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19 January 2013

Lewisham Hospital staff at The Den on Saturday

It will not have escaped your notice that our FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Aston Villa next weekend has been moved from Saturday to the Friday night, 25th January (7.45pm kick-off).
The reason for the switch is that next Saturday a major demonstration against cuts to vital services at Lewisham Hospital is planned, starting at Lewisham Roundabout (12 noon) and proceeding via the hospital to a rally at Mountsfield Park.
It is anticipated that thousands of protesters will be attending the event, necessitating police resources to be deployed in ensuring that it passes off smoothly.
Whilst changing the date of our Cup tie is an inconvenience to us, we believe there is a bigger picture here.
Millwall Football Club, our players, staff and many thousands of fans have, over the years, had reason to be grateful for the resources, facilities and care we have received from our local hospital.
We are not persuaded by the arguments put forward in favour of closing the A&E department, childrens ward, intensive care and maternity services at Lewisham.
Consequently, we have given permission for hospital staff and supporters to hand out leaflets and collect signatures for the petition at tomorrow's match, in an attempt to persuade the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt to reverse the decision.
Our players will also be warming up before the game against Burnley in special t-shirts in support of the hospital and we would also encourage supporters who feel strongly about this issue to attend the demonstration next Saturday.
Amongst the volunteers today will be a video cameraman taking footage of the leafleting and players in warm up shirts for a forthcoming music video in support of the cause - further details to follow.

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