A 60-minute documentary entitled Millwall, black and white: A Portrait from the stands, will be screened for the first time at two Southwark venues this Black History Month.
The documentary, made by Southwark-based director Chris Haydon, is one of the main outputs of the lottery-funded heritage project Millwall’s changing communities: Memories of football and neighbourhood in South London.
The two-year project is managed by the Bermondsey-based charity Bede House, and the documentary supplements the oral histories with BAME Millwall fans and other stakeholders collected during the first part of the project.
(In)famous for the chant No one likes us – we don’t care, Millwall and its fans are routinely perceived as the black sheep of English football.
Using the voices and memories of black and white Millwall supporters, as well as black players, the documentary aims to present a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between fan culture, football club and neighbourhood over the past 50 years or so.
By focusing in particular on the experiences of black Millwall fans, the documentary explores the role of football and diversity in everyday life, integrating interviews from different parts of Southwark with archival material from the club.
Filming has taken place earlier in the year and includes contributions from Lord Herman Ouseley, the founder of the Kick it Out campaign, who grew up in Peckham, as well as Phil Walker and Trevor Lee, the two first significant black players to sign for Millwall, in 1975.
Nick Dunne, Director of Bede House, said: “This project has helped us gain a deeper understanding of the part Millwall plays in our community.
“The film contains some surprising insights which will interest a national, as well as a local audience.”
The documentary will be screened in Shortwave Café, Bermondsey, on October 17 and 20.
Tickets can be booked at www.eventbrite.co.uk.
Shortwave Café in Bermondsey also hosts a photographic exhibition by Tom Sebastiano. Entitled Black Millwall, the exhibition consists of portraits of black Millwall players and supporters. Each image is accompanied by an excerpt from an oral history interview, each addressing a different aspect of the experience of being black and being Millwall.
The exhibition will run until the end of October.