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Millwall 1 Wolves 1, April 1967

Discussion in '1960's' started by Big Saft Kid, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Big Saft Kid

    Big Saft Kid Just doesn't shut up

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    if you think Millwall is a scary place to go now, you should have experienced the Old Den in Coldblow Lane! I went once, and believe me that was enough. At the time Wolves were on their way to promotion, and this was part of the run in. Millwall had an incredible home record -- they'd gone something like 50-odd home games unbeaten. And as for the supporters -- real hard cases, and I'm not talking here about the skinheads in their Doc Martins and braces, but the older guys in their 40s -- mainly dockers in those days -- who stood there impassively... until anybody scored aginst them.

    The Old Den was small, and surrounded by streets of terraced houses, just off the Old Kent Road. That day it was packed. The game was evenly balanced, but Millwall were a very tough nut at home and went 1-0 up. The mood in the crowd was light, no threat at all, as Millwall approached victory. Then, in the 89th minute, Wolves were awarded a penalty. Immediate clenching of fists all around the ground. Who would take it? Wolves fans looked on in amazement as Dave Wagstaffe put the ball on the spot. Never, as far as anyone could recall, had he taken one before; at that time it was usually Terry Wharton. A hushed descended, followed by an explosion of joy as Wagstaffe missed it. So Millwall would win 1-0 after all... Then in the dying, dying seconds, Wolves attacked. the ball bobbled to the Doog, who completely mi$$$$ his shot. But the ball bobbled towards the line, hit a Millwall defender, and went in. 1-1! A Millwall fan immediately ran onto the pitch, attempted to assault Dougan and was dragged off by the police. After a couple of minutes of this, the game restarted and the ref blew straightaway for time.

    We started to move towards the exits, but the 'boot-boys' had already got to work, amply aided by the middle-aged dockers. It's the first time I have taken my scarf off and hid it. Outside the ground, as we tried to get back to the coaches, there were Wolves fans running on the rooves of parked cars to get away from the howling mobs of Millwall fans. Coaches bricked and spat on. I've never been so scared in my life. This is not, I hasten to add, a glorification of violence, but how it was. In my experience, at this particular time (late 60s) the West Ham fans were also like this -- lots of boot-boys who attended games 'tooled up'. Some of the worst violence I have seen at a football match was at a West Ham v Swindon 3rd round cup game the same year as the Millwall game I've described, 1967, which was a long time before the invention of the 'Intercity Firm'.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2010
  2. I was there the next time Wolves played at Millwall nearly 10 years later on New Years Day 1977 the year we won the second division title. We had won 5-1 at Bristol Rovers in front of around 8,000 Wolves away fans 5 days earlier. That day there must have been around 1,000 Wolves fans scattered around the Cold Blow Lane End but most kept quiet. I remember the police did not really enforce the segregation, and Millwall lads came in and looked over everyone in the away end. It was the only away game I went to that 1976/7 season where Wolves had no vocal away following. It was also a 1-1 draw. But actually if the Wolves following that day had been the same as at Bristol 5 days earlier or the 6,000 who went to nearby Charlton 6 weeks later we would have held Cold Blow Lane (though it would have been rough). The Millwall reputation seemed to count for everything, I went to a couple of Swindon v Millwall games in the early 70s where their fans took over the home end. Yes they were bad but they couldn't have stopped a large away following.
     
  3. ice cream head

    ice cream head Just doesn't shut up

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  4. Dudleywolf

    Dudleywolf Has a lot to say

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    I went to cold blow lane twice, the first was a pre-season "friendly" in the nineties, we took about a 1000, mainly nutter's looking for a badge of courage ! a Wolves fan was stabbed on the coach car park. The away end had a steel shutter door which was clanged shut during the game (opened if you wanted to go for a pee) and I remember the floodlights with barbed wire around them and fences with razor wire. The last time we played them there in the league (The old den), the Hatherton arranged a footy game v Millwall SC, which was played on a local park. I actually played and Russ Evers scored our goal, unfortunately, they had a team of ringers and scored 11 (eleven) ! They laid on a buffet for us in the local gasworks club, but it was a bit rushed. The new Den had its moments as well, With their idiots climbing over the wall into the coach compound and bricking the Telford coach and generally playing up, some lads off our coach managed to grab one of them and he got arrested. The funniest time was the last minute winner by our Korean friend Soeul ? we were sat by two elderly Korean gentlemen, and me and a mate ended up dancing with these two, like we had won the world cup.
     
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