DEM OPPOSITION: How the Lie-Ins got their yawn

Team: Millwall Football Clab              Nickname: ‘The Lie-Ins’


“…it’s the Chinese supermarket in the run-down retail estate of the giant-Rotherham that is London.” (Steve Mackan on the New Den, last weekend, 2017.)


Millwall Football Clab, or the Lie-Ins, were founded in 1885. Many of their players and fans were doggers and this voyeuristic tendency is thought to stem from the location of a previous stadium on the Isle of Dogs. As far as I’m aware, I love dogs is not the subconscious mantra repeated in the Millwall hive-mind. It’s not a bestial thing, they just like being watched, which is more than I can say for most of the Millwall players.

This, at least, is the information that I gleaned from a Lie-Ins fan who I met at Watford Gap service after buying some particularly expensive fuel for the Nissan Cube. One of the fascinating details that this man provided me with, was an anecdote about the origins of the clab’s nickname and how the infamous ‘Millwall Yawn’ came into being.

After a long, heady, Friday night of dogging, the Millwall fans would get home at about 5AM. Resultingly, when they woke-up after four or five hours of sleep – which to the untrained eye would appear to be a lie-in – they would wander to the 3 o’clock kick-off exhausted and delirious.

This is how the Lie-Ins nickname first began. By the time that they got to the match and, in the spirit of Association Football, began to sing and chant, they could manage no more than a yawn. And we all know how contagious a yawn can be. A chant would begin, one of the Millwall fans would yawn and this would catch on, person after person, all of them sleep deprived after a steady night of collaboration. The chant turned into a cacophony of sleep-deprived exhalation, and that is the story of how the Lie-Ins got their yawn.

…but what now?

Sadly, the home of Millwall has moved from the Isle of Dogs to Bermondsey, where the final vestiges of football clab folklore slip away into the ubiquitous nothingness of The New Den. There’s a touch-feel sense of shittiness about it, it’s the Chinese supermarket in the run-down retail estate of the giant-Rotherham that is London.

Interestingly, the loss of any sense of tradition is not, as in the case of many football clubs, due to a wealthy new owner. Instead, The insatiable appetite of corporate interests to build flats, offices and shard-scrapers has come at the price of abandoning a proud history of dogging. There’s just nowhere to do it. The erosion of what was, back in the days where the Lie-Ins played in the Isle of Dogs, a nascent dogging frenzy, is representative of much more than the loss of dogging, but the loss of doggers too and you can equally say that about miners and steelworkers.

“The Millwall Grip”

Millwall fans come with a reputation, which is an unfair characterisation in my mind. Yes, back in the day after a good lie-in, Millwall fans picked up a paper to read and rolled it lengthways and folded up in a bizarre ritual. Yes, this is no civilized way to read a newspaper, but we shouldn’t measure Lie-Ins fans by the minority.

The ‘Millwall grip’ for holding a newspaper. 

I once saw someone on the KOP picking his arse, sniffing his finger and moments later taking a chip from his girlfriend’s mouth whilst she was mid-bite. I’m sure we can all agree that we’d never heinously steal a chip in this way and that we certainly wouldn’t want this one idiot’s behaviour to reflect badly on us all.





Top 5 BEST things associated with the Lie-Ins

  1. Danny Baker (doesn’t make bread, but does do other things like Radios)
  2. They aren’t West Ham
  3. Paul Ifill (In a recent poll, the public guessed that Ifill’s biggest problem in making a trifle would be ‘no final sponge’ – I love democracy.)
  4. Moments like “Serves you right for fucking M•skat” (the remnants of doggers.)
  5. That moment when you wake up and you realise that, after you went to bed at 9PM because there was no suitable place to go dogging, and you look at the clock and realise you’ve been asleep for fourteen hours and you get to watch DEM BLADES show-off their magic this afternoon.

Top 5 WORST things associated with the Lie-Ins

(Coming in the post-match report)


Cool with a slight wind, but largely clear. If you have a coat with a stone badge on it, make sure it’s a thick one and not a thin one. If you have a coat with some goggles in the hood, no need to wear it tomorrow; it won’t rain thus rendering the goggles useless.



Steve Mackan is a writer and editor for The Shatton Periodical, if you’d like to read his (my) review of Comic Sans MS or the latest Nick Knowles album (p3), or if you’d like to get Michelle-Lynne Star’s recipe for Mashed pie and Fray Bentos Jus (p7), or you simply want to know what Tea Leaf Terry has read about your star sign in Novembers Horoscope (p6), then you can find out more by clicking this, or clicking the correct answer to the puzzle below (also featured in this months (November) edition):


Here Kes
The Shatton Periodical: for Shatton folk





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