The Den

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This article is about the stadium opened in 1993. For the original stadium it replaced, see The Old Den. For other uses, see The Den (disambiguation).
The Den
The New Den - geograph.org.uk - 1143517.jpg
View from the North stand.
Former names The New Den
Senegal Fields
The New London Stadium
Location Zampa Road
Bermondsey
London, England
SE16 3LN
Coordinates 51°29′9.43″N 0°3′3.42″W / 51.4859528°N 0.0509500°W / 51.4859528; -0.0509500Coordinates: 51°29′9.43″N 0°3′3.42″W / 51.4859528°N 0.0509500°W / 51.4859528; -0.0509500
Capacity 20,146
Field size 105 x 68 yards (344 × 223 ft)
Surface Grass
Scoreboard Yes
Construction
Built 1992/93
Opened 4 August 1993
Construction cost £16 million
Tenants
Millwall F.C. (1993-present)

The Den (previously called The New Den) is a football stadium and the home of Millwall Football Club.[1] It is situated in South Bermondsey, South East London, almost directly adjacent to the railway line between London Bridge and New Cross Gate, and the SELCHP incinerator. It is under a quarter of a mile away from the original Den. Built on a previous site of housing, a church and the Senegal Fields playing fields, it has an all-seated capacity of 20,146, with the average attendance for the 2010-11 season being 12,438. The Den is the sixth ground that Millwall have occupied since their formation as a football club in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1885.

History[edit]

The Den was the first new all seater stadium to be completed after the Taylor Report on the Hillsborough disaster. It was designed with effective crowd management in mind (given Millwall's crowd problems at The Old Den), with the escape routes being short and direct. After chairman Reg Burr decided that it would not be viable to redevelop The Den as an all-seater stadium, he announced during 1990 that Millwall would be relocating to a new stadium in the Senegal Fields area. Originally, it was planned to have a seating capacity of between 25,000 to 30,000. Millwall however, could not meet the additional cost.[2]

View from the West lower stand against Charlton Athletic during a 4-0 win in the 09-10 season.

Millwall played their final game on 8 May 1993 at The Old Den after 83 years, and moved to the new 20,000 all-seater stadium a quarter of a mile away from Cold Blow Lane. The £16 million Den was opened by John Smith MP (leader of the Labour Party and Opposition at the time) on 4 August 1993 prior to a prestigious friendly against Sporting Lisbon which Sporting won by 2-1.[3] The Den was the first new football stadium constructed for a professional team in London since 1937.

Millwall have experienced mixed fortunes since relocating to The Den. Their first season at the stadium (1993-94) saw them finish third in Division One—their highest finish since relegation from the top flight four years earlier. However, their dreams of Premier League football were ended by a defeat in the playoffs and they were relegated to Division Two in 1996, not winning promotion from that level until 2001. They came close to reaching the Premier League again in 2002, finishing fourth but once again losing in the playoffs. The Lions reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 2004, and despite a 3-0 defeat by Manchester United they qualified for a European competition for the very first time (although their UEFA Cup campaign was short lived). Relegation from the newly named Football League Championship (second highest division in England) followed in 2006. They were promoted back to the N-Power Championship, via a 1-0 win against Swindon Town at Wembley in 2010.

Stands[edit]

On 20 January 2011 the East Stand of The Den was renamed the Dockers Stand, paying tribute to Millwall's earlier history and supporter base of dockers.[4] The South stand is known as the Cold Blow Lane stand, which was a name of the road which led into The Old Den. The North stand is for away supporters and the West stand was renamed the Barry Kitchener stand, named after Millwall's longest serving player. It houses Millwall's family enclosure, press box and executive seats.

A panorama view of The Den from the Dockers stand. Directly opposite is the Barry Kitchener stand, to the left is the Cold Blow Lane stand and to the right is the North stand.

Average attendances[edit]

Other events and international matches[edit]

In 1994, a boxing match was held at The Den. Local boy Michael Bentt lost his WBO World Heavyweight Championship to Herbie Hide. The fight was Bentt's last after being rushed to the hospital and told he could never fight again, after suffering brain injuries in the loss.[5] On 1 May 2006, The Den hosted the FA Women's Cup Final between Arsenal L.F.C. and Leeds United L.F.C.. Arsenal Ladies won the Cup 5–0. Three international matches have been hosted at The Den. Ghana 1–1 Senegal (21 August 2007), Jamaica 0–0 Nigeria (11 February 2009) and Australia 3–4 Ecuador (5 March 2014). Former Millwall player Tim Cahill scored two of Australia's goals, becoming the country's all-time top scorer.

In drama[edit]

The Den doubles as The Dragon's Lair, home ground of Harchester United in the TV series Dream Team. It also appeared in an episode of the ITV show Primeval. The Base[clarification needed] is often used by the TV and film industries. It was used to film an episode of The Bill during the home game against Leyton Orient in March 2008 (aired on ITV in June 2008). Sportswear giant Nike filmed their Take It To The Next Level advertistment over a period of three days and nights at The Den, also in March 2008. In 2010, Kit Kat made their own 'Cross your Fingers' advert using clips from Arsenal, West Ham and also Millwall's Den.[6]

Celebrity Soccer Sixes[edit]

The Den hosted the Samaritans Celebrity Soccer Sixes on 18 May 2008. Film and Television stars played at The Den, the first time the event has not been hosted by a Premier League Club. Babyshambles failed to retain the trophy, losing 3-2 to dance act Faithless.[7] The winners of the women's trophy were Cansei de Ser Sexy. Around 150 celebrities took part including McFly, Tony Hadley, Amy Winehouse and ex-Millwall fan favourite Terry Hurlock to raise money for the charity.[8]

Transport connections[edit]

View of The Den from South Bermondsey railway station.

The Den is served by the National Rail station South Bermondsey, which is a five-minute walk away from the ground. Away supporters have their own walkway link, which is available to them on match days. If unable to travel by train, it's recommended away supporters travel to the ground by official coach. There are no official car parking facilities for supporters. The P12[9] bus stops closest to the ground in Ilderton Road, just a two-minute walk away. The 21, 53 and 172 buses all stop on the Old Kent Road, a ten-minute walk away from the ground. The closest tube station to The Den is Canada Water (on the Jubilee line), which is a 20-minute walk away. The former East London Line stations of Surrey Quays and New Cross Gate (now part of London Overground) both are a 15-minute walk from the stadium.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Views of The Den". millwallfc.co.uk. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Moving On: The New Den
  3. ^ Sporting Lisbon 1993/94 season (in portuguese)
  4. ^ The Dockers stand
  5. ^ "Sports People: Boxing; Bentt Released From Hospital". The New York Times (New York, NY). 22 March 1994. p. B-15. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Location location | Millwall | News | Breaking News | Breaking News
  7. ^ "Doherty swaps music for football". BBC News. 19 May 2008. 
  8. ^ Celeb spotting | Millwall | News | Breaking News | Breaking News
  9. ^ "Walking directions to The Den from closest bus stop". google maps. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Walking directions to The Den from Surrey Quays station". google maps. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 

External links[edit]