Most likely more than any other English club, Millwall comes with stigma attached to it. A bad reputation sticks, and there is in popular opinion still a strong association between Millwall, hooliganism, and racist behaviour.
‘So for me, it always just felt systemic, it felt that racism was just at every club – it was how I grew up […]The idea of racism, you know, Millwall is a reflection of that being in society. But there is no denying that there are some racist Millwall fans, you know. What do I do about it? Do I stop supporting my local team? At the end of the day, that’s just how it is, I guess. But just because there are racist fans at the club doesn’t mean I cannot support the club, or that they are a representation of the club, or of me. And they are not. I think, if anything, they are a representation of society as a whole.’
(Quince Garcia, Black British)
‘The dockers were very much supportive of Enoch Powell. Enoch Powell was seen as the ogre, the hate monger, the person who was describing black children as pickaninnies, and spread hatred […] It was a time when I moved away, not moved geographically, but my emotions moved away from Millwall, not because I didn’t like the club or the football, but I wasn’t too keen to be going to Millwall at a time when there was hostility on the streets, there was hostility in the atmosphere. I didn’t want to be there.’
(Herman Ouseley, Black British)
‘ So we all went, my nephew, my son, me, and the three girls […] Stayed behind, saw, said hello to a couple of the old players that I knew, so we were late leaving the ground […] Anyway, we’re going past the Barnaby pub, then the Millwall pub, and everyone’s out having a drink and all that, and next minute we heard, ‘you black bastards, you black’, and it was just 200 -300 people just shouting ‘you black bastards’ at us and the kids, and the girls were lagging behind because they were just day dreaming. But what was nice for me was that none of the kids apart from my son realised what was going on.’
(Ron Bell, Black British)