MILLWALL 1 CITY 1
Nationwide League Division 2
29th September 1998
City Weaver, Edghill, Fenton, Wiekens, Horlock, Vaughan, Jim Whitley, Pollock, Goater, Greenacre, Bradbury – subs Allsopp(51), Tiatto(70), Mason(unused)
Millwall Spink, Lavin, Ryan, Newman, Nethercott, Fitzgerald, Carter, Cahill, Harris, Shaw, Neill – subs Grant(85), Bircham(unused), Stuart(unused)
Tony Vaughan and Millwall’s Paul Shaw were sent off after a brawl involving most of the players on the pitch.
… We took a couple of thousand supporters gown there for a midweek game and they were all kept in for over an hour while the Millwall fans went round smashing up their own area and fighting the police.
Lee Bradbury got us out of jail, with a last minute equaliser. We were a big draw for them and City and Millwall had some history from the late 1980s when City’s Guvners firm gave them a surprise at London Bridge. While the City fans had mainly dismantled their hooligan groups, Millwall of course still had a very active one. Inside the ground they had lads everywhere and it was very intimidating for the players.
They made monkey noises at all our black players and they smashed up our team coach outside.
…After the game Joe Royle had to say it was a good job we didn’t score a second otherwise he would have feared for the safety of our players. Theo Paphitis, the Millwall chairman at that time, then went on the defensive and said “If a handful of youngsters going on the pitch intimidates Joe Royle’s players they should go back to kindergarten!”
The truth of the night was that there was violence, there was racist abuse of our black players and for the club to appease it was wrong in my view.
Every time I had the ball at my feet or challenged for it in the air, the Millwall fans made ape sounds. If I found myself near the touchline for whatever reason, I’d hear the shouts of “You Black Bastard”. It’s not just the words that hurt. It was the threatening tone in their voices. Despite many of them being kids it was real hatred. The police and stewards did not seem to have any control.
The worst incident came just after our late equaliser through Lee Bradbury. We celebrated the goal naturally enough, and did nothing to intimidate or taunt the home fans, yet a mob of thirty or more came pouring onto the pitch and started heading towards us. Fortunateley they turned back before they could reach us. But the message was clear enough: scare another and we will do you. It sounds ridiculous but that is how worried we were From FEED THE GOAT by Shaun Goater with David Clayton.