Match Thread Millwall v Charlton

Moody

Well-known member
This is one of the most local of local derbies in the country, with The Valley and The Den only 4 miles apart as the crow flies. However, it only became a local derby when two important events took place: Millwall moving across the river in 1910 and Charlton finally turning professional in 1920.

Millwall were founded by a group of tin smiths working at the Morton & Co. cannery and preserve factory beside the Millwall Dock on the Isle of Dogs in 1885. The idea was simply to give other local sides a decent game. However, by the 1890s Millwall were the joint pioneers (with Arsenal) of professional football in London and the south, an area where football was still considered the preserve of gentleman and amateurs. Millwall founded the Southern League, the first professional league in the south, and were its dominant force, winning the first title without defeat and the second having only lost once. The Football League invited the club to join their Second Division, but Millwall declined, citing travel expenses as a barrier. During this period the Millwall earned their now famous nickname of ‘Lions’. They had been known as the ‘Dockers’, but victories over the northern and midlands giants of Aston Villa, Derby County, Preston North End and Everton on runs to the FA Cup Semi-Finals of 1900 and 1903 led to the press of the era calling the club the ‘Lions of the South’. Millwall decided to cross over the Thames in 1910, having outgrown their cramped island home, but many Dockers from the East End joined their brothers in the Surrey Docks area in following the club in their new New Cross home.

Charlton Athletic were founded, much like Millwall, by a group of friends in 1905. Charlton got the nickname the Addicks on account of some of the very first players working in a fish and chip shop owned by Arthur Bryan, who took to attending matches in his straw boater and apron, waving a smoked haddock on the end of a stick. It is interesting that these young friends chose the suffix of ‘Athletic’ for their new team, what with Millwall Athletic playing literally just over the river in North Greenwich at the time, a team considered one of the leading lights of London and southern football in the decade leading up to Charlton’s formation. Unlike Millwall, Charlton Athletic were happy with simply remaining a strong local amateur side, only becoming a senior club after Arsenal left Woolwich in 1913 and not turning professional until they had witnessed fellow SE London clubs Millwall and Crystal Palace join the Football League in 1920 as founding members of the Third Division, which was essentially absorbing the Southern League Millwall had pioneered 25 years previously into the Football League. When the Football League decided to have a Third Division (South) and a Third Division (North) in 1921, it created two extra places and the newly professional Charlton Athletic were accepted into the Football League for the 1921/22 season, after spending the previous 16 years essentially playing as a local park side and a SE London derby with Millwall was born. Unable to attract decent crowds Charlton did experiment with playing in Catford soon after joining the League, but soon returned to SE7.

The only two decades that the two SE London rivals have not met is the 1940s (3 seasons) and the 1950s.

Millwall and Charlton Athletic have played each other 74 times (72 in the league and 2 in Anglo-Italian Cup), with Millwall winning 35 times, compared to 12 wins for Charlton Athletic and 27 draws.

Millwall have only lost 6 league games to Charlton in the last 84 years.

Charlton have only ever won four league games at The Den (old and new) and one in the Anglo-Italian Cup in their history.

Charlton have done the league double over Millwall three times - 1921/22 (their first season in FL), 1934/35 and 1995/96.

Millwall have done the league double over Charlton nine times - 1923/24, 1924/25, 1931/32, 1932/33, 1968/69, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1988/89, 1992/93.

Millwall have not lost in the last ten meetings, winning 5 and drawing 5, scoring 16 goals and conceding 9.

The first meeting was on New Year’s Eve 1921 at The Den in front of 25,000 and ended 1-0 to the visitors. The first meeting at The Valley was on the 14th of January 1922 and ended 2-1 to the Addicks in front of 18,000. Charlton wouldn’t taste success again in this fixture for a further 8 years and 14 meetings. Millwall’s first win came the following season, 2-1 at The Valley on 11th November 1922, having drawn 1-1 at The Den the previous Saturday.

If you accept that a thrashing is a victory by 3 or more goals, Millwall have handed Charlton a thrashing on seven occasions: 4-1 at The Valley in 1926; 3-0 at The Den 1926; 5-0 at The Den in 1928; 6-0 at The Den in 1931; 4-1 at The Valley in 1933; 3-0 at Selhurst Park in 1988; and 4-0 at The Den in 2010.

