Thursday, 26 November 2009

Hi everyone - I’m pleased to be able to offer the fourth in our historic Millwall series of lapel pin badges. Once again we’re commemorating another great Lions side – the Third Division (S) championship team of 1937-38.

The badge is pictured below. Another championship badge, so it’s again a silver depiction of a Lion at rest on a plinth showing the main title ‘Millwall’, with the simple word ‘Champions’ above and the years 1937 and 1938 below. Both separated by our usual ‘nolu’ tag.

I know that I’m biased, but I think this pin, like our Lions head 1927-28 badge, is actually quite beautiful. I hope that as many Millwall badge collectors as possible agree, as once again we will be devoting the proceeds of the sale to the Help for Heroes charity.

There are three ways to get your copy of the 1937-38 badge:

(1) Cash - I'll be selling the badges at most of the forthcoming home games at the usual NOLU spot by the Zampa Road gate. If you’d like to pay cash and collect from me personally, email me at and I'll reserve a badge for you in advance.

(2) By Pay Pal – please forward £5 per badge to - also please remember to include a postal address and to say if it’s the 1910, 1927-28 or 1937-38 badge that you want..

(3) By cheque – made payable to Nick Hart c/o NOLU, PO Box 62554, London E6 9GH – again please remember to include your address and to tell me which badge that you want.

All orders will be mailed next day. Any queries please either email me at or post on this thread and I’ll answer as soon as possible.

The previous badges still for sale in the historic series can be viewed at the NOLU blog: - please note that we have just a few 1910 badges left now.

Thanks for everyone’s support as always.


Saturday, 14 November 2009

1927-28 Third Division (S) Championship commemorative badge - £5

Following on from our Dockers and 1910 Cold Blow Lane commemorative badges, I’m pleased to be able announce that the third in the series is now available in honour of the great Millwall championship side of 1927-28 (picture below). This badge is slightly unconventional in that I’ve gone for a silver metal finish – the gold-ish look is due to the photo being taken under electric lights. I’m trying to be a bit art deco as well with this one. See what you think – comments welcome (good or bad).

Once again we’re asking for £5 for these badges and - as always with NOLU - this is being done entirely for charity (after production and postage costs).

The beneficiary charity this time will be ‘Combat Stress’ which is the leading charity specialising in the care of British Veterans who have been profoundly traumatised by harrowing experiences during their service career. Many Veterans leave the Armed Forces with highly debilitating conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders. Their problems can remain masked for years, and they and their families may be struggling to deal with matters at home. Ongoing operations across the Middle East are stretching the resources available and already the charity has seen over 300 referrals from Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope that the sale of these badges will link in with the club’s ‘Help for Heroes’ support at the home game on November 21st 2009.

I will post the final charity donation when achieved on the Millwall message boards.

There are three ways to get your copy of the 1927-28 badge:

(1) Cash - I'll be selling the badges at most of the forthcoming home games at the usual NOLU spot by Zampa Road gate. If you’ll be at the game and would like to collect from me personally, email me at and I'll reserve a badge for you to pick up on the day.

(2) By Pay Pal – please forward £5 per badge to - please remember to include a postal address.

(3) By cheque – made payable to Nick Hart c/o NOLU, PO Box 62554, London E6 9GH – please remember to include your address and to tell me if it’s the 1910 or the 1927-28 badge that you want. (Or both of course)

All orders will be mailed next day. Any queries please either email me at or post on this thread and I’ll answer as soon as possible.

Cheers all


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Badge update and NOLU *108 donation

The Cold Blow Lane 1910 badges have sold very well indeed and based on the payments so far we’ve generated a donation of about £250 to the NSPCC and Cancer Research charities via the Deloitte Just Giving page.

I am however a greedy man when it comes to our charity donations and would like to stick another £400 or so on to that donation and push close to the £700 mark. So I’ve obtained a further batch to sell at the Leeds game on October 24th. Come and find me at the Zampa Road gate as per usual if you’d like to buy one cash or don’t want to get involved in internet or bank payments etc.

