Skipper speaks ahead of what promises to be a memorable match against Brentford
Tony Craig will be as proud as punch when steps out onto the pitch at his beloved Den on Saturday for his Testimonial game between Millwall and Brentford.
The match provides a big opportunity for Neil Harris' senior squad to get their last 90-minute work-out before the League One opener on 6th August, but it is also a chance for the players, fans, management, directors and staff at The Den to show their appreciation of a genuinely popular man.
TC is quite simply the stuff of dreams to work with both on and off the pitch and what you see is what you get - loyalty, commitment and dedication coupled with an affable and courteous disposition.
There have been plenty of written tributes already, and a lot more in Saturday's special matchday programme, but for TC himself he readily admits that to earn a Testimonial playing for the club he loves is 'a dream come true'.
"I'm a Millwall boy through and through," said TC. "I was a season ticket holder as a kid, so to get a testimonial is a dream come true."
And to share his special day with Brentford - the only club that managed to lure him away from The Den for more than one season since making his debut in 2003 - will make the occasion all the more memorable.
"To have Brentford here is that little bit extra special. The thought of it being my Testimonial gives me goosebumps.
"I've got the biggest smile on my face. I cannot believe I've been at this club for 10 years. I know it's been on and off, but to have that length of service is special. I've gone from being a season-ticket holder to walking out at The Den in my Testimonial – superb.
"All my family are going to be there. I've got my daughter Scarlett, who will come on the pitch with me as well as Harvey Brown, who is just such an inspiration."
TC will be making a donation from the proceeds of Saturday's game to Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre which treats injured members of the Armed forces.
Millwall wore a special camouflage kit for their game against Brentford in November 2014, ironically a game in which TC was skipper for The Bees, to raise money for the same cause.
"Both my grandads and great grandads were in the army," he added. "I was very lucky to be involved in the game a couple of years ago when the club put on a fantastic show for Headley Court. From that day it has just stuck with me.
"Once I got told I would get a Testimonial there was only one charity I was going to get involved with.
"I went down to Headley Court at the end of June, spent a good few hours up there, went around to see the facilities which are second to none. I met a lot of the servicemen and women who have been in unfortunate circumstances where they out a leg or lost an arm, but they just couldn’t stop smiling.
"It made me feel so welcome. For me the hard work starts now because I want to raise as much money as I can for Headley Court as possible."
Tickets for Saturday's game are on sale up until kick-off priced at £10 adults, £5 over 60s and £5 U16s with Executive seats priced at £25 for adults and £20 for juniors.
After Saturday's Executive Lounge there will be an exclusive auction and raffle in the Executive Lounge with some fantastic prizes up for grabs including his 2004 FA Cup Final suit (with cufflinks), a private VIP Legends Tour with TC and Jimmy Carter, plus much, much more. Full details here.
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