Charlton have never beaten Millwall by more than two clear goals.

The highest scoring match was on 19th December 2009 in League One, when the Lions grabbed a stoppage time equaliser to make it 4-4 at The Valley.

Both Millwall and Charlton Athletic are historically second tier clubs at heart. Indeed, very few clubs have played as much second tier football as Millwall and Charlton have, in fact only Cardiff City (47 seasons) of the clubs that joined the Football League in the early 1920s have. Millwall having played 43 seasons of second tier football in their history and Charlton Athletic 46 seasons. Since the introduction of the four divisions in 1958, Millwall’s average finishing position is 42nd, and Charlton Athletic’s average finishing position in that time is 33rd – making both Championship level clubs on average. In the last ten years Millwall have played seven seasons of Championship football compared to Charlton Athletic’s four seasons.
 
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Moody

Well-known member
And in case you missed it on the other thread...

A Charlton fan I work with said to me that Charlton Athletic are a sleeping giant and Millwall have always been a small club.

Now, he didn't reckon on me being such a football history geek, because I was able to confidently reply that if either of the two clubs had ever been a sleeping giant it was most certainly Millwall, not Charlton Athletic! Charlton were once able to attract some huge one-off crowds thanks to the size of The Valley and First Division opponents like Arsenal visiting, but this was never reflected in their overall average support, either in the top flight and certainly never below that level.

In the fifteen seasons of First Division football Charlton Athletic enjoyed between 1937 and 1957, they averaged for the most part between 25-30,000. On only six occasions did they average over 30,000. In this same period Millwall were able to attract average crowds of between 20-28,000 for Second and Third Division (South) football, including relegation and re-election seasons.

Charlton’s best average by far was in 1948/49 when they averaged 40,216 finishing 9th in the First Division; Millwall averaged 24,629 in Division Three (South) that same season, having been relegated to the previous season and finishing 8th, playing the likes of Torquay United, Aldershot and Exeter City.

When Charlton Athletic finished 3rd in the First Division in 1938/39 they averaged 25,141; again, that same season Millwall averaged 27,387 finishing 13th in the Second Division.

When the Docks were thriving Millwall were one of the best supported clubs in England based on average attendance and were able to attract such impressive crowds as 45,642 for a match against Notts County for a standard Division Three (South) match with nothing riding on it in 1948; 37,585 v Sheffield Wednesday in Division Two 7th April 1939 - when in 14th place with no chance of going up or down; 39,287 v Newcastle United in Division Two 31st August 1946 - first competitive league game after war at bomb and fire damaged Den, where capacity was restricted; 31,990 v Port Vale in Division Three (South) 21st August 1948 - first game after relegation to Third Tier; and 32,497 v Torquay United in Division Three (South) 20th August 1949 - first game of season, but after two miserable seasons of pain.

And Millwall could still attract big crowds well into the 1960s, just before the London Docks started to wind-down, with the gates being closed after 41,260 clicks of the turnstiles for the visit of Spurs in 1967, with thousands still hoping to get in, and just under 30,000 for the visit of Palace that same season, despite being mid-table in the Second Division and 30,000 for the visit of Leicester City in the 4th Round of the FA Cup in 1969.

So, there is no doubt in my mind based upon the above, that if Millwall could have achieved promotion to the First Division during that same period Charlton did, that we could have attracted average crowds of over 30,000 consistently, and probably closer to 40,000. The Den indeed saw crowds of 45-50,000 for big Cup games in that period, often with thousands locked out. Even Millwall A v Millwall B reserve matches between the wars attracted 15-20,000 crowds – that’s bigger crowds than Charlton were able to attract for second and third tier football on average.

To really highlight this fact, in Charlton’s golden period, when they finished 2nd, 4th and 3rd in consecutive First Division seasons, they averaged 25,141, 28,336 and 31,086 respectively; compared to Millwall averaging 27,387, 22,758 and 19,009 finishing 13th in the Second Division, top and 8th in the Third Division (South) in exact same period. The season before Charlton achieved back-to-back promotions they averaged 10,574 and then only 15,713 winning the Third Division (South) and 22,026 winning promotion to the top flight, which is less than Millwall averaged winning just the Third Division (South) - 22,758.