Incidentally the next badge in the series will commemorate our all conquering 1927-28 Third Division South side. I hope it will prove as popular as our previous efforts.

The most recent NOLU *108 generated a donation of £178 to the Alzheimer’s Society (Just Giving receipt below) as well our continued sponsorship of the Youth team reports in the matchday programme. Including our backing of Ashley Grimes’ away kit, so far NOLU has put about £750 into Millwall FC with the prospect of that continuing on into the future. Every little helps when you’re £5 million (or whatever it is) in the red…

More news on the next NOLU *109 and the next badge in due course.



Thank you for supporting the Alzheimer's Society. Your generous gift really is appreciated and will go towards helping those people affected by dementia.

For more information on all our events both in the UK and abroad please visit

Here's your receipt:
Donation reference : D17892054
Charity name : Alzheimer's Society
Charity registration number : 296645
Donation amount : GBP178.0000
Gift Aid plus supplement : 50.2051

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Cold Blow Lane 1910

NOLU historic badge series: Cold Blow Lane 1910

The 'Cold Blow Lane 1910' design is inspired by the front page of the matchday programme printed for the very first game at The Den between Millwall and Brighton & Hove Albion in 1910. The badge is 25mm from the top of the footballer figure's head to the base of the plinth and once again uses a 'butterfly' clasp on the rear. The main wording says simply 'Millwall' with the words 'Cold Blow Lane' above and '1910' below. To the bottom right is the regular NOLU label. The kit is close the authentic colours of the day - dark blue shirts, white shorts and black stockings.

This is the second in our MFC 125 / 100 anniversary series and follows on from the limited edition Dockers badge which is now completely sold out. This is a very nice and may I say - discreet - badge and one which I'm very proud to be able to produce in NOLU's name.

Once again we are asking for £5 for these badges and - as always with NOLU - this is being done entirely for charity (after production and postage costs). The beneficiary charities this time being the NSPCC and Cancer Research to be donated via the Deloitte page on Just Giving - - I hope that you will agree that these are worthy causes. I will post the final charity donation when achieved on the Millwall message boards.

There are two ways to get your copy of the 1910 badge:

* By Pay Pal – please forward £5 per badge to - please remember to include a postal address.

* By cheque – made payable to Nick Hart c/o NOLU, PO Box 62554, London E6 9GH remember to include your address as above.

All postal orders will be mailed next day (and will properly taped and bubble wrapped this time ... ahem). Any queries, please either email or post on this thread and I’ll answer as soon as possible.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

NOLU *107 charity update

NOLU readers will be pleased to know that edition 107 generated a donation of £200 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust at (receipt below)

Additionally this season the magazine is sponsoring the Millwall youth coverage in the matchday programme - edition 107 generated £200 toward that effort.

Finally the last 'Help for Heroes' Docker badges were sold prior to the Carlisle game, also generating an extra £50 to add to the previous £360 already paid via Just Giving. Total for the Dockers badges was £410.

The next edition of NOLU will be on sale September 19th and will benefit the Alzheimers Society.

Can I also personally thank everyone who supports NOLU or our badge series. It really is appreciated by everyone involved in the writing, production and selling of the magazine.




Donation reference : D17043692
Charity name : Gurkha Welfare Trust
Charity registration number : 1103669
Donation amount : GBP200.0000
Gift Aid plus supplement : 56.4103


Donation reference : D17043714
Charity name : Help for Heroes
Charity registration number : 1120920
Donation amount : GBP50.0000
Gift Aid plus supplement : 14.1026

Monday, 3 August 2009

Millwall History Badges - The Dockers 1885 - 1910

Next year sees two historic anniversaries for Millwall FC – 125 years since the club’s foundation on the Isle of Dogs in 1885 - and 100 years since the move south of the River Thames to Cold Blow Lane in 1910.

To celebrate our club’s story, NOLU will be producing a series of limited edition lapel badges over the year ahead designed to illustrate the key moments and events of the last 125 seasons. As always the profits from these badges will be donated to a named charity.

