Like a lot of Addicks of a certain age this fixture haunts me now as it did when I was a kid.
My brother and I grew up with a Millwall supporting family living next door. The two sons and us were very close well into our early 30’s, and at school in Catford there were many Millwall fans, no one supported Palace, because they were, well nothing. I had a load of mates that were Millwall, still have a couple and I used to occasionally go and watch them midweek in the 80’s when Charlton weren’t playing.
Our record against our local rivals is pathetic and I would argue, and one day I will do the research, probably the worst of any local derby rivals in English football. 11 wins in 68 league matches beginning in 1921. Incidentally 2 of those 11 wins came in the first two games in December 1921 and January 1922!
Owners, players, managers and head coaches change, and there has been a couple of periods of long inactivity, but the hold that they have had over us has never swayed.
On Saturday we have another twist to this sorry tale when ex-Millwall striker Bob Peeters will be in our dugout directing our performance. Bob has made quite an impression on us Addicks and he will be aware of what is needed to make it into Charlton Athletic folklore alongside Kim Grant, John Hendry, Jim Melrose and George Shipley, who both scored within 3 minutes of each other at the Cold Blow Lane end in 1986, where my brother and I stood. Melrose, I will always remember, climbed the fence to celebrate. My brother and I didn’t think we were going to make it out alive.
Happy memories few and far between.