line by Massimo Luongo.

Queens Park Rangers had good spells but created few clear chances particularly in the second half where they dominated possession at points but couldn’t find a way past the stout Villa defending. Substitute Matt Smith heading just wide for the Hoops with his first touch but the Londoners were hard working and disciplined and like Steve Bruce at Villa, QPR manager Ian Holloway will be looking at these last few games of the season to see over the squad and assemble a new team for next season.

Villa are still nine points from the final play-off spot with six games to play, while Ian Holloway’s side slip to 16th in the Championship table but should stay in the Championship. Rotherham are of course already down and likely to be joined by Wigan who are six points away from safety. The third relegation spot is likely to be battled out by 5 teams and QPR are 10 points clear of trouble also with 6 games to play so not too many lost finger nails at Loftus Road in the next couple of months one would think.

Kodjia has now scored in four consecutive home games. While Steve Bruce’s side are on a strange stat, as mentioned they have won seven of their last eight games but this followed a run of seven defeats in nine. An incredible turnaround for the Villa.

The R’s have now gone eight league games without a victory at Villa Park, last winning in 1992 courtesy of Les Ferdinand’s strike. QPR have won just one of their last seven away league matches but Holloway has at least instilled belief although he will be disappointed they had just one shot on target in the entire match despite bossing possession. The away team had 55% of the possession.

Steve Bruce joked his Aston Villa players are trying to finish him off after what was very much a nervy 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.

The manager watched on from the touchline as his side failed to kill of Ian Holloway’s battling team but said after the game:

“I’ve just said that to them. I think they will try and finish me off! As for the resilience, they’ve found that ingredient that the Championship needs,” the manager added. “They’ve conceded one goal in eight games which is quite incredible.”

Kodjia’s latest strike took his tally to 18 for the season and the Ivory Coast international is bidding to become Villa’s first man to bag 20 goals in the league since Peter Withe achieved it in 1981.

Bruce added: “The first goal was a tremendous bit of quality again and it’s won us the match. QPR had good possession and made it awkward for us and it became a little bit edgy.”

Villa are winning and although it’s not superior football the main thing is they are winning with guile and resilience. The fans and the owners will take that any day of the week after the last couple of years.



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