The first in our Historic Millwall series is shown below. ‘The Dockers’ is a design that commemorates the first phase of the club’s existence in East London. It uses a central motif used in an old team photo seen in James Murray’s ‘Lions of the South’. It features the word Millwall across the top, then Rovers and Athletic down the sides - with our proud roots on the Isle of Dogs named across the bottom. On the central white field are our former nickname ‘The Dockers’ and the dates 1885-1910. We will only make 100 of this design – first come, first served.

The beneficiary charity for this first in the series will be the Help For Heroes campaign at Given the news right now, I can’t think of a more deserving charity to support. In order to generate a strong donation, we are going to ask £5 for this limited edition badge – I hope everyone will support us in this effort.

There are two ways to place your order:

* By Pay Pal – please forward £5 per badge to - please remember to include a postal address.

* By cheque – made payable to Nick Hart c/o NOLU, PO Box 62554, London E6 9GH remember to include your address as above.

If I have any left over by the opening games of the season, then I’ll bring them along to sell with our first issue. However if the last badge we did is anything to go by, these will shift very fast.

Thanks in advance for everyone’s support as ever.


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

NOLU and Ashley: Partners in Grime

Squad number n-n-n-nineteen, Ashley Grimes can now sleep easy knowing that his away kit is SORTED thanks to NOLU backing.

Well the poor sod had no clobber. So in we stepped to make sure that he's properly turned out when he's on the road. It would have been a Grime against humanity not to have done so.

NOLU is going from strength to strength and I'm very proud that we're able to back the club and Ashley in this way, as well as continue with the charity contributions that we've been able to make since the relaunch in January. These amount to over £1200 to date.

More NOLU news soon...

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Paying the penalty - with Crazyhorse

Has there ever been a more pointless debate about an incident that occurred during a live TV game than the one involving Millwall’s thrice-taken penalty against Peterborough United at The Den? Honestly, you would think people would have better things to do with their time but it seems everything is controversial these days – even if someone was merely following the rules of the game that are there for everyone to read in print if they can be bothered. Its not as if Peterborough even had a case, which probably explains Posh manager Darren Ferguson’s reluctance to talk about it after the game. He moved. It was caught on camera. End of story. Or so you would think.

The funniest part of the whole incident was keeper Joe Lewis’ adamant stance that he did nothing wrong, despite the fact replays clearly showed that he had moved both on both occasions before the Gary Alexander struck the ball, even if the first re-take was touch and go. He even moved on the third kick but Dave Martin had the good grace to end the farce there and then so we could get on with the game. However, in the days following the game he cried his heart out to anyone that would listen, including The Sun, who love a good story and described the entire incident as “potty”.

“It's a sickener that I saved two penalties and neither counted,” blubbed Lewis. “The ref wouldn't even tell me why. The linesman told me it was because I had come off the line. I got the feeling they wouldn't be happy until Millwall had scored. I wondered if it was worth diving for the third. Had I saved that they probably would have made them take it again.” Well, yes they probably would have because you moved again and this is the point Lewis, the pundits, Sky Sports News and seemingly everyone else who felt aggrieved on Peterborough’s behalf failed to acknowledge fully even if some did begrudgingly recognise it.

Despite changes in the rulebook regarding penalties, goalkeepers are not allowed to move of off their line and haven’t been allowed to for over 100 years. The reason for this is because too many keepers used to charge out to narrow the angle when penalties were first introduced so they only have themselves to blame really. However, the rule about moving on the line has been relaxed in recent years to give them a sporting chance after being told to stand firm until the ball was kicked, which has allowed for a grey area to creep in, similar to that of the offside rule and the non-existence passage loved by so many about “daylight”. A goalkeeper can move up and down his line, flap his arms about like a demented chicken and even do the Grobbelaar spaghetti legs but if he makes a significant move off of his line and makes a save then the kick has to be retaken. Hence why Lewis was penalised. Twice.

