As we look forward to Saturday's match against the Spanners (weather permitting), this is a good time to reflect on local rivalries. It's a long time since we've met Millwall on the pitch. Many fans have good memories of the victory in the snow at the New Den when the announcer stated that 'Shooters Hill Station' was now closed. I remember a 1-1 draw at home when a timid referee denied us a sure fire penalty.
For a long time Millwall has dropped below the radar, although those of us who travel to The Valley by train were always reminded of the brooding presence of the rust bucket next door to the generating station recycling rubbish into power. However, in recent years our attention has focused on the Nigels and Nigellas of Crystal Palace where there is a real sense of grievance, although they feel we should be grateful to them. Given recent events under the Orange One could almost feel sorry for them (well just a little bit) although at least Noades has confirmed that he will not return.
In the 1950s there were quite a few fans who alternated between The Den and The Valley each Saturday. Somewhat oddly, given that he would have regarded himself as Charlton, my uncle called his house in Belvedere The Den, but I do not think this had any connection with Bermondesey. An even larger group of supporters went to see the Gooners when they were at home, but our rivalry with the 'Woolwich Rejects' has never been that intense. Attempts to stoke up a rivalry with Gillingham over the 'Kent Derby' have a synthetic quality. I probably have a greater dislike for Queen's Park Rangers.
Hopefully we will have enough in our toolbox to defeat the Spanners on Saturday and there will not be too much trouble inside or outside the ground.