From Jam To Jackett (Part 2)
FROM JAM TO JACKETT (Part 2)
Manager F.B. Kidd
A turbalant season for the Rovers on and off the pitch which started brightly. Millwall had enough players to field three teams in one day. Had changed their colours to red and white and won the East End Senior Cup for the third consecutive season 2-1 against Dreadnought to become outright winners. The Cup can still be seen at The Den to this day.
But defeats to Lancing College 4-0 in the FA Cup and 6-1 to Old Cranleighans in the London Senior Cup were only eased by a fine 8-0 win away to Cray Wanderers.
Of the 24 known matches played, 11 were won and the same number lost.
In the Spring however Millwall were given twelve months notice to quit their ground by the owner and the club came close to winding up.
Thankfully another site was found by Club Secretary William Henderson, 27 acres of swampland in East Ferry Road, between The George Public House and Millwall Dock Station was to be developed. And on 18th April 1889 at the clubs Annual Dinner a proposal was put forward and Millwall Rovers change their name to Millwall Athletic
Manager F.B. Kidd.
Millwall changed back to their traditional colours of blue and white for the new season.
Dispite winning their first two fixtures Millwall made their now customary early exit from the FA Cup, this time losing 4-0 to Schorne College.
During the season the players spent time helping to build the new ground.
A benefit game was played against Royal Arsenal, which resulted in a 3-3 draw, to raise money for their new ground, a ground which it was hoped, would become a major sports complex, second to none in the South, with a running track, cricket nets and tennis courts and would help make Millwall Athletic the standard bearer for football in London and the South-East.
Amazingly, about 100 years later we were to hear almost the same thing again.
Manager F.B. Kidd.
The new ground was built and around 1,200 people turned up to official opening on 28th June 1890.
The ground was by far the best in the South-East, some £400 had been spent on levelling and draining the mudchute, a grandstand holding 500 people was built, and new dressing rooms. The pitch measured 120 x 80 yards surrounded by a running track, this in turn was flanked by a cycle track.
On September 6th, Londan Caledonians were invited to play the first football match on it, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Things for Athletic improved on the pitch, they reached the Semi-Final of the London Senior Cup for the first time with a fine 5-1 quarter final victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
On Tuesday 3rd March 1891 Preston North End, then current Football League Champions, become the first League club to visit Millwall Athletic. North End winning the match 0-3 infront of nearly 4,000 spectators.
In November Athletic had a great win over St. Barts Hospital at home 12-0.
Sunderland, who were on the brink of becoming one of the finest sides in League history, also came to East London for a friendly, despite the home side losing 3-1 watched by an incredible 14,000 people, big-time football had arrived at Millwall.
Part Three Coming Soon
To read part one of From Jam To Jackett Click Here