Why fans of small clubs sing the loudest - a tribute to my granddad.


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It's funny, because he wasn't perfect and I'm sure many can relate to that too... as he was a product of his time and place...

He could be stubborn... He once made it very clear how annoyed he was at my cousin's wedding because he hadn't been formally introduced to the bride's family & that he was on table 3!

He could be very hard... even as kids you were in big trouble if you didn't eat all your dinner. This was someone who grew up in the depression in a tough area. No ice cream for grandkids that left their carrots. And he once thought fish n chips was good enough for a wedding anniversary, rather than go to the restaurant we had booked.

Yet, I wish I was more like him, that people were more like him...

He never swore. Neither my mum or uncle ever heard him swear they say. I never did either, despite Millwall's best efforts. Not that he was against others swearing, he loved the Dockers letting rip. He just never did. And wouldn't agree with it in front of women or children.

He always dressed smartly. And took pride in his appearance, not in a vain way, but out of respect. For example, he suffered a stroke last year and his first thoughts whilst recovering were about getting his electric shaver so he could look smart for the doctors, nurses and visitors. He was of the generation that wore suits to the football. He was the same with his house and especially the garden. It put me to shame how well kept his garden was compared to mine - even at 88, before his stroke, he was out cutting the grass and weeding. He used to often win 'best garden' back when councils did that sort of thing and council estates were made up of good, honest people.

He was tough and brave... during the blitz he was only 13, but was the one who made sure everyone got down Kennigton tube station safe. Later on serving in the RAF. He recovered from that stroke last year with no side effects. In 2011 he had a very serious operation and they told him it was extremely risky at his age. He wanted to do it for quality of life and told me he would survive as he was determined to see his first great grandchild - my daughter - born a few months later. He did. He was decorating the dinning room when I visited about 6 months later.

And once, me and my sister untied the rope keeping our dingy near the shore. We were about 11 and 9 and started to drift out to sea. Once we realised and my family realised we were drifting off into the channel, we were about a quarter of a mile out. My dad went to get the lifeguard, but couldn't find them. My grandad, 61, jumped in and swam out to us. After a big rest in the dingy he got me to get in water with him and help paddle my sister back in - his reassurance and guidance helping me do it.

And I suppose that's all you can ever ask of a granddad.
He was your granddad, Moody. But what you have described is, one way or another, our respective dads for many of us of a certain age on MO.

They just don't make them like that any more.
Excellent read, so sorry for your loss. I think we all have a similar story, my dad died far too young 23 years ago and i still think of him every day. God bless mate and remember the good times.
My outstanding memory of my grandad is every time I used to see him when I was a kid he used say ‘Awight Buster?’ in a proper south London accent, then do a little boxing move and give me a perfectly weighted dig in the stomach, nothing that would hurt just a little playful punch, then give me a handshake and almost crush my hand in doing so.

Only the other day my mum was telling me how he’d come in on a Saturday night from The Den doing his nut about ‘that poxy referee’ and my Nan asking why does he bother going Millwall all he does is moan, and he could never answer why except the next game he’d be there come rain or shine. It’s that loyalty that’s been instilled in me and all of us and also why it’s been passed down to my 10yr old boy, win or lose, top or bottom of the league, we’re there....come rain or shine.


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That is an excellent piece of writing/memory/tribute Moody. Your grandfather sounds like so many from that era and area even, if you can pass some of that, some of him onto your children then he lives on.
A lovely tribute of the memories of your granddad any may he rest in piece and its nice of you relay your thoughts to us all. I, unfortunately had no father or granddads who were interested as such in going to the Den, so l can't never write any eulogies. But thank you Moody for enlightening me.


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Again, all your kind words have been much appreciated.

He was certainly a rock in my life, with my dad always in trouble and my mum turning to drink. Gonna miss him greatly.

Has been good to hear so many of your great memories of loved ones too. Thank you.


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Can I ask, did your grandfather have an influence in your early career choice, it was the RAF wasn't it? Am I also correct in thinking that you took him to the play off final v Barnsley?


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Can I ask, did your grandfather have an influence in your early career choice, it was the RAF wasn't it? Am I also correct in thinking that you took him to the play off final v Barnsley?
I guess he did, as my family down my nan's line were all navy and merchant navy. And did think of joining them. But plucked for the RAF as liked idea of following in his steps.

Yes, I took him to the Barnsley game - Wembley staff were great.
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Sorry for your loss Moody, RIP to your Grandad. A great piece of writing, one of the best I've read as a tribute and about what it means to be a Millwall supporter.

I am sure there are some clubs that could be similar, but to be honest, following Wall is unique in so many ways.


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Sorry to hear of your loss Moody I lost my mum on Thursday she was 92 she was a Millwall widow but she given a good grounding her dad and 8 brothers were all Millwall as is my sister brother and myself
And sorry to hear of yours.

They were a tough generation - survived childhood in industrial London during the depression, then the blitz and the tough times rebuilding.

But also, what a great time to live through and tell the tale!