October 2021 is Black History Month - and to commemorate the landmark, millwallfc.co.uk takes a look back at some of The Lions' finest black players in its storied history...
A hero to many, Nadjim Abdou joined Millwall from Plymouth Argyle on a free transfer in July 2008. An unassuming signing, 'Jimmy' went on to produce energetic displays in the middle of the park, quickly becoming a fan favourite. He elevated his status to legendary at Elland Road in May 2009 as he scored the goal which took Millwall to a Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final, and his crowning glory came in 2011/12, when he received the Player of the Year award. Abdou received a testimonial for a decade of service with The Lions in 2018.
Appearances: 342/Goals: 9
A product of Millwall's thriving youth academy, Marvin Elliott became a mainstay in The Lions' midfield in the mid-2000's. A part of the club's historic run to the FA Cup Final in 2004, Elliott featured in every game and played in the right-back position at the Millennium Stadium against Manchester United. Also playing in the club's historic UEFA Cup ties with Ferencvaros, Elliott departed the club to join Bristol City after five seasons.
Appearances: 164/Goals: 4
Signed from Lincoln City in 1985, John Fashanu instantly became part of Millwall's Division Three promotion-winning side, scoring four goals in 25 matches as The Lions finished second behind Bradford City, going the campaign unbeaten at home and with 21-goal Steve Lovell among their ranks. Nicknamed 'Fash The Bash', Fashanu hit the back of the net during an FA Cup Fifth Round tie with Leicester City at The 'old' Den in February 1985 and spent two seasons at the club before joining Wimbledon.
Appearances: 65/Goals: 19
Another product of the club's Academy, Barbadian attacker Paul Ifill made his Lions debut at Lincoln City in February 1999 before appearing in a home match for the first time a week later as Millwall infamously defeated Stoke City 2-0 with nine men. A Wembley appearance followed in the Auto Windscreen Shield Final, before two seasons of flirtation with the top of the table ended with the Division Two title being secured in May 2001. Over seven seasons with the club, in addition to that start at the Home of Football and the Division Two championship trophy, Ifill took part in two Play-Off campaigns, an FA Cup Final and got European starts under his belt during his time at The Den.
Appearances: 261/Goals: 43
Born in Lewisham and signed from Epsom & Ewell in 1975, Trevor Lee became an integral part of a Lions side which won promotion from Division Three in his first season at the club, before scoring 10 and nine goals respectively in the club's first two campaigns back in Division Two. Billed as the first black footballers to make an impact in the game, Lee, along with Phil Walker, made his name with the club before going on to play for a number of clubs including Colchester United, AFC Bournemouth and Cardiff City.
Appearances: 125/Goals: 26
In a time where Millwall's Academy was pushing out star quality by the minute, Steven Reid became the latest to benefit when he made his Lions debut on the final day of the 1997/8 campaign - the same day as a young Tim Cahill - at home to AFC Bournemouth. On the opposite wing to Paul Ifill, Reid and his team-mate terrorised defences week in, week out, with the Irishman going on to earn multiple international honours, including appearances in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea against Cameroon and Germany. There was no doubting that Reid could strike a ball, too - his goal in the 5-0 home demolition of Oldham Athletic to win the Division Two title lives long in the memory.
Appearances: 169/Goals: 19
"That's what we do!" became the catchphrase amongst the Millwall squad and on the terraces during Danny Shittu's time at the club. Signing on a short-term contract in 2010 before re-joining in August 2012, the towering centre-back produced many memories in a Lions shirt, including the winning goal in an FA Cup Quarter-Final replay at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers in 2013 to send Millwall to Wembley. Almost scoring with a powerful effort from the halfway line in the original fixture, Shittu's other Cup goal for the club came earlier that season, as he got the giant-killing of Aston Villa underway.
Appearances: 88/Goals: 4
Signing alongside Trevor Lee from Epsom & Ewell in 1975, Phil Walker scored on his Millwall debut and was part of the side which won promotion from Division Three in his first season. In his four years with the club, the emergence of Walker - along with Lee - put black players on the map, with the midfielder leaving for Charlton Athletic in July 1979.
Appearances: 165/Goals: 21