Therefore, it makes more sense to compare the clubs when playing at the same level. Millwall have had the higher average attendance on 19 of the 35 occasions that both have played at the same level. Furthermore, Millwall averaged 12,393 in total in those seasons and Charlton 11,110.

The highest average for either club in the seasons they have played at the same level is 18,685 (Millwall in Division Two 1929/30). Charlton have averaged under 7,500 on seven occasions that they have been at the same level as Millwall, yet only one of those was whilst playing at Selhurst Park all season. Millwall have averaged under 7,500 when playing at the same level as Charlton just twice.

Millwall have only averaged under 10,000 when playing at the same level as Charlton on ten occasions. Charlton have averaged under 10,000 twelve times when both clubs have been at the same level.

Millwall have averaged over 15,000 on eleven of the occasions both have been at the same level, compared to Charlton’s six occasions.

So, you could say Millwall have a much more robust hard-core support compared to Charlton. Especially when you consider Charlton have played more top flight football, which should create a bit more of a cushion when times are hard. Yet, Millwall have a historical average of 12,342 for third tier football, compared with 10,046 for Charlton Athletic.

In 1960, Millwall averaged 14,447 finishing 5th (not promoted / no play-offs) in their second season of 4th tier football and 13,206 finishing 16th in the third tier in 1963, in an era where Charlton averaged 11,102 finishing 10th in the second tier in 1961, having been a top flight club just 4 years before and who were down to 5,658 and 5,306 for third tier football in 1973 and 1974. Millwall still managed to average 10,443 whilst getting relegated from the third tier in 1964, having suffered a torrid time since the end of the war trying to recover from bomb and fire damage, including reapplying for re-election in the 1950s. In fact, Charlton only averaged more than 13,500 four times between 1960 and their first season of Premier League football in 1998/99; compared to Millwall averaging over 13,500 on six occasions in the same period.

If you did want to compare the historical average attendance of both clubs since they joined the Football League, then Charlton Athletic have averaged 15,657 and Millwall 12,288. This brings us back to my original point, as those figures hardly suggests that Charlton Athletic are a sleeping giant compared to Millwall, especially when you consider Charlton have enjoyed 26 seasons of top flight football compared to Millwall’s 2 seasons. Indeed, if you remove top flight seasons, Charlton’s average drops sharply to 12,051 historically - which is less than Millwall, who have had theirs dragged down by 5 seasons of Division Four football never experienced by Charlton and more seasons of third tier football than the Addicks.
 

Moody

Well-known member
Comparing Football League records:

Charlton have the highest league finish - 2nd in the First Division in 1936/37 compared to Millwall’s 10th place finish in the First Division in 1988/89. Charlton’s lowest ever finish is 21st in the Third Division (South) in 1925/26; they had to reapply to join the Football League and luckily no-one else submitted an application that season, so retained their place by default, because with extremely poor crowds and attempts to merge the club with Catford South End they were in very real danger of being replaced. Millwall’s lowest ever finish is 9th in Division Four in 1958/59.

Millwall's historical average league position is 46th and Charlton's is 33rd. Which is probably a good indicator of the types of clubs both are: Charlton Athletic are an extremely mediocre football club, which has enjoyed brief periods of amazing success. Whereas Millwall are a bit more of a a roller-coaster club, winning promotion from the third tier and enjoying a few good seasons, before crashing back down and starting the cycle again. This is supported by the fact that Millwall actually have a higher historic average finishing position as a second tier club (33rd / 13th in Championship) than Charlton (34th / 14th in Championship). Indeed, in the three decades between relegation from the top tier (1957) and promotion back to it (1986), Charlton only finished above mid-table in the second tier 9 times, with an average second tier position of 35th (15th in what is now the Championship), compared to Millwall, who finished above mid-table in the second tier 10 times, with an average second tier position of 33rd (13th in what is now the Championship).

Since the introduction of the four divisions in 1958, Millwall’s average finishing position is 42nd, and Charlton Athletic’s average finishing position in that time is 33rd – making both Championship level clubs on average.

In the last decade, Millwall’s average finishing position is 40th - which translates as 20th in the Championship; whereas Charlton’s is 45th – which translates as 1st in League One. Indeed, in the last ten years Millwall have played seven seasons of Championship football compared to Charlton Athletic’s four seasons.

