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.
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!
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.
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!
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!