Shortly after the game Sky Sports rang up former ref Dermot Gallagher to get his expert insight into the matter and he clarified that yes, goalkeepers can move to adjust their balance within reason but they cannot make a concerted effort to move towards the ball to narrow the angle – as Lewis did on all three occasions. However, he then contradicted himself and muddied the waters by suggesting that although the referee and linesman were technically correct, it went against the spirit of the game. This last comment was particularly baffling. How can it be against the spirit of the game when someone has blatantly broke the rules? Well, it’s not for me to explain why. Best leave it to someone who is more mild-mannered and can offer a more rational judgement. Cue Barry Fry.

“They said Joe moved off his line, but 999 out of 1,000 keepers do the same.”

And there you have it. The saves should have counted because everyone does it. A rationale that’s best reserved for a TalkSport phone-in.

The simple fact is that Lewis broke the rules and was punished accordingly. The problem is that with today’s armchair referees and expert pundits putting the oar in this fact has become lost and rather than accept the fact that yes, the Posh keeper did move off of his line thus gaining an unfair advantage, the linesman and the referee have been put under the spotlight for simply following the rules of the game. Linesman Steve Creighton therefore deserves a little credit for sticking by his guns and being fair with the laws of the game rather than simply let it slide in return for an easy life.

And what about Lewis? It was clear that the decisions affected the rest of his game and he was continuing to play the victim with such comments as “I don’t think I did anything wrong”. He has also foolishly gone on record has saying that he will continue to move when facing any future penalty kicks and will not toe the line. Personally if I was a Posh fan I’m not sure what I would be more concerned about – the fact that your goalkeeper can let a decision get to him so badly or the fact that your goalkeeper doesn’t know the rules of the game.

Older readers may remember the same thing happening to Millwall goalkeeper Bryan King in the early 1970s. However, unlike Lewis, King saved all three spot kicks - and the rules were far less lenient back then. Had the third gone in on that occasion I wouldn’t have imagined King crumbling the way the Peterborough goalkeeper did and he probably wouldn’t have gone crying to the press either. Some people really need to grow up.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Missing persons

Missing persons

Writing in NOLU *105 and in reaction to John Berylson’s comments about the comparatively small attendances at some home games this season compared with US sports, Ant Meads made a point which really caught my eye:

“… the comparison with American sports doesn’t work. The way they are operated on a franchise basis ensures no real local competition for the fan base. Of course Boston Celtics sell out their games when there is no other club for miles.”

Now whatever else you say about Millwall chairman John Berylson, he speaks from the heart. And that’s fine at an emotional club like ours, but how far does the comparison with American sports really carry? Is it a fair comparison even? Nobody is going to argue with him that some of our attendances at The Den this season have been disappointing. That said, historically we have never been blessed with a massive regular support. Rightly or wrongly, that is just the way Millwall. But the comparison with waiting lists US sports clubs is misleading - certainly for as long as we remain in League One or even if we make the Championship for that matter. In fact if we’re going to start comparing, we need to look at America’s national sport baseball – which is as close to football is here in terms of national, historical and cultural importance.

Major League Baseball (MLB) consists of the teams which you are most likeliest to have heard of. Most famously the New York Yankees and JB’s own hometown Boston Red Sox. These clubs regularly draw crowds of 35,000 to 45,000 and as he rightly says, run a waiting list for season tickets. But these are sides which play – and expect to win - a continental competition very similar in size and wealth to the European Champions League. Hardly a straight comparison with Millwall is it? To do that we have to delve down below the MLB into the feeder leagues. These consist of the AAA leagues, which would probably equate to the lower reaches of the Premiership and Championship levels and will consist of teams you’ve probably never heard of unless you’re a bit of a nerd (like me). And then down to AA level – which could be termed a rough equivalent to League One football in English terms. Here you will find clubs that only baseball perverts inhabit. Welcome to my secret world…

Lurking in the twilight zone of minor league AA level, are sides which accept their lot in life as local development clubs for the giants at the top. There is of course neither promotion nor relegation in US sports, so any direct comparison is flawed at best. But let’s take a fairly typical AA side as an example – the Portland Sea Dogs who are coincidentally affiliated to JB’s team the Boston Red Sox. The Sea Dogs play in Portland, Maine – population 64,000, 112 miles north of Boston and America’s 6th most liveable city – like I say, a straight comparison with South Bermondsey isn’t easy…

