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RexKramer Posted on 26/04/2018 03:19
Edited On: 26/04/2018 03:38Middlesbrough A-Z
From the Millwall Forum:

A is for Ayresome Park. One of the very few grounds that could be as intimidating as the Old Den. Sadly missed, as oozed character and charisma. The record gate was 53,802 vs Newcastle United, First Division, on 27th December 1949 & the highest average was 36,123 in 1951, when they finished 6th in the old First Division.

B is for Borough. It irritates me when people (northerners especially) get our name wrong – it’s Mill-Wall; not Meal-wool or the Essex Miwaw. But, Middlesbrough fans must be really fed up with seeing & hearing their name said & spelt incorrectly. I even saw Sky Sports spell it Middlesborough for a while.

C is for cricket. Yet another tough northern club founded by genteel cricketers looking for a way to stay fit in the winter; rather than factory workers etc. after a meeting in the Albert Park hotel in 1876.

D is for derby. No, not Newcastle United or Sunderland, who tend to view Middlesbrough the way we see Charlton Athletic (a good local derby, but not a heated rivalry) – but Middlesbrough Ironopolis. Middlesbrough FC were against professionalism, but some in the club were all for it, so Ironopolis was formed as a professional splinter club. The ‘Nops’ were the team of the working-class communities in the town; whereas Middlesbrough FC was favoured by the middle-class citizens. Sadly, turning professional cost a lot & they eventually folded in 1894 (the year we turned professional).

E is for equal. The head-to-head between the clubs is pretty equal: 19 Millwall wins to Middlesbrough’s 22; with 11 draws. The last six meetings have seen 3 wins for each club. The last meeting was a 2-1 win for the Lions at The Den just before Christmas, thanks to goals from Jed Wallace & George Saville.

F is for FA Cup. In the early decades of the 20th century Millwall & Middlesbrough met quite a few times in the cup (4 in all). Including an epic 3-2 win for the Lions in front of 44,250 (officially that is – it was most definitely quite a few thousand more) at The Den in the 5th Round in 1927. Middlesbrough was Division Two Champions that year.

G is for Gibson. Steve Gibson is a local lad made good. Has poured millions into the club over the years. Saved the club from liquidation in 1986, moved them to the Riverside & built the team that finally won Middlesbrough its first & only major honour to date – the 2004 League Cup. I hear he doesn’t have to buy a pint very often.

H is for home. Home now is the far less intimidating Riverside Stadium. It’s a decent enough stadium, but has none of the character of Ayresome Park. At Ayresome Park Middlesbrough seemed like one of the great partisan clubs of English football; the move to Riverside has meant they are now often grouped (unfairly) into the same group as uninspiring clubs like Southampton, Reading and Leicester City, also playing at characterless bowls.

I is for iconic. I will always associate Middlesbrough with the iconic broad white bar across a red top kit. Really sets them apart when you see them wearing that kit & they should always have it as their kit design in my opinion.

J is for Juninho. Middlesbrough somehow convinced the Brazil star to give up the sun, sea and beautiful women of São Paulo for a grim industrial town on the North Sea coast, full of Greggs and scantily dressed, chubby ladies burping the night away. To be fair, he said he loved the place!

K is for kit. We’ve mentioned the iconic broad white bar across a red top kit; but Middlesbrough actually started out wearing combinations of blue and white and then adopted the red and white of Middlesbrough Ironopolis in 1899 – with the ‘Nops’ now liquidated.

L is for lion. Middlesbrough has a rampant lion in their badge, like Millwall. However, unlike Millwall, who earned their lion through football endeavour (as the best team in the south & FA Cup giant killers at the turn of the century), Middlesbrough’s lion represents the Brus family, who had substantial holdings after the Norman Conquest in northern England and south-west Scotland and from whom Robert the Bruce (Robert de Brus) was descended.

M is for Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough is a large, post-industrial town. A town built on iron, the factories that once dominated the area gave the locals & football club the nickname of ‘Smoggies’. Film director Ridley Scott is from the North East and based the opening shot of Blade Runner on the view of the old ICI plant at Wilton. He said: “There’s a walk from Redcar … I’d cross a bridge at night, and walk above the steel works. So that’s probably where the opening of Blade Runner comes from. It always seemed to be rather gloomy and raining and I’d just think “God, this is beautiful.”

N is for nearly. Middlesbrough are the nearly club of English football. A decent club that has played most of its history in the top tier; yet has only won one major honour (League Cup in 2004). Yet, have been runners-up in the FA Cup (1997), League Cup (1997 and 1998) and the UEFA Cup (2006) and finished 3rd in 1914.

