Dockers Derby

Jacket of Millwall FC (H) on a West Ham United (H)


The rivalry between Millwall and West Ham United, also known as the Dockers derby, is one of the longest-standing and most bitter in English football. The two teams, then known as Millwall Athletic and Thames Ironworks, both originated in the East End of London, and were located under three miles apart. Their supporters were predominantly dockers at shipyards on either side of the River Thames. Consequently, each set of fans worked for rival firms who were competing for the same business; this intensified the tension between the teams. They first played each other in the 1899–1900 FA Cup. In 1910 Millwall moved south of the River Thames and the teams were no longer East London neighbours. Even so, the derbiesretained their passion and both sets of supporters still consider the other club their main rival. Before the First World War the teams met 60 times in just 16 years, mostly in the Southern and Western Football Leagues. The teams have usually competed in different divisions since, spending only 12 seasons in the same tier of the Football League. They have played a total of 39 times in league and cup competitions since 1916.