NEIL HARRIS said Millwall being named the Football League Family Club of the Year brought at “huge smile” to his face.
The Lions received the accolade at the EFL awards in London last Sunday.
The award is given to the club that leads the way in attracting new support and families, and Millwall held off competition from the other divisional winners Blackburn Rovers and Stevenage to be named overall winners.
Millwall’s Zampa’s Family Stand was opened in The Dockers Upper in 2013 to provide a dedicated area for families.
Harris paid tribute to those who work on community and promotion projects.
“I’d a huge smile on my face thinking about it,” he said. “It’s a fantastic achievement for the club and shows how far we have come. We get a lot of negative press, of course we do, because mud sticks.
“But the work behind the scenes with the community scheme, the Lions Centre, the marketing department, match-day staff as well as the community side of things and the academy is all brilliant.
“It’s about the work the club does in society. It’s the visits the players do to schools and hospices, at Christmas, Easter – it all adds up.
“There are so many unsung heroes behind this award. How can the community survive without the Lions Centre and without the support we give and what the community gives to Millwall?
“It’s a family club. Yes, there is a slight element to us at times, we get that, it’s always been like that.
“But the root of the club is family and this award is testament to the work behind the scenes.”
Lions winger David Worrall added: “It’s a great-run club. I went to Frankie and Benny’s to meet the fans. I’ve never been to a club where things like that are run so well.
“You could see the players really bought into it, they really wanted to be there. It was probably the best player appearance I’ve done at any club before. It’s on a different level.
“We need it because of all the negativity the fans get. When awards like this come along it’s not really publicised much. These are the main things for the fans as well as us doing well on the pitch. It’s an all-round effort.”
Image: Millwall FC