Therefore, Millwall have certainly been the more successful team in the last ten years. Moreover, the highest position achieved by either club in the last decade is 8th in the Championship (Millwall 2017/18) and the lowest position is 13th (twice) in League One, both achieved by Charlton (2010/11 and 2016/17). Millwall’s lowest position in that period is 6th in League One (2016/17), when they won promotion via the Play-offs. Millwall have also reached three FA Cup Quarter Finals (2013, 2017, 2019) and one FA Cup Semi-Final (2013) in that period (claiming 5 Premier League scalps, including that of the current Champions, Leicester City), plus the Football League Trophy Semi-Finals (2016); compared to Charlton’s one FA Cup Quarter Final appearance (2014), which is the only time they have even got past the 3rd Round in the last ten years, having failed to even reach the 3rd Round on four occasions.

In terms of league honours, Millwall have won divisional titles on 5 occasions (1 second tier; 3 third tier and 1 fourth tier), compared to Charlton’s 4 (1 second tier and 3 third tier) divisional titles.
 

Moody

Well-known member
Major honours and other achievements:

Charlton Athletic won the FA Cup in 1947. Bizarrely, they have an appalling record in cup competitions other than that 1947 victory and Runners-Up medal in 1946, only getting past the 5th Round of the FA Cup on seven occasions in their entire history; compared to Millwall, who have got past the 5th Round 11 times and are recognised as the greatest giant killers in FA Cup history, having knocked out more holders and reigning Champions than any other club. Charlton have played in two finals, impressively back-to-back (1946 and 1947); Millwall only one (2004; although did reach the 1945 War-Time FA Cup Final), Charlton have played in two FA Cup Semi-Finals, again back-to-back (1946 & 1947), compared to Millwall’s five FA Cup Semi-Final appearances (1900, 1903, 1937, 2004 and 2013).

Millwall do have an excellent FA Youth Cup pedigree too, having reached three finals (1979, 1991 and 1994) and winning two of them (1979 and 1991). Charlton Athletic were Runners-Up in 1987.

Millwall, technically, have won a major honour. The Football League Trophy started as a competition that included clubs from all four divisions and so when Millwall won it in 1983 it was technically a major honour by definition, with that season’s First Division Runners-Up Watford one of the participants. However, sadly this pales into insignificance compared to Charlton’s FA Cup win, which Millwall, as officially the best giant killers in FA Cup history, are rightly envious of.

Millwall are the only south London club to have competed in a major European competition, the 2004/05 UEFA Cup and remain unbeaten on home soil in Europe, having held Hungarian Champions Ferencvaros to a 1-1 draw at The Den. Sadly, the team packed with internationals were too strong in Budapest and Millwall lost 3-1.

Millwall once went 59 consecutive home league games unbeaten, an achievement only surpassed by Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Chelsea. Millwall have also remained unbeaten at home on five different occasions and in four different divisions.

Millwall hold the record for most home league goals scored in a season – 87 in 1927/28.

Millwall hold the record for most official fans at both the old and new Wembley stadiums: 47,349 v Wigan Athletic in the 1999 Auto Windscreens Shield Final and 49,661 for the League One Play-Off Final v Scunthorpe United in 2009.

Charlton Athletic hold the 8th highest ever home attendance in English football, with a crowd of 75,031 for a FA Cup 5th Round match v Aston Villa in 1938.

Charlton Athletic hold the joint record for highest ever scoring draw, when they drew 6-6 with Middlesbrough in 1960.

Charlton Athletic are the only club to ever lose an FA Cup game but still reach the final. The 1945/46 FA Cup had a two-leg format to help boast club coffers after the war and Charlton lost 2-1 away to Fulham in the 3rd Round, but had already won the first leg 3-1. They lost 4-1 to Derby County in the final.
 

