Date: 30th September 2010 at 8:51pm
Written by:

As we celebrate Millwall’s 125th year, we look at a significant player from each decade who has been part of the history of Millwall FC.


In the early 1880’s a group of young lads from Scotland came to London to find work.
They found employment at Morton’s jam factory in the West Ferry Road on the Isle of Dog’s and within a few years had formed Millwall Rovers.

On Saturday 3rd October 1885 Millwall Rovers played their first ever game which they lost 5-0 against Fillebrook

As we celebrate Millwall’s 125th year, we look at a significant player from each decade who has been part of the history of Millwall FC.

1980’s Les Briley

Les was born in Lambeth on 2nd October 1956

He was signed by George Grahmam in the summer 1984 from Aldershot in a player-exchange deal plus £20,000, which took Andy Massey in the other direction.

He had begun his career with Chelsea and had been at 5 clubs before arriving at The Den.

Briley has said on his time at Millwall ‘At every club you play for, you believe your heart is in that club. As a professional footballer, you have to believe that. But when I came to Millwall, I realised everywhere else had just been a job.’ ‘The place is so homely, so warm. Footballers tend to form cliques, it’s one of those things.’

But here, there is a warmth between people, regardless of what they do. It’s a togetherness I don’t think you could get in many clubs. The people you see who don’t matter, do matter, at Millwall. The groundsman, the people who sweep the terraces, the people in the offices; they really matter.’

Graham made him club captain and Briley led by example, his tough-tackling midfield style and excellent distribution making him a great favourite with the fans.

Briley won promotion to the second division with The Lions in 1984/85 and was captain of the side which were Division 2 champions in 1987/88.

He and Terry Hurlock were the midfield stars in the Lions early days in Division One. Briley completed over seven seasons at The Den before injury restricted his appearances. In March 1991, he was presented with a silver salver to mark 500 League appearances.

His last game for Millwall was the 1991 Play-Off match at Brighton.

He was released on a free transfer to Brighton in August 1991.

Was player/manager of Slough Town until May 1994 and went on to work in the building business. He is now Assistant Youth Academy Manager at Millwall.

Les Briley (1984-1991)

Millwall career (competitive games only)

Football League: 225 (3) appearances – 13 goals
FA Cup: 17 (2) appearances – 1 goal
League Cup: 16 appearances – 0 goals
Other Competitions: 9 (1) appearances – 1 goal