OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH BY SEAN GRAHAM

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OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH
BY SEAN GRAHAM

It is not often that the Montrose programme makes the news down south but that is exactly what happened last week.

Ever since I wrote the article about Millwall, things have gone a bit mad recently with so many people getting in contact about the article and thanking Montrose for their support.

It really is amazing what the power of social media can do!

First of all it was the guys from the Millwall Ams Group (these guys are a fully supported independent fan group) but Micky and the guys have been magnificent in giving me their full backing and support and they have pointed me in the direction of others who may be interested in the article, they even used it on their own website.

The power of things like Twitter and Facebook, means that more and more fans get to see these articles and know that the club are not alone in their fight.

It also means that, more and more folk can contact you about the article, if they are interested and that is exactly what has happened.

Ayse from the Lions Roar- the longest running Millwall fanzine and Billy from the official Millwall match programme, started to wonder who had written this article and obviously from them knowing and the guys from the Millwall Ams, kept spreading the word also.

From this came something I never expected, a phone call from John Kelly from the Southwark News to say that he was amazed that a story about Millwall would appear in the Montrose programme.

John has kindly allowed me to share the article alongside this week’s column in the programme and I thank him for doing that and Micky and the guys from the Millwall Ams, Ayse and every Millwall fan who got in touch or retweeted the story.

They just may have given the council grounds to thing again!

The fight does go on but the club did get a bit of good news this week.

The CPO decision has been called in for review after it was found that there were insufficient grounds for a compelling case in public interest.

What people tend to forget, the fact that the Millwall Community Trust and the guys like the ones mentioned above, do so much for the local community and this would be the worst decision ever to let this CPO go through.

One day this could be your club one the end of one of these decisions and then you will know just how the Millwall fans are feeling.

In sharing this article from the Southwark News, it just goes to show, the power of fan power and fans with pens or PC’s can be heard just as loud as an angry mob shouting outside your door- the football family look out for each other.

Perhaps Millwall and Montrose may meet in a friendly in the future, just to say thanks for their support when the Lions needed friends on their side in their fight for justice.

Somehow, I don’t think that this will be the last time I will be mentioning Millwall in the Montrose programme this season and I would like to think our friends down south would keep an eye out for Montrose in the future and mention them too.
MILLWALL’S LEWISHAM COUNCIL BATTLE FINDS ITS WAY INTO MATCH PROGRAMME OF SCOTTISH LEAGUE CLUB MONTROSE
Scottish football fan Sean Graham was in London recently when he learned of the Council’s decision to begin the process of handing land around The Den

As Millwall were battling on the pitch with Coventry City last weekend, their battle off it with Lewisham Council was being brought to the attention of a different football crowd over 500 miles north, writes John Kelly.

Scottish football fan Sean Graham was in London recently when he learned of the Council’s decision to begin the process of handing land around The Den over to property developer Renewal.

He felt so strongly about it he penned a piece for Montrose’s match programme for their Scottish League Two fixture with Cowdenbeath last Saturday.

“Sometimes something just grabs your attention and you know that you have to speak out about it, today is one of those days,” he wrote.

“Just recently, I was in London in the Southwark area on a family holiday and I had picked up a copy of the Southwark News to look at what was going on in the world of football in that area.

“I noticed how much work a certain club were doing in the community and also that they were having problems with their local council and a property developer as they tried to muscle in on their land.

“I had thought no more about it until I looked at Twitter and then I felt I had to try and help them in some small way by signing the petition and by writing this article.”

Sean, has been writing columns for the Montrose and Premiership club Aberdeen match programmes for a number of years.

And he says he has been overwhelmed by the response to the Millwall piece.

“Anybody that knows me knows I love football and music and writing stories,” Sean told the News.

“I picked up on the Millwall thing down in London and I didn’t know what to write about for my next article but I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to write about that’.

“There’s a bit of a Scottish football link: Alex Rae used to play for Millwall. So I said let’s see if it gets any interest and it did.

“I can’t believe the interest it’s generated on Twitter. Millwall fans have contacted me to say, ‘Thanks for writing that, Sean, that was amazing’.

“The one thing I can do is write about it, especially when you’re a football fan and you see the way a club is being treated.

“These guys used to get such bad press, the Millwall supporters. I thought I’d write the article and try to get them some decent press.

“Millwall have done a lot of good work and Millwall fans have done a lot of good work.”

Sean has never been to The Den but hopes to make it to a game this season. He also says he will contact Montrose – whose best achievement was winning the old Scottish Division Two title in 1985 and who have an average attendance this season of just under 600 – to let them know how much attention his article has attracted from Lions fans. “They’ll be interested to see the reaction to a piece in one of their programmes.

“It’s grown arms and legs. The first part of this week I was ill so it’s really picked me up and given me a lift. I’d love to get to The Den and meet all these people who have been tweeting me and contacting me.

“I think over the past two weeks Millwall’s got a special place in my heart. I’m only doing what I feel is right as a football fan. Millwall have done so much for the surrounding area and I think the council could do a lot more.”

Sean, who intends to write more on the subject on his own blog, ended his programme piece with a call to arms to all football fans. “They sing, ‘we are Millwall, super Millwall, no one likes us, we don’t care’, but it is time for the football world to show that they care and care as much as these guys do about their club.”

@FeaturesSean