One enduring aspect of Millwall fandom is the manner in which being a supporter runs in the family, with one generation socialising the next into ‘Being Wall’. Most will remember the first time they entered The Den, with a father or an uncle, being allowed to go to the pub afterwards.
Not without reason, Michael Calvin’s 2009 book, based on 330 days spent with Millwall, is titled ‘Family’. And fittingly, Millwall was in 2017 awarded ‘EFL family club of the year’.
Here, Bermondsey-born Carole Brady remembers the milestone that is was the first time her sons were allowed to go and watch Millwall with their father.:
‘It’s a sort of like, it’s a mile stone in your life, you know, it’s the exciting milestone. You think, I’m big enough, look at my boys being, “yeah, I’m going with daddy to Millwall”, you know, “and I’m going to get Coke and I’m going to get crisps and I’m going to go down the pub with him afterwards, and then my mum’s going to pick me up”.’
Here, Frank Preston shares memories of how he, very literally, was signed up as a Millwall supporter on the day he was born:
‘Now, I have an interest in football, all football, my son has an interest in football, and went on to play. So, unless you don’t have that stuff going on I suppose you can miss the boat. Plus, look what young people have now. They’ve got loads, too much sometimes. So, football is just a slice.’
(Ron Bell, Black British)