The Terry Cochrane Season: 1986/87 Away Trips with Uncle Bertie
August – new season and a new beginning. George Graham departed to Arsenal in
the summer to be replaced by another jock, John Docherty. A good track record at Brentford and Cambridge, but nothing too exciting. And although this season was to be limited to say the least, little did we know of the tremendous journey ahead.
Paddington station on a hot summer’s day and the short trip to Royal Berkshire to play the Biscuitmen opened the campaign. A big away turnout saw Budgie Byrne score the only goal on his debut at the now defunct Elm Park. A good win but was this the shape of things to come?
|2||26-Aug-86||Hull City||(H)||L 0-1|
September – a long trip to Sheffield on a Tuesday night on the Master Cutler from St Pancras. On a wet pitch at Bramall Lane the fine away form continued and when Sheringham put Millwall in front on 68 minutes, we were actually top of the league. Sadly it wasn’t to last, late goals from Beagrie and Foley past debutant keeper Brian Horne meant we returned to London on the grotty overnight train pointless. More red and stripes away on the Saturday this time at Stoke City, and it was sadly all over in the first half as George Berry (he with the massive afro) and a Graham Shaw penalty scored the only goals of the game. Heavily policed – and returned straight to Euston on a special.
Two weeks later a boiling hot day at Derby where the sun beamed on the away end and we had the pleasure of a mercurial Michael Marks opener. Bobby Davison cancelled this out in the second half honours even, and Paul Fishenden’s debut in a trilogy of completely
unremarkable performances. Again escorted back to the station, no word of a lie Barry Cryer and Bernard Bresslaw boarded the train at Leicester after watching their beloved yids.
|4||02-Sep-86||Sheff Utd||(A)||L 1-2|
October – Selhurst Park and the Nigels. Another scorcher but more depressingly a 2-1 defeat yet again after taking the lead. What was it about this hellhole at the time Sheringham’s early goal cancelled out by goals from Anton (a great favourite of mine, until he left) and Finnigan a former bad boy now a top player’s agent. I don’t know what is worse. The following Tuesday and my one and only visit to Fellows Park, Walsall. Sheringham’s goal after 30 minutes enough to take a lead into the second leg against Division 3 opponents. The last time Millwall were to play at this splendid location.
Oldham away on a Friday night, a plastic pitch as well. Another 2-1 defeat Linighan and Williams goals either side of a pint sized Darren Morgan leveller. Instantly forgettable.Twelve days later and a League Cup visit to top division Norwich City. We lost 4-1 to a Hodgson hat trick and Drinkell penalty, David Byrne scoring our consolation. Despite the scoreline we gave a good account of ourselves, and miles better than the Johnny Granville 6-1 the previous season.
|9||04-Oct-86||C Palace||(A)||L 1-2|
November – Grimsby away on the following Saturday. Freezing cold, miserable and wet -but only a 1-0 defeat this time to a Kevin Moore goal. Of course the obligatory sending off to go with it this time in Alan Walker. Indeed our only sending offs in this season were
against Grimsby home and away. (Terry Hurlock famously flattening Scott McGarvey later in the season at The Den).
Pompey away in the Full Members Cup the following Tuesday and we weren’t banned this time. But not many of us made the trip for this pointless competition, hardly surprising as we only had 967 for the home game against West Brom two weeks previous. We had the pleasure of John Leslie’s late equaliser, although this meant enduring extra time
and bowing out to three Kevin Dillon penalties – Marks scoring a late consolation.West Brom away and Terry Cochrane’s one and only appearance. If my memory serves me right, he was brought down for the penalty – from which Sheringham scored the winner. I’ll always remember the bizarre turnstiles at the Hawthorns, where the operator stood behind a big white board with his hand coming out through a little hole for money. We witnessed a stunning performance from Brian Horne in this game. A long walk back to Smethwick Rolfe Street for the special back to Euston.
|16||22-Nov-86||West Brom||(A)||W 1-0|
December – a long trip to Roker Park, to see a team that was more depressed than
us. In fact they sank to Division 3 at the end of this particular season. A tiny crowd of just over 10000 witnessed Michael Marks score in a 1-1 draw. The usual lift in the police vans back to Seaburn station.
After Hull City away on a Sunday was postponed, next up was a trip to Birmingham City on the Monday night after Christmas. Les Briley cancelling out a Dennis Mortimer opener. The escort back to the station was a disgrace. It went on forever in torrential rain with the
local constabulary aggressive to our own fans, while allowing the home yobs to come at us at all angles. Bundled on a special back from New Street to Euston.
January – New Years Day at 12.00pm at The Goldstone Ground – and another drenching on the open away terrace. At least we actually won with a Marks goal after 30 minutes. Sadly his last away goal for the club. Where is he now? A reasonable return of 11 goals in this particular season. Mansfield and Fisher followed for him, but not a clue after this. Bradford City 16 days later, now back at Valley Parade. An awful 4-0 defeat in a stadium totally surrounded by snow but not evident on the pitch. To make matters worse two of the goals scored by that lank who was a complete jinx to us – Ian Ormondroyd [Ed – aka Hemorrhoid] .
