On the back page The
Mail splashes with a large picture (above) showing the usual
police presence in the corner between West and North Stands. It
was captioned Security Blanket: Police gather at pitchside as the
tension rises at the New Den. You would be hard pressed to detect
any tension from this picture!
Ian Cole's 'Mayhem at Millwall'
sets the tone from its emotive headline. The main factual error is
an attempt to con the reader by being economical with the truth.
It says "Phil Barston ran onto the pitch to escape a shower
of missiles - including plastic bottles and a meat pie - from
Millwall Fans incensed by an offside decision."
The Mail lies by saying
including when indeed it was a full list. A meat Pie and a couple
of plastic bottles.
Ian Cole dig at Millwall
continue by reminding us that "The Old Den was home to some
of the worst hooliganism (surely he means best?) of the Seventies
and the New Stadium retains much of its hostility." He then
smears both managers by adding "Last night it (Hooliganism?)
reached the dug outs with both managers banished by referee Phil
The Match Report inside by Ian
was headlined New Den Shame as linesman is pelted.
His report starts off with fair
comment given the event, but repeats his colleague devise of
listing the objects but giving the impression there were more.
"..Phil Barston came under attack, with a meat pie and soda
bottle among the objects rained down on him.."
Ian Gibb also tries to paint a
picture of an aggressive atmosphere by including the following:
"..did not help bring down the temperature in a tinderbox
atmosphere….the underlying menace lingered all night…Tensions
increased…Temperatures rose again".
Ian seems to call for a Kangaroo
Court by declaring a Guilty Verdict and punishment from the
John Greechan's article, They're
bringing back the game's dark age, was an article about possible
knee jerk calls for a return to fences (Ignoring the fact that
there are fences at Cardiff!) contained an old black and white
photo of Millwall's Cup tie at Luton in 1985. It was captioned
"…brought back memories of the last big pitch invasion when
Luton hosted Millwall in 1985".
Last big pitch invasion? I don't
think so. Maybe the only one you had a picture of to hand.
Birmingham v Leeds in 1985 bring back any memories? Perhaps the
Chelsea v Middlesbrough playoff 1988 will do the trick? Nope?
Surely you recall the Man City Tottenham in 1993, it was live on
TV after all!
Round up of a couple of others:
Express (Mark Fleming): Millwall
yobs pile on shame
Mark claims that the Linesman
was hit by a missiles. He did not state whether it was the meat
pie or bottle of pop!
Here is a flavour of his
article: ….reputation for crew cuts and bovver boots…in
typical fashion they responded in the only way they know, with
violence an spite….The predictable response (to a PA
announcement according to mark) was a chorus of their theme song,
"No one likes us we don't care"
response is of course an out and out lie. The actual response was
a cheer and round of applause!
The Sun (Andrew Dillion) …Andrew
kicks off with "Millwall's notorious fans added a new chapter
to soccer's shameful week when a linesman was pelted with
missiles." Its five paragraphs before you find out it was a
Paul Weaver of the Guardian also
tries to paint as black a picture as possible. He says "The
police moved in quickly to evict the spectator who had thrown
objects from the East stand, home of the family enclosure, after a
linesman had angered home supporters with some of his
decisions." He therefore deliberately leaves the
impression that the missiles were thrown from the Family
Enclosure! He could have help clear up the confusion by saying the
family enclosure is on the lower tier and the missiles (a meat
pie!) came from the upper tier.
The reporter flavoured his
report with "this match was like a nasty draught from Cold
Blow Lane, when Millwall played at the other Den and their
supporters were feared throughout the land." One wonders if
the reporter ever went to the Old Den!
However pat on the back to the
Standard for non sensationalised coverage.
best quote of the whole saga came from Paul Walsh, who was
co-commentator for ITV Sport that evening, who speculated that it
might be a book explaining the off side laws thrown at the