So what sized crowds do Portland regard as normal? Well for starters their home Hadlock Field has a capacity of just over 7,000. Crowds in the 2008 league season show highs of 7,368 and 6,977 – with lows at 3,000 and a couple of 1,500s. Presumably when their season was a dead rubber. Nothing fantastic then for a club which has the sole market of Portland and surrounding districts to draw on. But even this comparison isn’t fair, because Millwall FC of course do not play in anyone’s ‘most liveable’ city. They play in a corner of South East London competing with at least two MLB sized businesses in Chelsea and Arsenal – and arguably more if you want to include Spurs and w*st *m. Whichever way you look at it, London’s 14 football clubs do not have any of the advantages that their US counterparts do. Perhaps the nearest place to London in American terms is New York City. Both have populations of 8.2 million (Wikipedia) and both are diverse cities that see themselves on a par. So how many baseball clubs play at an equivalent level to Millwall in NYC?


Two? That’s right, ignoring the world famous NY Yankees and moderately world famous NY Mets, who equate to Chelsea and Arsenal in our analysis, there are two minor league baseball teams playing in the whole of the city of New York. Both at A level (League Two in English terms – being generous), they are the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees. What kind of crowds do they draw? Figures aren’t that easy to come by, but in 2001 the Cyclones seem to average around 7,600 and in 2007 a club record attendance of 10,000+ is reported on their website. Good for them too, but given that their competition is one other minor league club and then the MLB giants, that’s hardly bedwetting time is it? Also, despite looking hard, I can’t find any reports of waiting lists for season tickets at AA or A level sides.

So what’s my point? To prove John Berylson wrong and make a monkey of our club chairman? No not at all. I am a very firm supporter of JB and will remain so. No. I merely want to show that, though the Millwall crowd isn’t as big as we all hope at the moment, on the back of five awful years and given who we are and where we are, the fact that we have any fans left at all is a cause for celebration. For that we have to thank JB’s financial backing. We do all of course need to get our families and lost mates back to The Den. But let’s not make comparisons that aren’t fair. I mean it’s a good job he didn’t mention QPR’s attendances when they were in League One. Then it wouldn’t have been so easy to take his heartfelt words apart…

John Doe

Friday, 19 June 2009

NOLU badges – SOLD OUT

I’m very pleased to be able to report that we’ve now sold out all but five of the NOLU 2009-10 badges – I’ll keep these back for any remaining postal applications delayed by the local industrial action by the E6 postmen.

I’ve just been able to donate another £150 to the Mizen ‘Jimmybus’ appeal, so making a total of £480 generated by the sales of these badges. This has been a real success and I want to thank everyone who bought one. I took a bit of a punt on getting these made and it’s really heartening to have both covered the basic costs, as well as generate so much money for such a strong cause.

I’m very keen to develop on the NOLU principle of selling something to generate much needed cash for charity. So we may well try this again – with a different design - come the new season. Watch this space…

Nick Hart
NOLU Magazine

Saturday, 16 May 2009

NOLU charity update – edition *106

In a week when everyone’s focus is on the business at hand at Wembley, I thought I’d post an update of the charity donations generated by the magazine and lapel badge sales too.

I’m very pleased to report that I’ve today been able to donate £200 to the Red Balloon Learner Centre James Bulger appeal (link below). Additionally with only a few badges left now, I’ve donated the running profit of £330 to the Mizen Jimmybus appeal via the website at

These two donations take the total generated since January to over £1200, which is fantastic. Details of each donation are as follows:

Edition *103 – January 2009: Neil Harris Everyman Appeal £250.
Edition * 104 – March 2009: Samaritans Redbridge £250.
Edition * 105 – April 2009: Teenage Cancer Trust £250
Edition * 106 – Play-offs: Red Balloon Learner Centres £200
The NOLU 2009-10 lapel badge – last few available: the Mizen ‘Jimmybus’ Appeal £330

I want to thank each reader of NOLU for their support of the magazine since we relaunched it in January. It’s a magazine that I am proud to be associated with and which I think has come on leaps and bounds over the last three editions. Next season I want to continue with our charity donations and try to focus on more Millwall causes too. In particular I’d like to see us support some of the club’s youth sides and player shirt sponsorships – more news and ideas on that in August though.