An FA Cup replay at Cardiff City three days later. A 2-2 draw with goals by Leslie and a superb late strike from Darren Morgan meaning another long dark trip to Wales 6 days later. The snowballs coming over the back of the away end extremely dangerous and as in 1999 when this was rocks, very little done about it by the local plod. Six days passed and back on the same bleak open terrace on a Monday night, this time to lose to a Chris Pike goal. As with the previous week, a special train ran from Ninian Park back to Paddington returning extremely late. These were dark grim days indeed.
February – Barnsley away and we could actually see the game this time. But it really wasn’t worth seeing a dire 1-0 defeat to a Jim Dobbin second half goal. Gerry Armstrong’s away debut in a short loan spell with the club. Blackburn away two weeks later and another 1-0 defeat to a Simon Barker penalty. A poor swap for the excellent 2-1 win a year earlier. A crowd of just over 5000, anyone who thinks Blackburn away this
season will be attractive – think again. What a dreadful two away games in this month. I can’t really think of worse than this in 28 years following the club. Two long trips to grim northern towns – and however much you try, you can never get back to the London terminus until at least 2100.
|27||14-Feb-87||Sheff Utd||(H)||W 1-0|
March– a long trip to Plymouth and another 1-0 defeat to a late goal from prolific scouser Tommy Tynan. The treatment from the old bill after this game was one of the worst I’ve known. Held in an underground parcels loading bay at Plymouth station for over an hour with no chance of escape – and hemmed in a couple of carriages all the way back to Paddington arriving about 2230. Trevor Booker’s only league appearance for the Lions.
Next up Shrewsbury away. And a delightfully sunny spring day at tranquil Gay Meadow. This was the life. Early goals by Mehmet and Sheringham, with the hosts only reply from David Geddis A tiny 2799 crowd, the only time Millwall scored more than one goal away from home in this season and you couldn’t ask for a more low key away trip. Even the police were less prominent on this day. After being escorted straight into the ground the previous season, it was a pleasure to tour this medieval town this time round.
|33||28-Mar-87||C Palace||(H)||L 0-1|
April – a second trip to Elland Road again overrated a grey old day – and a lot
more low key this time. A 2-0 defeat to goals from Ritchie and Baird. The only sad thing to remember, that Millwall wore yellow Leeds away shirts on this day.
Hull City away ten days later on a Tuesday night – and Sheringham’s early goal cancelled out by Frankie Bunn and Richard Jobson (not the one from The Skids). I counted the away turnout as 22 on this evening; I can’t recall a lower one and something that wouldn’t happen nowadays. Ended up catching a late train from Hull to Doncaster to pick up the Scottish overnight train. Two of our younger fans approached John Docherty to see if they could get a lift on the team coach, but were met by the comment “Go and pull a couple of birds and stay with them the night”.
The first trip in many years to Portman Road Ipswich took place the following Tuesday night. This was one of our better performances taking part in a hard fought 0-0 draw witnessed by a good away turnout. This nights unusual fact they let the away fans out first and locked the home fans in the ground much to their dismay.
|36||14-Apr-87||Hull City||(A)||L 1-2|
|39||25-Apr-87||West Brom||(H)||L 0-1|
May – despite being allowed in for the Full Members Cup earlier in the season, we were again banned from Fratton Park. A friend of mine managed to obtain a ticket for the home end. To avoid plod we travelled down on the train through to Portsmouth Harbour in suits and ties, had a low profile drink in the historic part of town and travelled by taxi to the ground. Although not ideal, far better than wandering round the ground aimlessly like the previous season. With hindsight it may have been better not to go this day, as it was all about Pompey as they clinched promotion to Division One. Millwall were only there to make up the numbers, as we went down 2-0 to goals from Mariner and O’Callaghan and wild ‘on pitch’ celebrations. We escaped back to Fratton station as quick as possible for a train back to Waterloo and suitably had the mickey taken out of us for our attire
from some fellow Lions fans who had also managed to beat the ban that day, but without taking our over the top precautions.
To finish off this sorry season of away travels, a trip to the unremarkable town of Huddersfield. Like the first game the previous season baking hot, but instead of being on the wrong side of a 4-3 thriller, a miserable 3-0 defeat to second half goals from Joey Jones (who had seen better days) and a brace from David Cork – ex of Arsenal. For the second Saturday running we were to witness wild on the pitch celebrations, but instead of promotion as Pompey the previous week, this time to recognise a 17th place finish. One lower than us even. Some people are easily pleased!
A totally forgettable season away from home which started off so well at Reading back in August. We were only to score two goals away once in the league at glorious Gay Meadow. To be part of an away turnout of 22 at Hull City (how different this would be the following season) and also conceded to a Kevin O’Callaghan goal at Pompey. Little did we know that things would change dramatically during the forthcoming summer with a transfer revolution? Please watch this space for the next exciting installment.
For more information on the 1986-87 season please click here to be directed to the Millwall history web-site.
Re-posted with Permision from