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Exclusive: Soldiers praise Millwall's commemorative WWI kit

Captain Gary Wallace
Captain Gary Wallace

WOUNDED soldiers at an army rehab centre have thanked Millwall for their fundraising efforts after the club launched a commemorative World War One kit.

1,500 of the special camouflage shirts flew off the shelves when they went on sale last week, with all proceeds – around £20,000 – set to be donated to Headley Court in Surrey.

Injured troops starred in a promotional video with four Lions players to promote the strip, which received national media coverage following its launch.

The kit will be worn against Brentford on November 8 – on the eve of Remembrance Sunday – when patients from Headley Court will be special guests at The Den.

Captain Gary Wallace, who featured in the YouTube clip, has expressed his gratitude to the Lions for their support.

He said: "The patients and the staff of Headley Court are privileged to have been asked to participate in Millwall's historical and innovative fundraising project.

"We are extremely thankful to Ian Holloway, the players and the staff of Millwall for their kind support of our patients and we look forward to watching the match against Brentford.

"We hope that Millwall get the right result."

The kit launch has been a huge hit with Lions fans, who flocked in their thousands to pre-order a shirt – with many left disappointed as they sold out in less than a day.

Millwall's support of the army has been particularly well-received by Kieran Moss, a Lions supporter who has recently returned from a tour of Afghanistan.

He said: "When I found out that Millwall would be wearing a camouflage kit to raise money for Headley Court, I couldn't believe it.

"Being a soldier myself, this is something that is very important to me and close to my heart. The video that was released was a nice touch.

"A lot of my mates in the army have said ‘fair play’ to Millwall for doing this and that other clubs should follow suit.

"I for one will be wearing my kit with pride and I would like to thank my older brother Ben for rushing down to The Den to pre-order it for me!"

Manager Ian Holloway revealed he was close to tears as he read war poem In Flanders Fields to accompany the YouTube video.

He said: "I'm so proud of the club and I thank our soldiers with every bone in my body for what they do for us.

"My players have been inspired by the men and women at Headley Court, who go to work and risk their lives for us.

"When we all buy poppies for Remembrance Day, each of those represents someone who wasn't old enough to die."

Simon Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, added: "It makes many people in south London very proud to see Millwall so visibly recognise the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

"Many people from our part of London gave their lives and a great many of those would have been Millwall fans and regulars at The Den.

"There have been few more inspired ideas for a tribute than the special commemorative shirts which the team will wear.

"The match next month will be a great date for the Millwall history books."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

34 thoughts on “Exclusive: Soldiers praise Millwall's commemorative WWI kit

  • October 27, 2014 at 12:50
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    Absolutely Brilliant Idea ! Lovely gesture from everybody at Millwall FC, ( management , Players , Supporters and Workers at the ground) all Well Done and take a ' BOW' . Three cheer to the Soldiers past & present ! ( NOLU, WE DO CARE FOR THE TROOPS)

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  • October 27, 2014 at 13:20
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    More shirts please......
    Great idea nonetheless

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    • October 27, 2014 at 18:33
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      @glyngo: got to be made next years away kit surely!! If they can get a fiver off each kit for the cause it'll be worth it.. And it nips that f****** pink joke in the bud too

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  • October 27, 2014 at 13:41
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    It's a shame that the thousands of fans couldn't get a shirt me included. The den would of looked the business but well done in supporting our troops proper heroes.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 13:53
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    AWU (Abide With Us)

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  • October 27, 2014 at 14:01
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    The first world war was a monstrous carnage on an epic scale. There is nothing to celebrate about millions dying for nothing. The soldiers returned home to unemployment, poverty, and were treated like dirt. So much so that in 1919 tens of thousands of troops mutinied across the country, town halls were burnt down, armed troops marched on their officers some being locked up. AS Churchill admitted it was the closest this country came to a revolution. But they will not tell you that in the media.
    My grandfather was badly wounded at the Somme he would never wear a poppy seeing through the hypocrisy of war. War should not be glorified as is happening. Concentrate on football.

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    • October 27, 2014 at 15:43
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      @Peckhamlad: sorry mate i think you`re missing the point. I dont think tbis gesture is about celebrating or glorifying war its about millwall fans and the club showing our gratitude to the people who risk, and in some cases lose ,their lives fighting for this great country. I for one think this is a fantastic idea and the club needs to be applauded.

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    • October 27, 2014 at 16:16
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      @Peckhamlad: Totally missing the point. Did you watch the video? This is about saluting the brave man and women who have sacrificed everything doing what they have been asked to do. No one celebrates war, especially WW1, which I agree was carnage and slaughter on a grand scale, the people and generals responsible should have been tried and found guilty of mass murder, but this day is a thankyou to these people.

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    • October 27, 2014 at 18:04
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      Its nothing to do with winning the war, its about remembering all the fallen heroes. A member of my family received a lot of help when he retired from the armed forces thanks to the RBL and whenever I see poppy box I will always put what I can in there. maybe you should do some research on how much the poppy appeal helps wounded war veterans it will honestly change your opinion. NOLU WDC

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    • October 27, 2014 at 21:41
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      @Peckhamlad: No one is or should be celebrating war with this. It is a brilliant gesture of the club and should have had more news coverage because it is about normal people, not about politicians' games. But I think you are a lucky man to have memories of your grandfather who was brave already, and aware of how/why his government treated him this way and you heard his story. This is a story in itself!