All the best till then.

Nick Hart

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Millwall heroes make League One play off final

Leeds United 1 Millwall 1 (agg 1-2)

In one of the greatest ever Millwall performances, Kenny Jackett's Lions last night held out for a 1-1 draw at Elland Road. No Millwall fan who watched the game - either the heroic 1000 away fans or the watching hordes on TV - will ever forget the game. Immense.

The congratulations and thanks of NOLU on behalf of all Lions supporters goes out to the entire squad and management.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Edition *106 front page

The NOLU lapel badge - on sale now

£3 - all proceeds to the Mizen Jimmybus Appeal. Send your cheque made payable to 'Nick Hart' to NOLU, PO Box 62554, London E6 9GH or if you prefer by Paypal using

The Story So Far - Edition *106

The story so far

So here we are. Just 10,800 seconds from Wembley again. Seven years on from the fateful night of May 2nd 2002 we’re once again within touching distance of promotion to a higher league with ‘tasty’ opposition in our way. Last time it was Birmingham City, this time it’s Leeds United. Both with followers with a reputation for aggravation. And both irresistible magnets for their south London counterparts. Success might be two matches or four halves of football away - but so too is disaster. One riot that could mean non-existence for the Lions. Don’t say we don’t do drama at The Den.

Excuse us for dampening your mood this Saturday lunchtime as you pore over your play-off special NOLU. The West Yorkshire Police security measures put in place are of course onerous. Only 1000 Millwall fans to be permitted at Elland Road. Ticket collection to be by voucher ONLY at Checkpoint Charlie in the Wooley Edge service station, located just outside Guantanamo Bay in case you’ve never heard of it. No ticket collection at the ground. No allowance made for fans travelling on any route other than the M1. Eye scans and DNA records to be stored on the government ID information bank held at GCHQ…

Ever felt not wanted?

All this security for a game of third division football has good cause in fairness. Nobody in London or Yorkshire can hide from the fact that this is a volatile fixture with every possibility of it kicking off if the two rival fans get close enough to each other. But equally games like these - the clash of north v south and fallen giants versus the eternal underdogs - are really what professional football in this country has traditionally been all about. Take away events like Millwall v Leeds / Cardiff / Brum / w*st h*m and all you have left is just another sport. Go and watch UK basketball some time and see what ‘just another sport’ feels like. Nice, interesting even - but basically meaningless.

The weight of history is heavy though. Police restrictions or not, the collective Millwall folk memories of the play-off riots in 1994 against Derby and 2002 at home to Birmingham are still fresh. As much as we like to see the amusing side of our chequered history at NOLU, we cannot hide from the stark fact that this season’s improvement in form is largely down to the financial stability provided by our American chairman John Berylson How would he react to argy-bargy on the grand scale? We simply don’t know. The worst case fear would be that he’d decide the whole Millwall project was simply too much grief and fly home to Boston leaving the club in the financial pits of hell once again. We can’t afford trouble on any level. So as much as The Lions Trust’s recent joint press release with the Leeds United Supporters Trust is a laudable effort to draw attention to the incompetence and unfairness of the 1000 away fans per game rule, we at NOLU simply can’t see any way that’s going to change. Which politician will stand in next year’s General Election on a platform of liberalising football security and making away fan travel easier? Not even Gordon Brown is that desperate - yet.

