13
Apr 04

The British love the underdog.

TMFD1 comment • 272 views

The British love the underdog. But the British have long memories. So in the FA Cup final puts the neutral in a difficult situation. It being the battle between Man Utd (no-one likes them except their couple of million supporters, they don’t care) and Millwall (really no-one likes them, and they really don’t care). Millwall’s status as the bad boys of football has caused them much more trouble than it is worth. No team has gone further in the last few years to try and get rid of the unsavoury element of the fans than Theo, Millwall’s greek owner. It is easier to get a ticket to Glastonbury than get a season ticket at Millwall, not because they are sold out but you need to show passports, give a DNA sample and undergo an anti-racist polygraph.

Problem is, if you are famous for something, you end up being vaguely proud of it. In football it often is better to be infamous than just another mid-table plodder. Which is potentially why the so ironic it hurts appointment of Dennis Wise seemed to be a nail in their coffin. A player known to be dirty, volatile with a criminal record. And it has worked, because Dennis has suggested to the team and fans than Millwall could be known for something else as violence. Being actual contenders.

On the train up to Manchester last week I shared a carriage with Millwall fans travelling to the semi. There was a pride in that carriage that they had reached this stage, and a resigned understanding that there were only two trains to Manchester that weekend partially because Millwall were playing. The carriage started jolly with a chorus of ‘Super Dennis Wise’, when the final member of the party turned up, a largish tattooed fiftyish fella who looked exactly what you imagined a Millwall fan to look like. ‘You took your fucking time’, a wag shouted at him.
‘Easy,’ he replied. ‘None of that language, there are kiddies on the train.’
And the three hours passed with much boisterous boozing, but not a single swear word.

Everyone hates them, they don’t care. I think they care quite a lot, and I for one don’t hate them. Hate I reserve for Brentford.

Comments

  1. 1
    Steve Mannion on 7 Nov 2006 #

    this was a v good post. but why does pete hate brentford?

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