Overseaswall

Well-known member
Major honours and other achievements:

Charlton Athletic won the FA Cup in 1947. Bizarrely, they have an appalling record in cup competitions other than that 1947 victory and Runners-Up medal in 1946, only getting past the 5th Round of the FA Cup on seven occasions in their entire history; compared to Millwall, who have got past the 5th Round 11 times and are recognised as the greatest giant killers in FA Cup history, having knocked out more holders and reigning Champions than any other club. Charlton have played in two finals, impressively back-to-back (1946 and 1947); Millwall only one (2004; although did reach the 1945 War-Time FA Cup Final), Charlton have played in two FA Cup Semi-Finals, again back-to-back (1946 & 1947), compared to Millwall’s five FA Cup Semi-Final appearances (1900, 1903, 1937, 2004 and 2013).

Millwall do have an excellent FA Youth Cup pedigree too, having reached three finals (1979, 1991 and 1994) and winning two of them (1979 and 1991). Charlton Athletic were Runners-Up in 1987.

Millwall, technically, have won a major honour. The Football League Trophy started as a competition that included clubs from all four divisions and so when Millwall won it in 1983 it was technically a major honour by definition, with that season’s First Division Runners-Up Watford one of the participants. However, sadly this pales into insignificance compared to Charlton’s FA Cup win, which Millwall, as officially the best giant killers in FA Cup history, are rightly envious of.

Millwall are the only south London club to have competed in a major European competition, the 2004/05 UEFA Cup and remain unbeaten on home soil in Europe, having held Hungarian Champions Ferencvaros to a 1-1 draw at The Den. Sadly, the team packed with internationals were too strong in Budapest and Millwall lost 3-1.

Millwall once went 59 consecutive home league games unbeaten, an achievement only surpassed by Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Chelsea. Millwall have also remained unbeaten at home on five different occasions and in four different divisions.

Millwall hold the record for most home league goals scored in a season – 87 in 1927/28.

Millwall hold the record for most official fans at both the old and new Wembley stadiums: 47,349 v Wigan Athletic in the 1999 Auto Windscreens Shield Final and 49,661 for the League One Play-Off Final v Scunthorpe United in 2009.

Charlton Athletic hold the 8th highest ever home attendance in English football, with a crowd of 75,031 for a FA Cup 5th Round match v Aston Villa in 1938.

Charlton Athletic hold the joint record for highest ever scoring draw, when they drew 6-6 with Middlesbrough in 1960.

Charlton Athletic are the only club to ever lose an FA Cup game but still reach the final. The 1945/46 FA Cup had a two-leg format to help boast club coffers after the war and Charlton lost 2-1 away to Fulham in the 3rd Round, but had already won the first leg 3-1. They lost 4-1 to Derby County in the final.
I love the Wembley record great to be the biggest small club in the world
 

The lions mane

Well-known member
This is one of the most local of local derbies in the country, with The Valley and The Den only 4 miles apart as the crow flies. However, it only became a local derby when two important events took place: Millwall moving across the river in 1910 and Charlton finally turning professional in 1920.

Millwall were founded by a group of tin smiths working at the Morton & Co. cannery and preserve factory beside the Millwall Dock on the Isle of Dogs in 1885. The idea was simply to give other local sides a decent game. However, by the 1890s Millwall were the joint pioneers (with Arsenal) of professional football in London and the south, an area where football was still considered the preserve of gentleman and amateurs. Millwall founded the Southern League, the first professional league in the south, and were its dominant force, winning the first title without defeat and the second having only lost once. The Football League invited the club to join their Second Division, but Millwall declined, citing travel expenses as a barrier. During this period the Millwall earned their now famous nickname of ‘Lions’. They had been known as the ‘Dockers’, but victories over the northern and midlands giants of Aston Villa, Derby County, Preston North End and Everton on runs to the FA Cup Semi-Finals of 1900 and 1903 led to the press of the era calling the club the ‘Lions of the South’. Millwall decided to cross over the Thames in 1910, having outgrown their cramped island home, but many Dockers from the East End joined their brothers in the Surrey Docks area in following the club in their new New Cross home.

