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Football fans dreams are dashed

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
4:55 PM

MORE than 40,000 Millwall fans were at Wembley on Sunday to watch their team suffer an agonising League One play-off defeat to Scunthorpe. An army of blue and white supporters descended on the home of English football from across south-east London and no

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MORE than 40,000 Millwall fans were at Wembley on Sunday to watch their team suffer an agonising League One play-off defeat to Scunthorpe.

An army of blue and white supporters descended on the home of English football from across south-east London and north Kent, only for Martyn Woolford to break their hearts with a late winner in the Iron's 3-2 victory.

Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis was in the stands to see his team battle bravely for a place in English football's second tier.

The Hollywood star, who grew up in Crooms Hill, Greenwich, and boarded at Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks, was among the Lions' incredible 44,000-fan contingent - which smashed Bristol Rovers' 2007 League One play-off final attendance record of just under 40,000.

Louise Newstead, from Selborne Road, Sidcup, who has made more than 500 appearances for the club's ladies team and was at the game with her husband David, said: "Both teams were pretty even and had their chances and it could've gone either way. In games like this you've got to take your opportunities, but I'm sure it would've made a great spectacle for TV.

"It's been a fantastic day out. The atmosphere amongst the fans was amazing. A lot of people are very quick to judge us but we've shown we are a family club going in the right direction."

Kevin King, 46, from Wimborne Way, Elmers End, made it to Wembley with a group of family and friends which included his 10-year-old son, Arsenal supporter Lewis.

He said: "It was a good game of football, and the team who played best won in the end for me. But it's been a fabulous day out. Hopefully we'll bounce straight back next season and go up automatically.

"The fans have behaved really well. It's only ever a small minority who don't and they always get the most attention. It'd be nice to see this many people get down every week."

Simon Doughty, 39, was gutted as he felt the Lions "threw it away" by missing a succession of gilt-edged second half chances.

He said: "With three sides coming down who are very strong, including Charlton, it's going to be tough next season.

"But the day itself has been magnificent. The stadium is wonderful, the facilities are brilliant and the noise was incredible. The support was a dream come true. But it's the same old Millwall and we're the bridesmaids once again."

Lou Brackpool, 37, was already looking on the positive side of things, insisting the club should aim to go up as champions next season.

She said: "We had some good chances but just didn't put them away. It's disappointing. We weren't even sitting in the sunshine. Hopefully we can win League One next year. It's a great family club.

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