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Paper Talk

31 March 2014

Media round-up from the weekend

Millwall were in the newspapers at the weekend following a 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers, but for those Lions looking for something a little different, Waitrose Weekend included a special feature on Lions fan Janice Gillard.

Here's what they said:

My weekend

Millwall fan, Janice Gillard, 62

The violin teacher and music examiner from south east London is also a passionate fan of football who can often be found cheering on her team at The Den on Saturdays.

'Until a few years ago I had no interest in football at all, partly because I lived near the grounds of another London team and I couldn't bear the way police and fans treated local residents.

Then I became friends with a former pupil of mine who was a mad keen Millwall fan and I was always teasing her about her love of football. One day, she asked if I would just come to a match with her to see what it was like. I did - and couldn't believe the atmosphere. Incredible!

I'm a musician and it was like going to a classical concert by a wonderful violinist - it gave me the same sort of buzz. A real taking-you-out-of-yourself feeling.

I knew nothing about the rules of the game to start with (and still don't ask me about the off-side rule!) but it's no different to someone going to a classical concert - they might know nothing about the music, but they can still really enjoy the experience.

I'd heard bad things about Millwall supporters but I've never seen any real violence myself. There's some banging of seats, and a lot of chanting before and during the games but that in itself is amazing - someone in the crowd starts it with just one note and it creeps around  until a huge noise fills the stadium. It's mesmerising.

If there's a weekend when I can't get to a match I'm always checking on the internet to see how it's going, or if I'm at a concert I go straight to my phone at the interval. I go mainly to home games but sometimes to big away games too - I was at the 2004 FA Cup Final match when we played Manchester United and that was a real high point for me.

My grown-up son and daughter were astonished when I first told them I was going to Millwall, but I have two grand-children now and eight-year-old Louie comes with me to Saturday matches sometimes. It's a friendly atmosphere and I'm quite happy for him to be there with me."

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