Charlton Athletic were founded, much like Millwall, by a group of friends in 1905. Charlton got the nickname the Addicks on account of some of the very first players working in a fish and chip shop owned by Arthur Bryan, who took to attending matches in his straw boater and apron, waving a smoked haddock on the end of a stick. It is interesting that these young friends chose the suffix of ‘Athletic’ for their new team, what with Millwall Athletic playing literally just over the river in North Greenwich at the time, a team considered one of the leading lights of London and southern football in the decade leading up to Charlton’s formation. Unlike Millwall, Charlton Athletic were happy with simply remaining a strong local amateur side, only becoming a senior club after Arsenal left Woolwich in 1913 and not turning professional until they had witnessed fellow SE London clubs Millwall and Crystal Palace join the Football League in 1920 as founding members of the Third Division, which was essentially absorbing the Southern League Millwall had pioneered 25 years previously into the Football League. When the Football League decided to have a Third Division (South) and a Third Division (North) in 1921, it created two extra places and the newly professional Charlton Athletic were accepted into the Football League for the 1921/22 season, after spending the previous 16 years essentially playing as a local park side and a SE London derby with Millwall was born. Unable to attract decent crowds Charlton did experiment with playing in Catford soon after joining the League, but soon returned to SE7.

The only two decades that the two SE London rivals have not met is the 1940s (3 seasons) and the 1950s.

Millwall and Charlton Athletic have played each other 74 times (72 in the league and 2 in Anglo-Italian Cup), with Millwall winning 35 times, compared to 12 wins for Charlton Athletic and 27 draws.

Millwall have only lost 6 league games to Charlton in the last 84 years.

Charlton have only ever won four league games at The Den (old and new) and one in the Anglo-Italian Cup in their history.

Charlton have done the league double over Millwall three times - 1921/22 (their first season in FL), 1934/35 and 1995/96.

Millwall have done the league double over Charlton nine times - 1923/24, 1924/25, 1931/32, 1932/33, 1968/69, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1988/89, 1992/93.

Millwall have not lost in the last ten meetings, winning 5 and drawing 5, scoring 16 goals and conceding 9.

The first meeting was on New Year’s Eve 1921 at The Den in front of 25,000 and ended 1-0 to the visitors. The first meeting at The Valley was on the 14th of January 1922 and ended 2-1 to the Addicks in front of 18,000. Charlton wouldn’t taste success again in this fixture for a further 8 years and 14 meetings. Millwall’s first win came the following season, 2-1 at The Valley on 11th November 1922, having drawn 1-1 at The Den the previous Saturday.

If you accept that a thrashing is a victory by 3 or more goals, Millwall have handed Charlton a thrashing on seven occasions: 4-1 at The Valley in 1926; 3-0 at The Den 1926; 5-0 at The Den in 1928; 6-0 at The Den in 1931; 4-1 at The Valley in 1933; 3-0 at Selhurst Park in 1988; and 4-0 at The Den in 2010.

Charlton have never beaten Millwall by more than two clear goals.

The highest scoring match was on 19th December 2009 in League One, when the Lions grabbed a stoppage time equaliser to make it 4-4 at The Valley.

Both Millwall and Charlton Athletic are historically second tier clubs at heart. Indeed, very few clubs have played as much second tier football as Millwall and Charlton have, in fact only Cardiff City (47 seasons) of the clubs that joined the Football League in the early 1920s have. Millwall having played 43 seasons of second tier football in their history and Charlton Athletic 46 seasons. Since the introduction of the four divisions in 1958, Millwall’s average finishing position is 42nd, and Charlton Athletic’s average finishing position in that time is 33rd – making both Championship level clubs on average. In the last ten years Millwall have played seven seasons of Championship football compared to Charlton Athletic’s four seasons.
What an interesting piece well done and researched
 

ballsey

Well-known member
This is one of the most local of local derbies in the country, with The Valley and The Den only 4 miles apart as the crow flies. However, it only became a local derby when two important events took place: Millwall moving across the river in 1910 and Charlton finally turning professional in 1920.

Millwall were founded by a group of tin smiths working at the Morton & Co. cannery and preserve factory beside the Millwall Dock on the Isle of Dogs in 1885. The idea was simply to give other local sides a decent game. However, by the 1890s Millwall were the joint pioneers (with Arsenal) of professional football in London and the south, an area where football was still considered the preserve of gentleman and amateurs. Millwall founded the Southern League, the first professional league in the south, and were its dominant force, winning the first title without defeat and the second having only lost once. The Football League invited the club to join their Second Division, but Millwall declined, citing travel expenses as a barrier. During this period the Millwall earned their now famous nickname of ‘Lions’. They had been known as the ‘Dockers’, but victories over the northern and midlands giants of Aston Villa, Derby County, Preston North End and Everton on runs to the FA Cup Semi-Finals of 1900 and 1903 led to the press of the era calling the club the ‘Lions of the South’. Millwall decided to cross over the Thames in 1910, having outgrown their cramped island home, but many Dockers from the East End joined their brothers in the Surrey Docks area in following the club in their new New Cross home.

