Date: 22nd October 2009 at 7:54pm
Written by:

Next season it will be 125 years since Millwall Football Club was founded.
Over 52 weeks we will have a season by season account of that first century and a quarter.

Included in this, are extracts from Eddie Tarrant`s ‘Diary of Millwall`, James Murray`s ‘Lions of the South` and Richard Lindsay`s ‘Millwall, a complete record’.


Season 1894/95

Manager F.B. Kidd.

The first ever season of the Southern League began on the 29th September and Millwall celebrated their first game in the new league by beating Swindon Town 9-0 with James Wilson becoming the first player to score a league hat-trick for Millwall.
On 12th October 1894 Millwall Athletic Football Club added the words “Company Limited” to their name, with expansion in mind and shares were quickly snapped up and a board of Directors were put in place.
A fine 9-1 victory over Clapton was another of the season`s highlights. They went on to be unbeaten all season and finished as 1st Division Champions, winning 12 and drawing 4 of their 16 games.
They also win all their qualifying matches in the FA Cup to reach the first round proper for the first time only to be beaten 1-3 by Sheffield United.
The Football League extended an invitation to Athletic to join the Second Division, an invitation which was refused by the board as they believed the Southern League would rival the Football League as the most important League in Britain.
Hindsight shows that this decision was probably the greatest mistake in the clubs history
Top Goalscorer: A.D. McKenzie 17 Southern League, 4 FA Cup goals.

Season 1895/96

Manager F.B. Kidd.

Defending the championship Millwall were again in dominant form maintaining their 100% home record and only losing one game away 0-2 to Southampton.
Last season`s top scorer, Archie McKenzie had left to join League Champions Sunderland and had been replaced by Charlie Leatherbarrow and John Calvey.
An 11-1 home victory against Clapton showed that Athletic were the dominant force in the League and they finished the season off with a 9-1 win over Swindon to retain the 1st Division Southern League title.
They again made the first round proper of the FA Cup with Alf Geddes scoring in 7 consecutive cup ties (a club record to this day). But despite rumours, again they did not apply for Football League status, a decision which lead to the break up of the team as players became frustrated at the boards apparent lack of ambition.
Top Goalscorer: C. Leatherbarrow 17 Southern League, 3 FA Cup goals.

Season 1896/97

Manager F.B. Kidd.

Millwall record their highest League win 12-0 against Wolverton, John Calvey scoring 5 times. McKenzie rejoined Athletic as Leatherbarrow left East Ferry Road for Chatham. Also leaving Athletic were ‘Wiggy` Davis, Jimmy Matthew and Willy Jones.
On the 25th December Athletic lost their 100% home record to Tottenham Hotspur going down 0-4.
They went on to lose one further game and finished runners-up in the Southern League 1st Division.
The first round of the FA Cup was once again reached thanks to a 4-2 home victory over Woolwich Arsenal in front of over 15,000 spectators. Millwall also enter their first team in the United League and win the championship at the first attempt. September of this season saw Millwall`s first recorded use of a substitute in the United League, A.D.McKenzie replacing J. Davies, and March saw Millwall have their first International player in Joe Davies who was capped for Wales.
Also a friendly was played against the German FA X1 in which Millwall won 9-0, John Calvey scoring 4 goals.
Top Goalscorer: J. Calvey 17 Southern League, 12 United League, and 4 FA Cup goals.

Season 1897/98

Manager F.B. Kidd.

During the close season the club built a second stand at East Ferry Road to hold a further 1,200 people.
But this was to be probably Millwall`s worst season to date finishing 9th in the Southern League 1st Division and 7th in the United League.
Two highlights however, one was the 9-1 defeat of Wolverton in which Millwall`s Welsh international Joe Davies scored 6 goals, and the other was in the 2-2 home draw against Gravesend in which John Calvey scored his 100th goal for the club.
Some of the ills of the season were blamed on the fact that the players had become such heroes on the island that fans lavished drinks on them in the local pubs.
Too many changes had meant that Millwall had lost their way a bit.
Top Goalscorer: J. Calvey 14 Southern League goals.

From Jam To Jackett Part 5 coming soon.