Briley, Club Captain.
have played for five league clubs. At every club you play for, you
believe your heart is in that club. As a professional footballer, you
have to believe that. But when I came to Millwall, I realised everywhere
else had just been a job."
place is so homely, so warm. Footballers tend to form cliques, itís
one of those things."
here, there is a warmth between people, regardless of what they do. It's
a togetherness I don't think you could get in many clubs. The people you
see who don't matter, do matter, at Millwall. The groundsman, the people
who sweep the terraces, the people in the offices; they really
at all clubs stop and say hello and ask for autographs, but often you
feel they do it because of who you are as a name, not anything to do
with you as a person. At Millwall, you feel it's personal to you. People
here aren't casual with you. They aren't over-awed, either. It doesn't
often happen like that with footballers. When it does, ins a good thing.
Good for us, good for everyone."
me food and drink. They were in a hurry to get to their seats, but they
were so pleased to see me. It was so warm, so genuine."
year, the whole squad went to a kids' Christmas party at Lewisham. We
served the meals, did a question-and-answer session, and stayed for the
disco. Fathers were bringing their babies of our or five weeks up to us,
saying 'Will you hold my baby?' Incredible. Togetherness like that.
Everybody warmed to us that much. People outside the club just don't
know how much
more they warm to you here."
don't really know why other clubs have not done the same sort of thing.
Most clubs do the odd bit of coaching in schools, a presentation here
and there, but that's all, really. If more clubs could do what Millwall
are doing, they would be much happier places to work at. But they don't
look at it that way. Perhaps they feel they don't need to because of the
areas they are in. But hooliganism is a problem we all share in, whether
it affects our particular club or not. It is a problem of our
get families that are close, families that are not close, there are so
many different types of up
are not frightened to approach you here. I remember once when I was
injured, I was walking through the terraces before a game began, and
people I didn't know were coming up to me and saying 'How's the leg?í.
How're you feeling?' They wanted to know if I wanted a
drink, and before I could answer, they had run to the bar and
But things can go wrong in any of them. So everyone needs what Millwall
have tried to do."
you step onto the pitch, the feeling you get from the people stays with
you. If you win, you feel you have done well for them. If you lose, you
feel you have let them down.
You really do. There are
places where it happens like that, but not many. Players go to some
clubs, and think, 'I'll have a couple of years here, see how it goes,
and then move on to another club. You
use them as stepping stones, to be honest. But Millwall is