This Wednesday Millwall plays South London neighbours from 4 miles down the road Charlton Athletic. This game was rearranged when it was cancelled because of the international break in October. For the Lions, this derby is not considered our biggest game and Charlton are in no way considered to be our biggest rival. In fact, when I first went to Millwall back in 1963 Crystal Palace had that consideration.
Another fact is when the fixture list gets published before the start of the season, the match against Charlton is not the first date Lions’ Fans look for. And what cannot be disputed is this fixture is the most one-sided London derby. Since 1905 in the league we have played Charlton 70 times: we lost 11; drawn 25; won 34. With the only time, they managed to beat us twice in the season was back in 1995/96.
Former Charlton Legend Keith Peacock in his book “No Substitute” stated, “To be honest we probably had a bit of a snobbish attitude towards Millwall. We looked upon them as an inferior club who shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Charlton”.
There is no doubt that the attitude still prevails today amongst Charlton Fans, the more deluded Anoraks/Trainspotters tell us when we play them they are our Cup Final. The last time we played against them at the Den, we went a goal down deep into the second half. The Anoraks were in full voice singing “how they were going to send us down”, we drew level and I recall seeing the face of their defender Morgan Fox and he knew that Charlton was done for.
We final went 2-1 up and our fans knew they were beaten and were in full force again singing, “go home you bums go home!”
It is true that in a derby, current form goes out the window! Both clubs have hardly been pulling up trees going into this game.
In fact, the Lions have lost their last three competitive games.
If Millwall wants to get a promotion, then frankly they have to see off teams like Charlton! To lose would be considered total humiliation.
Millwall boss Neil Harris, after Saturday’s defeat, has indicated there will be changes but we have heard that before but it did not happen. Millwall Central Defender Byron Webster will not play any part in the proceedings on Wednesday and I am not sure if Charlton has any injury concerns.