My Father and Me
Growing up, my old man used to take me to Millwall games. He used to buy me a season ticket every year, even though my mother hated me going to football and would be angry with him.
My Father supported Millwall all his life, and of course, got me to support the mighty lions.
I remember him going to Cardiff for the FA Cup Final in 2004 and being a young child, not being allowed to go. He taped the whole match for me and I still watch it to this day.
I went every match until 2nd May 2008 when my Father suffered a heart attack and passed away. I was only 8 years old at the time and I’m thankful that I was by his side when he passed, but that day has impacted on my life ever since. The football season was over, and from that day I refused to buy another season ticket. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing the Den and thinking of my father, so I just stopped going.
When I heard that my beloved club had made it to Wembley for the Playoff Final in 2009, I couldn’t stay away, and I went to the game. From then on I went to every Wembley appearance, but I still couldn’t face the Den.
2013 when the FA Cup Semi Final Vs Wigan was to be played at Wembley, I found the courage to go back to Millwall. I watched the boys get thrashed, and by the end of the match I knew I had to go back to my roots and do what my Dad would have wanted. I bought a season ticket and have gone to every home game since, sitting in Block 7 CBL, alongside my father’s best mates.
‘Echoes of the Den’
After a while, I got so fed up of typing Millwall into google and seeing only YouTube videos of violence and hooliganism. I knew I had to do something. It was the anniversary of my father’s death, and after visiting his old flat to lay flowers as I do every year, I sat down at my computer. I wanted to create something for Millwall supporters, for them to remember how things were, and feel that old sense of pride and community. I hoped it might even be something for non-supporters to watch and look at Millwall in a new light.
It took a while, but I came up with ‘Echoes of the Den’, a video compilation of all the things I love about the club. It took about 4 hours to get the audio clips together, but I didn’t want to rush it.
At 11pm on 2nd May 2015, I uploaded the video. I felt nervous, I wanted people to enjoy it, but I didn’t care about negative responses. I made it for my father, and as a thank you to Millwall Football Club for being there for me, for giving me a family when I didn’t have one left at home.
I posted the video on Twitter and Facebook, and @thisismillwall (now closed down) retweeted it first. It got over two thousand views, and even now I still receive positive messages from other fans that have viewed it.
Thank you for letting me share my story. My name is Will Mclaughlin Ewart, I’m 15 years old. @MclaughlinEwart