My Old Man, Said Be A....
Years and years ago, during the war... I watched us week in week out most while drunk after consuming several barrels and having had a tear up with a pillow and some leaves, still getting a black eye. I live in Romania now, yes still, Largie said I'd last five days.
How wrong was he, it's been eight months now and I love it. Bare with me, I'm going somewhere with this. Many wished me luck, even more never knew I'd left except for passing comment that I'd gone to Romania, and then people thought, what the f***? So eight months and I'm having fun but I miss Millwall. I do miss Millwall.
Several years back, I never understood how people could turn their back on the Lions and miss the day out, ok on many occasions I was flush so could afford the journeys around the country and the weekend long boozing, although it made me poorer as flush still wasn't enough what with my gambling, spending money I didn't have just so I could watch us. I sold a disc walkman to get to one game, it was worth it but it still wouldn't sink in that people had families, that fans moved abroad and still claimed to follow Millwall.
I always stuck up for them though, of course they follow Millwall but people have different ways of doing that, even from afar they can ponder management decisions, wear a replica shirt, still sport the tattoo or take the piss out of a west ham fan while propping up a bar in Chicago or on the China Wall.
The world has got smaller but you can still royally take the piss out of a west ham fan, with ease. And Palace come to think of it, palace palace who the **** are palace?? my neighbour here plays that song occasionally, cracks me up as I stand outside her door singing our version.
I still maintain that I made the right decision, to move abroad, finally. It took a while, people listened to me talk about moving all year, to Russia - I had a plan; to Poland - I didn't have a plan and then something just pushed me to Bucharest.
But I miss Millwall but there's no going back, I can't, I just can't live under a Labour government (any government) where prosperity for the country means robbing the citizens blind, charging the earth for train services when you just want to go from A to B, £40 for a train journey that five years ago was £13. Ridiculous and Millwall haven't done much better, yes same old gripes, cost of living, distance but I'm happier so maybe I did have good reason.
It was good to be back for Leeds, I was out of sorts, out of the regime of arriving early, I glanced for the nearest boozer when I arrived on me jack jones, tried sending texts but every bugger was ignoring me, Lee who? aint he in Serbia? it's fucking old bill, they nicked his phone at customs when they kicked him out.
I finally got past the old bill who asked "where you from?" Romania I declared in a very South London accent, well I wasn't lying and there it began, a few stellas, seeing mates again, a few lions roars and we're off smashing (watching) buses and having tussles with a very racist Asian police man who couldn't wait to put his suicide belt on, but found just enough time to whack me a few times first.
Did I smash the buses? No, did you blow up the train? no so **** off and get out of my face. I bet police relations are booming in Leeds. Mind you, even the home fans get bussed into the ground free of charge, it's a right hoot aint it thy lad. So what's it like to follow Millwall being 1000 odd miles away, well it's not easy, considering I still have an online fanzine to contribute too.
I must admit, sometimes I don't even know the scores for hours after, sometimes days if I'm away on tour. Is that still being a fan? I guess a fan more than a supporter. On tour... I have a new video out soon to coincide "Lee's Fanny Fantastic Tour of the World, with Obeney doing commentary".
But what do you do? when life has to be more than your football club can give you, Millwall can't get me a girlfriend, can't get me married (thank Cripps), can't pay the bills, they can make me happy on occasions and get me drunk but can't live my life so I made the decision a lot of fans make these days, like Balearic and Custard, Wandering and Berlin (guess where he is), but we all come back occasionally, see our mates, spend all day in the boozer and barely catch half time, you don't remember because you're lagging but at least you got the ticket to show you were there, you think. Was I?
I spent years being accused of not being a Millwall fan proper by some berks, I've even been accused of being a student when I started following us, the cheeky scamps, ****ing calling me a student haha, what an horrible thing to be called. I love Millwall but I couldn't point out a player these days, albeit the tap stealer but to my relief someone else said similar and he watches us every week.
I still have my views, some things never change at management level, they looked like they were at one point but it never lasts for long does it, some arsehole keeps shouting regen, regen, regen and I can hear them from here but what regen? Where is it? We sold a training ground which was a very bad move whoopeedoo, now what?
We have a new manager, whatshisname, we got a win, three points, oi oi, up the table we go, but you cant get a real feel for supporter feeling all these miles away, that's why message boards are so important to us exiles and calls and texts from mates, viewing and hearing opinion, seeing if situations seem familiar to the past - they always do, if any club is going to repeat a mistake, it's us, time and time again.
The news doesn't change much, but you can see fan opinion from a different angle, a good journalist can always write at length about something they know nothing about and still get the facts and point across, but I aint a journalist, as resident Rod Liddle will tell you, I think he is, journo scum haha
I know where my heart is though and it may be out of my country on tour, in Mamaia and Russia, but it's also down the Den, I still love the club as I suspect many of us exiles who chose to move away from the country, do and always will. Millwall isn't an hobby, Millwall isn't something you choose to hang around your neck, you're born to be for or against, it chooses you, it selects you, so I love Millwall still - it's only a shame my country didn't love me as much so as to keep me around.
I have to live, all of us do, even if you don't leave England or the UK you have families that take preference over the Lions sometime and we all have to appreciate that and not lead sheltered lives that makes us believe that Millwall is the be all and end all.
It is the be all and end all but we have to find ourselves occasionally, and I am, I'm finding myself in Russia and Romania (snigger snigger) but I hope you all take one second to remember how fortunate you are, no matter where you are in the world, that you've stood amongst some of the finest supporters in the world, been a part of the Millwall scene, the culture the day out and be proud and look forward to the day you will again.
Next week, next month, next year, our mates will still be there on the terraces, in the stands, on the pitch, clumping old bill, smashing buses, taking the piss, we're Millwall, I brought a bit of Millwall back to Romania, for me Millwall is still a big event and passion in my life and I maybe I should have stayed, Millwall couldn't get me a girlfriend, I still ****ing can't either...
In memory of supporters passed, who made the present at the time, that much more fun.