Earlier today, a friend of mine was spat on by a crowd of Millwall fans who seemed to have hired an open-topped tour bus. One of them was a pre-teen kid drinking WKD and being encouraged by the 'adults' to join in the gobbing contest.
Early Saturday evening my daughter was unlucky enough to find herself trying to get on a Jubilee line tube at Green Park. She said the train seemed to have been taken over by Millwall fans (presumably on their way back from Wembley). She said it was terrifying: the shouting, swearing, fighting, vomiting, urinating and bleeding were beyond belief.
One of them pulled the emergency cord, the guards ran for cover and there was not a policeman in sight. The train was then disabled so everyone tried to leave the platform. The "fans" then commandeered one down escalator while they decided they wanted to run up it and physically stopped anyone who tried to use it legitimately causing dangerous overcrowding.
My daughter eventually arrived home very shaken and said she wanted to cry for the impression it must have given any tourists (and there were plenty, apparently) of us.
Why were they not policed on their travels, as any other dangerous animals would have been?
The same day of the spitting I saw a 'family' of them coming out of the McDonalds (obviously) on St Thomas st. A boy finished his drink and threw it to the ground. A girl kicked it and the 'family' had a little kick about with it. They then walked off leaving it in the road giving threatening looks to anyone that looked appalled. Very trivial compared to the incident above but it does make you realise how they train the young ones to become what the parents are.
It's a shame that this sub-culture feel they have a reputation to live down to; generation after generation. Millwall is a great club and not every supporter behaves like an animal. As far as the ones that do, Bobby Robson may have had the right idea back in the late sixties, when the Ipswich fans, (Robson was manager of Ipswich Town at the time,)got some pretty rough treatment at the old Den. "Get the flame throwers out and burn them on the terraces," was his opinion of how to deal with football hooligans.
Yes it's certainly not all but Millwall are worse than most.
In the 'Well Done Millwall' thread the Riverside Bar are accused of reacting to the tabloid image of the club by not showing Millwall games. Hardly.
I was driving not far behind an open top bus of Millwall supporters through Earls Court on Saturday... it was caught in traffic so a bunch of the passengers decided to get off and pee in various bushes/corners in full view of the passing traffic. Later on it stopped for a boy of maybe 5 years old to pee in a bush shelter. Lovely.
While in no way suggesting that the actions described above are acceptable ways to behave, they are also not restricted to Millwall fans. In 45 years of playing and watching sport I have seen similar things from fans of most football teams from Aresenal to Wolves, Aldershot to Wycombe; oxbridge graduates and corporate toffs at Twickenham; Aussies at Lords; Brazilians in Munich; hundreds of people at the Boat Race; baseball fans in the South Bronx; team-mates at the PLA; softball players in Regents Park; footballers on Wormwood Scrubs etc etc etc.
It's ridiculous to catergorise this as specifically a Millwall problem. I have been to both the Old Den and the New Den many times, as an away fan, and have enjoyed each visit. Millwall are a proper football club, rooted in their community and I for one am happy to see them enjoying some success. The actions of some should not taint the majority, many of who are our neighbours.