Throughout their history, Millwall have always had a bad hooligan reputation. From the world’s most infamous football riot at Kenilworth Road to the more recent one at Upton Park in 2009, they’re never been far away from trouble – and Saturday’s play-off final was no different. After they regained their Championship status with a win against Bradford, their supporters invaded the hallowed turf at Wembley further tarnishing their reputation.
Personally, I didn’t have a problem with the actions of their supporters. The large majority who ran on the pitch were doing it in celebration rather than attempting to provoke the Bradford players. What a very small minority did in running towards the Bradford players was disgraceful and I will not even attempt to defend their actions.
To be completely honest, I liked the pitch invasion as – for me – it showed how passionate most Millwall supporters are. You only have to look at the reaction in the lower tier to get a glimpse of how passionate most Lions supporters are.
Pitch invasions are quite common when a team gains promotion or avoids relegation and have been for a while. An argument I’ve heard a lot is about this is, the ‘unwritten’ rule that you don’t pitch invade at Wembley. While people who say that have a point, in my eyes, I think the ‘unwritten’ rule makes little sense as I don’t think Wembley should be treated any differently to any other ground – or not as much as people say it should be.
In recent weeks, numerous pitch invasions have occurred. Some examples are: Portsmouth at home to Cheltenham, Plymouth at home to Newport and Lincoln at home to Macclesfield. Something I can’t help but feel that not as much would’ve been said it if didn’t involve Millwall. Obviously, none of those were at Wembley – but the point above is still valid.
With many football clubs going away from their roots and ‘modern football’ taking over a bit, Millwall are a prime example of what football once was and are, in my opinion, what English football should be. (Without the hooligan element!)
Do you agree with these views? Let us know in the comments below!