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The history between West Ham and Millwall

West Ham United and Millwall have been rivals for way over a century and it remains one of the bitterest rivalries in English football.

It all started off between Thames Ironworks and Millwall Athletic when we were both located in the East End of London and only three miles apart, if that, meeting in the fifth qualifying round of the FA Cup on 9 December 1899.

Millwall Athletic were 2-1 winners that day as the rivalry went on to become known as the Dockers Derby, as both sets of supporters were largely dockers at shipyards on either side of the River Thames.
What intensified the tension between the two sets of supporters further is that they worked for rival firms competing for the same business.

The rivalry is deeply embedded in British football hooliganism history and culture. West Ham being the Inner City Firm against Millwall’s Bushwackers.

However, Millwall joined us by moving south of the Thames to New Cross, and we were no longer East London neighbours.

Millwall’s next move was to The Den, Bermondsey, in 1993, before our recent move to the London Stadium in Stratford two years ago. We’re now less than four miles apart once again.

It’s a rivalry that has only been played twice in the top flight of English football. The 1988-89 season was Millwall’s first of only two in the top tier – we were winners of both games, but were unfortunately relegated the same season. Millwall would drop down the following season and after taking four points off them we would be promoted.

As we have only spent 12 seasons together in the Football League, there have been 24 meetings between the pair of us with us winning eight and them five – splitting 11 draws. It’s one a piece in the FA Cup, with their win in 1989 and ours in 1930.

Millwall do currently sit in a playoff spot in the Championship, alongside Fulham, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. They were recently thrashed 3-0 at home by Fulham in the second tier so I wouldn’t expect many to be checking out odds on the Premier League betting at Betfair for a Millwall promotion charge.

The most recent meeting of the Dockers Derby came in the 2011-12 Championship season when we were held 0-0 at The Den before winning 2-1 at Upton Park later in the season on our way back to the Premier League.

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