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    • October 28, 2014 at 08:07
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      @Peckhamlad: This is not a celebration, it's a commemoration . Take your anger out on Politicians. They are the people who make war, not the soldiers. This is about having an opportunity to say thanks to those who serve their country and to help those who pay a terrible price for doing so.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 14:07
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    I wear a poppie to comemerate the working class men who gave their lives in the first war....who bravely fought for their freedom but were sacrificed by the fools im power who thought of them as no more than cannon fodder. I also wear a poppy because it makes a contribution to help ex servicemen of today who are still being let down (shat on) by the government today

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  • October 27, 2014 at 14:26
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    To the wounded at the rehab centre.you have nothing to thank us for..the thanks is all ours.for the bravery you show

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  • October 27, 2014 at 14:31
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    Don't normally buy footie kits but would of bought this kit if it hadn't sold out.Still managed to get a shirt for my boy who cant wait to wear it at the Brentford game. Hopefully the camouflage will work and our strikers will get in the oppositions box undetected....

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  • October 27, 2014 at 14:36
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    A soldier comes on here & thanks us & all some people can do is turn into something negative we should back our troops.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 14:46
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    I served as a helicopter door gunner in Afghanistan on 4 separate tours over a 3 year period. Thankfully I wasn't injured like those who are staying at Headley but the emotional scars that I live with every day are there. As a life long Millwall supporter it makes me incredibly proud of what the club have done, so I thank you Millwall for this gesture. Your support for our troops is admirable.

    Thank you.

    COYL!!!!!!

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    • October 27, 2014 at 14:51
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      Don't know why I write this but the above comment was written as I sit in the reception area of the veterans stress and trauma Clinic in St Pancras waiting to see the psychologist for my PTSD.

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      • October 27, 2014 at 20:00
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        @mfc1rob: well said Bruv. I also served our country going back to the 1st Gulf War. When I got back The New Den was just finished so I popped down there to have a look & they gave me a 1 off tour after finding out where I'd just got back from. Was a nice touch then & an even better 1 now. Well done all involved with Millwall. Great club Great Fans Great history.COYL!!!

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  • October 27, 2014 at 15:11
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    Anyone who goes and fights for this country is a hero in my eyes. I SALUTE YOU ALL !

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  • October 27, 2014 at 16:19
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    I get a lump in my throat every time I watch the youtube clip. Keep it up Millwall, proud to be a supporter since 1967.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 16:47
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    "Recieved national media coverege" anyone know the scale? I haven't seen anything about this on any form of media other than NAD and the official site. That's disgusting. Anyone wanna bet that if a team like chelsea done this next year, every big media company would be sucking the dicks of everyone linked with their clubs?

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    • October 27, 2014 at 16:52
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      @mfclions: mate it was massive on the back of the sun newspaper lol

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      • October 27, 2014 at 16:54
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        @mfclions: mate it was massive on the back of the sun newspaper lol@HERMAN: also sky sports had loads about it

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        • October 27, 2014 at 17:00
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          Ok fair enough lol

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    • October 27, 2014 at 18:06
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      @mfclions: It also had a little piece on Soccer am and Zoo lads mag but I didn't notice it in any other news papers like the Mirror or Star ext

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      • October 27, 2014 at 20:06
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        @mitchamscaff: was actually quite a lot mfc
        http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/millwall-wear-camouflage-kit-remembrance-4452067
        http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/millwall-to-wear-special-camouflage-kits-to-commemorate-first-world-war-9802372.html
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2797014/millwall-wear-army-strip-remembrance-weekend-aid-injured-soldiers.html.
        Talk sport also talked about it even then Anoracks http://www.charltonlife.com/discussion/64508/millwall-to-wear-camo-kit-in-honour-of-100-years-since-ww1 and a number of other club forums, do a search I think you will be surprisedjust how much good publicity it got.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 17:49
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    It must really grate on the press to report on something positive involving Millwall. I am one of the lucky few to order a shirt and will wear it with pride. As commented above remembrance day is not about glorifying war. That's an excuse the rent a mob left use when they try to deface the Cenetaph. It's not about glory, it's about respect, gratitude and identifying the people gave their lives for this country in the past. You cannot go to a British war memorial and not feel a sense of inadequacy, and stand in wonder at the sheer number who paid the ultimate sacrifice. utmost respect to all those who have fallen under the standard of the Union Flag. Whether you agree with the wars or not, this is nothing to do with glory, simply respect and we should quitr rightly feel proud of our small club for being the pioneers of such a gesture which will no doubt be followed by some of the bigger teams raising even more money for our troops who the powers that be are so keen to abandon. Miiiiiiiii

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  • October 27, 2014 at 19:27
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    I served 7 years. Was an NCO in the Infantry. And still serve in the reserves. For me as a Millwall fan, I am immensely proud of this club and what it has done and continues to do in support of the Armed Forces. Yet again Millwall lead the way in showing the rest of the clubs in this country how to support the Forces. And we don't have the finances some clubs have. Whoever came up with this idea I commend them. All we need now is the result against Brentford to match!

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  • October 28, 2014 at 03:24
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    As diggerwall said any one who signs up to fight for this country is a hero and deserves all the support we can give them,Millwall FC has made this gesture on our behalf,i have not got a camouflage shirt myself,but i will make sure i wear some thing to show my support fer those people who have done their bit for us all.
    One thing i am annoyed about is the treatment of young Lee Rigby the lad killed at woolwich.
    I am told his name will not go on any memorial.if this is true then it is wrong.
    He was targeted and killed because he was a soldier and it was done in such a cowardly way the lad had no chance of defending himself,not to add his name to a memorial in memory of our soldiers who did not come home is wrong.[if this is true].
    As i said he was targeted because he was a soldier,so he deserves to be remembered on an official memorial.

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    • October 28, 2014 at 06:02
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      @jim1222: you can blame the local politician for that..but what he cant stop people laying flowers at the site on the anniversary of his death..i went to woolwich this year & it was a amazing site

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