As a Millwall fan living in Brighton, this is a fixture that's had a special place in my heart for more than 30 years.
I was 20 years old, living in south London and working at BHS in Lewisham when I got my first promotion - and transfer – to their Brighton branch.
I moved to Brighton on the 2nd February 1976 – the day before we got beaten by them 1-0 at the old Goldstone Ground, a result that put Brighton & Hove Albion in second spot in Division Three - and us, 12th.
Our season wasn't looking too good – and now I was now living in the town of one of our big promotion rivals.
I spent the next couple of months with a bit of mickey-taking from my new friends and workmates – and took several bets on who’d win the critical return match at the (original) Den – which was on Good Friday, 16th April.
A lovely sunny day - I went up on the train from Brighton with a few new Albion pals. They were third place and Millwall were fourth – with one point between us - and only two more games left for both teams.
Millwall’s biggest crowd of the season - 23,000 – saw a magnificent display, orchestrated by Trevor Lee and Phil Walker. We were on a great run – we had been unbeaten for 12 matches and rocketing up the table.
We were 2-0 up after 23 minutes – a fantastic early goal by Lee settled our nerves – and a well-worked one by Jon Seasman put us in the driving seat at half time. Brighton pulled one back the hour – but almost immediately Millwall restored the two goal cushion with a rare strike from open play from Tony Brisley.
It finished 3-1; so back to Brighton on the train – collecting a good few bets from my very subdued bunch of fellow travellers. Up to London again the next day, to see Millwall beat Peterborough 2-0 at the Den.
The following Wednesday saw the last game of the season - we extended our unbeaten run to 15 matches with another win, 2-0 at Swindon, to pip the Palarse for the last promotion place - what joy! We went up that year with Cardiff City and Hereford United – who were Champions. Now, whatever’s happened to them two?
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