This project was triggered by media coverage of a memorial event in 2012, to mark the death of a long standing and highly regarded Millwall supporter known as “Tiny”. What surprised me was that “Tiny” was black. To the outsider, being black and being Millwall would seem a contradiction, certainly strongly at odds with widely held popular images of what Millwall fans are all about. These questions informed some of the main themes of the project.
- The contradictions of being a BAME Milwall supporter: This concerns the individual experience of being a BAME supporter of a football club with a notoriously racist reputation. What triggered the interest? How has the Millwall affiliation evolved?
- The Millwall ‘passport’: Being a Millwall supporter provides a formal or informal membership of a fan community. A related question concerns the way Millwall affiliation provides access to other aspects of the neighbourhood community? Which doors does a Millwall fan identity open? And which are closed? How do the experiences of old and young BAME Millwall fans compare?
The next pages aim to answer some of these questions, mainly through the voices of some of those interviewed for the project.