Charlton Athletic were founded, much like Millwall, by a group of friends in 1905. Charlton got the nickname the Addicks on account of some of the very first players working in a fish and chip shop owned by Arthur Bryan, who took to attending matches in his straw boater and apron, waving a smoked haddock on the end of a stick. It is interesting that these young friends chose the suffix of ‘Athletic’ for their new team, what with Millwall Athletic playing literally just over the river in North Greenwich at the time, a team considered one of the leading lights of London and southern football in the decade leading up to Charlton’s formation. Unlike Millwall, Charlton Athletic were happy with simply remaining a strong local amateur side, only becoming a senior club after Arsenal left Woolwich in 1913 and not turning professional until they had witnessed fellow SE London clubs Millwall and Crystal Palace join the Football League in 1920 as founding members of the Third Division, which was essentially absorbing the Southern League Millwall had pioneered 25 years previously into the Football League. When the Football League decided to have a Third Division (South) and a Third Division (North) in 1921, it created two extra places and the newly professional Charlton Athletic were accepted into the Football League for the 1921/22 season, after spending the previous 16 years essentially playing as a local park side and a SE London derby with Millwall was born. Unable to attract decent crowds Charlton did experiment with playing in Catford soon after joining the League, but soon returned to SE7.

The only two decades that the two SE London rivals have not met is the 1940s (3 seasons) and the 1950s.

Millwall and Charlton Athletic have played each other 74 times (72 in the league and 2 in Anglo-Italian Cup), with Millwall winning 35 times, compared to 12 wins for Charlton Athletic and 27 draws.

Millwall have only lost 6 league games to Charlton in the last 84 years.

Charlton have only ever won four league games at The Den (old and new) and one in the Anglo-Italian Cup in their history.

Charlton have done the league double over Millwall three times - 1921/22 (their first season in FL), 1934/35 and 1995/96.

Millwall have done the league double over Charlton nine times - 1923/24, 1924/25, 1931/32, 1932/33, 1968/69, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1988/89, 1992/93.

Millwall have not lost in the last ten meetings, winning 5 and drawing 5, scoring 16 goals and conceding 9.

The first meeting was on New Year’s Eve 1921 at The Den in front of 25,000 and ended 1-0 to the visitors. The first meeting at The Valley was on the 14th of January 1922 and ended 2-1 to the Addicks in front of 18,000. Charlton wouldn’t taste success again in this fixture for a further 8 years and 14 meetings. Millwall’s first win came the following season, 2-1 at The Valley on 11th November 1922, having drawn 1-1 at The Den the previous Saturday.

If you accept that a thrashing is a victory by 3 or more goals, Millwall have handed Charlton a thrashing on seven occasions: 4-1 at The Valley in 1926; 3-0 at The Den 1926; 5-0 at The Den in 1928; 6-0 at The Den in 1931; 4-1 at The Valley in 1933; 3-0 at Selhurst Park in 1988; and 4-0 at The Den in 2010.

Charlton have never beaten Millwall by more than two clear goals.

The highest scoring match was on 19th December 2009 in League One, when the Lions grabbed a stoppage time equaliser to make it 4-4 at The Valley.

Both Millwall and Charlton Athletic are historically second tier clubs at heart. Indeed, very few clubs have played as much second tier football as Millwall and Charlton have, in fact only Cardiff City (47 seasons) of the clubs that joined the Football League in the early 1920s have. Millwall having played 43 seasons of second tier football in their history and Charlton Athletic 46 seasons. Since the introduction of the four divisions in 1958, Millwall’s average finishing position is 42nd, and Charlton Athletic’s average finishing position in that time is 33rd – making both Championship level clubs on average. In the last ten years Millwall have played seven seasons of Championship football compared to Charlton Athletic’s four seasons.
I went to that ango tango game, alan McCleary played and scored for them.