With regard to the football, Millwall’s AWFUL track record in these matches remains a monkey on everyone’s back at The Den today. Eight playoffs played since 1991 have resulted in no wins, two draws and six defeats. Hardly a glittering array of success is it? Today would be a great day to put the old Millwall adage that we have to get promoted automatically or not at all to rest. Maybe it’s something about the playoff system itself that holds us back. Too much hysteria isn’t good for the Lions faithful’s nerves after all. As a concept though, we believe the play-offs to be a fantastic way of keeping the season alive until the final games of the season for teams as far down the table as eighth, ninth and tenth. For what it’s worth, we’d even bring back the old system of the third from bottom team from the higher division being given the chance to play for their lives instead of the sixth place side from the lower one. Why? Well there’s an argument that the current system rewards the surging team. The one that nicks the last play-off spot at the death - Scunthorpe on this occasion with a late, late equaliser at home to Tranmere last Saturday. Do they now have the mojo to get promotion? Will MK, Leeds or even us see themselves as having lost automatic promotion? Rather than gaining the chance via the playoff lottery? Looking at the two matches in front of us today and away next Thursday, we have to see this as a chance of success gained rather than lost. If we are honest our poor result last weekend away at Carlisle was symbolic of our whole season. Finishing in fifth spot in some ways masks our inconsistent form all year. The same team that in October could put three past today‘s opponents and produce the goods so spectacularly at home to Peterborough in April, could also cock up against MK Dons, Leicester and lowly Northampton plus quite few others. The never ending contrast of the two Millwalls – the pussycats and the lions - remains as true today as it did back at the start of the season.

Kenny Jackett too remains an enigma. A man who in one match can infuriate with his bizarre substitutions, tactical tinkering and obsessions with certain players to the exclusion of others, can then excite with his tactical genius substitutions, tactical changes and perseverance with certain players. Here we are, two seasons into his reign and playing for the chance of promotion with some of the best performances in the last five years seen under our belts. And yet who knows what kind of Millwall performance we’ll see today? And then which version of The Lions will show up at Leeds in five days time? The contrast between the best and the worst of this squad has been so stark at times as to make you wonder whether it was the same team. Whatever becomes of the Lions fortunes though, one thing has been developed which harks back to earlier eras of Millwall history - a fantastic team spirit which has made the squad a far greater whole than the sum of its parts. We conclude this commentary then with four players who sum our season and our club up. Each represents a different attribute that may combine to produce one of the club’s greatest ever performance today - or yet another pratfall:

Neil Harris – ‘The Past’ - Millwall’s greatest ever goalscorer and our last link with the great championship side of 2000-01. Sadly never the player he was before the cancer, these days Neil’s head moves faster than his body is able to. But as Kenny Jackett’s brave renewal of his contract shows, his presence in the squad is vital. It is to both men’s credit that they have put aside early differences and united for the greater cause . The Harris / Jackett combination looks to have Millwall legend potential - whatever the outcome of this season‘s play-offs.

Lewis Grabban – ‘The Talent’ – the archetypal mercurial player. The kind who delivers sometimes - and then sometimes doesn’t. Headstrong and sensitive, Grabban has the ability to do the unexpected in a way not seen since the departure of that other Zampa Road mystery Paul Ifill. Is Lewis the future? Has he got the thick skin needed to make it at Millwall? Does he truly have the temperament for big time football? You tell us.

Andy Frampton – ‘The Honest Man’ (copyright William Donachie esq.) who gives everything he has to give in every game. A player of moderate skill – but a man who never shirks, never hides and never goes missing. Yes what he has is limited, but since when did Millwall crowds want any more than a salt of the Earth type in the Cripps mould? Monstered by the home crowd in his early days, Andy Frampton has made the journey from whipping boy to Player of the Season. A Lions legend in the making.

Gary Alexander – ‘The Endeavour’ – do-do-dooh Gary Alexander will run himself into the ground for Millwall. Not only that, he will shed blood for the cause and will keep working away until the success comes. Now that might be along wait, but work and work and work he will. A Millwall supporter, he really is one of us. All of our strengths, all of our weaknesses all of our characters are summed up in Gary Alexander.

In the end of course, it’s all so much hot air. What will be will be, will be what we all collectively want it to be. Willpower, luck and messianic force. It all comes down to this. Zampa and Elland Roads. Everything at stake, all we can say is to B-E-L-I-E-V-E. Oh and to keep shouting like our third division lives depend on it: