father started bringing me to Millwall when I was about eight. My
grandfather was Irish. Since he came over, my family have always lived
in South-East London, and always supported Millwall, never any other
I began coming here with my mates, we stood on the half-way line. If
Millwall were kicking towards the Cold Blow Lane end in the second half,
we would nip round to that end
hopefully to see us scare a few goals there. You used to be able to walk
round at that time, and slide through the little fence. "I started
training at the club when I was 12. My mates became plumbers, chippies,
roofers, a bit of everything."
progressed at the club, nothing changed as far as we were concerned. I
was still one of them. There was never any 'oh, he plays football now,
we can't be seen to go out with him.' If I've played badly, they never
lie to me about what they think. They are my mates, and that is
who play for other clubs find it difficult to understand our way of
life. They can't see that you like to live amongst people you enjoy
being with. I don't know where they get their image of London from. They
seem to think there is a mugger next door to you, or that everyone on
the terraces is going to wait outside and beat you up. It is just not
true. The area is such a friendly area. I would not swap it for
clubs that come down may not know about our sort of
humour. I don't
know. They probably take it the wrong way when people are just
have a laugh with them. The humour gets mixed up with what they think is
having a go at them."
moved out to Welling when I was twenty. Lots of my friends moved out
there, too. It seems like our own little community moving from one place
to another, so you are still seeing the same faces you were seeing
before. Its not the same sort of relationship between your next-door
neighbours. I don't think you'll ever get that sort of thing again. You
have fifty families in a row in Welling, where as before you had two
hundred families together in a tower block.
| But although the environment
you still get your friends and family round you."
pleased with that. We meet in a little family pub for a few drinks
Sunday dinner time. They come round to my house. I probably go round to
their house more than anything."
don't think I could go anywhere and feel the same as I do for Millwall.
It is the team I grew up with, the team I supported, and now it is the
team I play for. Going anywhere else, I think it would just be a job.