O is for ‘Old Big ‘ed’. Brian Clough was born in the town and scored an amazing 197 goals in 213 games for his local side between 1955 and 1961. Sadly he could never inspire them out of the Second Division and left for his fateful stint at Sunderland, where injury sadly cut short his career.

P is for promotion. Middlesbrough is trying to get promoted from the second tier of English football for an eighth time. Hopefully, Millwall have something to say about that!

Q is for Quakers. It is thanks to the Quaker banker, coal mine owner and S&DR shareholder Joseph Pease that Middlesbrough went from a small farmstead of 25 people in 1801 to thriving industrial town. He established the Middlesbrough Estate Company and through the company, the investors set about the development of a new coal port on the banks of the Tees nearby. Sadly, in the post industrial & Brexit world, Middlesbrough is a town slowly decaying.

R is for Ravanelli. Middlesbrough surprised the world of football by signing Italy and Juventus striker Fabrizio Ravanelli in 1996. He scored 17 goals in 35 games, but left after just one season. Unlike Juninho, he did not like the town or the club, often criticising both. He quickly swapped the North Sea for the Mediterranean, parmo for bouillabaisse & joined MXXXXXXille.

S is for Slaven. Bernie Slaven, in contrast to Ravanelli, is a club legend. He scored 118 goals for Middlesbrough between 1985 and 1993. Helping the club to rise from the old Third Division to the top flight in just two seasons; Middlesbrough were promoted via the Play-Offs the season Millwall won the old Second Division title (1987/88).

T is for Traoré. Adama Traoré is Middlesbrough’s talisman. Stop him & you stop them – so says our resident Teessider cum Millwall fan Mr Liddle; easier said than done though, Rod! Started out at Barcelona, compared to our Fred, who started out in Blackheath park!

U is for Uwe. When Uwe Fuchs signed for Millwall in 1995 we thought that it was the final piece in the complicated Mick McCarthy jig-saw. After-all, he had just scored the goals that had catapulted Middlesbrough into the Premier League whilst on loan from FC Koln. However, he was an expensive disaster and was nicknamed ‘Duvet’, as he seemed to fall over so much. His best moment in a Millwall shirt came when he scored the winner v Palace at Selhurst Park with his XXXXXX.

V is for victory. A win for Millwall on Saturday would draw us level with 5th placed Middlesbrough with one game to go. Not bad when you consider we spent under a million compared to Middlesbrough’s £50m plus; and that’s not even considering the respective wage bills! We have a pretty good record at the Riverside too – reading P5 W3 D1 L1.

W is for wound-up. In 1986, one-hundred and ten years after their foundation, Middlesbrough FC was wound-up. The receivers locked the gates of Ayresome Park and the club faced expulsion from the League if they failed to fulfil their Third Division fixture against Port Vale - the match was played at Hartlepool United's ground, a 2-2 draw in front of 3,690 dedicated fans. Thankfully, a consortium led by Steve Gibson stepped in to save the club.

X is for X-rated. A match I will never forget against Middlesbrough was away on 29th October 1988. Ayresome Park was ferocious that day and it was pretty heated outside too (I was 8, so will leave it to older fans to fill in the details)! We were still undefeated in the top flight & sat 2nd at the start of play. The home side took the lead straight away, but we quickly got back into the match & led 2-1 after 20 pulsating minutes. But two late goals sent the majority of the 19,788 fans in attendance wild & it finished 4-2 & Millwall had finally lost their first top flight game. Millwall finished the season 10th, but Middlesbrough went straight back down.

Y is for Yorkshire. The town is officially in the county of Yorkshire. But, they are a bit like us, where that doesn’t really fit their identity. I always define Millwall as a London Docklands club, just because ‘south London’ doesn’t really cover it for me. Bermondsey, Deptford and New Cross are far more like docklands communities in their character in my opinion and very different from ‘south London’ areas like Croydon and Tooting etc. & of course we originated in the docks. And I imagine most Boro fans define themselves as Teessiders, rather than Yorkies, as Teesside has a very strong identity in its own right.

Z is for Zenith Data Systems Cup. A competition to fill the void created by the ban of English clubs from Europe, Middlesbrough reached the final v Chelsea in 1990. A huge Wembley crowd of 76,369 watched a long-range free-kick by Tony Dorigo win it for the Londoners. Middlesbrough once again the bridesmaid.

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Fabios_porkpie_provider Posted on 26/04/2018 07:39
Edited On: 26/04/2018 07:40
Middlesbrough A-Z

Enjoyed that. A very fair and actually quite kind view of us. Good work [^]
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