Date: 11th April 2011 at 7:10pm
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Thames Valley Whites is an Official RMC based in the counties of Oxfordshire and Berkshire and has approximately 200 members.

Steve Griffin is the organiser of all trips for the branch and he likes to do the occasional article from his travels with the Thames Valley lads.

We have already had his thoughts on trips from the famous FA Cup win in Manchester to the preseason tour of Slovakia last summer.

This was going to be one of our more anticipated trips not because we were playing at the New Den but rather we were getting a day out in London. Due to the excellent offers for group travel, we opted to travel by train to this fixture rather than by coach.

Train times were sent out to all members who had attained tickets for this fixture and from 9am, most were on their way into London. A few tins of beers were shared on route as a precursor for the day ahead in the capitals boozers. There is nothing better when travelling to away games if the sun is out and today the temperatures were soaring into the early 70’s. Dress code for somewhere shorts, t-shirts and sunglasses. Fruitbat for some unthinkable reason had brought his heavy parker coat but I was assured he was still prepared for summer weather, as he wasn`t wearing socks.

We thought it best not to wear colours so we could blend in with the tourists and gain entry to the pubs. One of our finest, Dave ‘S’ took the no colours instruction a bit far and turned up with his hair dyed bright ginger, he obviously got ribbed all day but kept denying that he had done the deed.

Soon the branch had all arrived at our designated chosen pub where breakfast was still on the menu and other Leeds fans started to fill the bar. There was even a group of Norwegian Leeds fans that arrived who were to be Peter Lorimer`s guests at the match. After a few hours drinking, we left central London and headed to London Bridge station.

Arriving on the platform it became obvious that most were Leeds fans and in numbers as usual. All seemed fairly low key with even the Police looking fairly relaxed. Once the train arrived, everyone climbed onboard with a few Millwall fans chanting until they realised that the rest of the carriage was all Leeds and were now finding their own voices. A bit of banter then developed between both sets of fans for the 5 min journey to South Bermondsey.

Arriving at the ground 15 minutes before kick off. Outside, you could hear the atmosphere was already building up. Here was another set of fans looking forward to playing the mighty Leeds and with the sell out signs going up weeks beforehand Millwall were intent on making their ground as hostile as possible.

With over 30 Thames Valley Whites inside the New Den we now hoped that we could get something from this game to cement the play off places that we never really expected to be competing for at the start of the season.

Millwall fans were trying to create a hostile environment and resorted to pulling out Turkey flags. This was met with bottles, coins and seats being hurled from the Leeds section. Seemed many were there only to goad Leeds fans, rather than to support their own team and watch football. Now I know why we had 3-D glasses in the match program.

Liam and Jack, junior members of the Thames Valley Whites, were the match mascots We soon spotted them enter from the tunnel and onto the pitch with the Leeds team and then taking part in the warm ups with the players. Both dads, Aidy and Darren, were pitch side and taking pictures of this once in a life time event. A big thanks has to go to Millwall officials who looked after our foursome pre-match. Both lads got autographs on their shirts from the Leeds players and were allowed in the dressing room with the players pre-match.

The game got underway and straight from the kick off we looked second best to Millwall. Leeds were giving away silly free kicks and it wasn`t long before we conceded one just outside the box. Unfortunately, Casper was second best to the kick and Millwall were one up. Leeds never really got going and you could feel the frustration amongst the Leeds support. It was long before Leeds conceded a second from a corner and again you had to ask questions of our defence as it was tapped in from 5 yards out. Second half Leeds found another gear, they started to look lively, and we were soon a goal to the good. Leeds fans were rallying now for an equaliser, a point at the Den would be a good result but poor defending, and players looking for a whistle when a Wall player went down let them re-take the advantage by putting a third around Casper. Leeds managed to grab a late consolation goal to flatter the score 3-2.

With a 20 minute wait outside the ground and wondering where the MET police would send us this year we reboarded the local train. Last year the 5-minute journey took 40 minutes and instead of going to London Bridge, we were taken to Victoria. Fortunately, this year we did go to London Bridge and once off the train the MET were content for Leeds fans to disperse from here and everyone could make their own way back through London.

With a post match pub lined up we all were soon heading in different directions with the blind leading the blind. First back was Macca, Tuz and Co followed by myself, Andy, Pete H, Joel and young Jack. Last back was Will and Aidey M who were ribbed and asked if they had stayed behind at Millwall to watch extra time. With the group whittling down and our two juniors detailing their day as mascots it was time to head home.

Another away game under our belts but even though we lost it was still a great day out and one that was shared with members of the Thames Valley Whites that had formed almost two years to the date.


Thames Valley Whites Regional Members Club was formed early March 2009 and became an Official Members Club during the last home game of the 2009 season against Northampton Town.

Thames Valley currently has over 80 members and is growing fast. All are welcome to join whether you travel or not.

The branch organises travel from around the region for all home matches.

Price is a reasonable £25 per person.

Pick-ups are Reading Train Station, Wallingford, Didcot, Abingdon, Oxford,
Kidlington, Bicester and Brackley. Other pick-ups will be considered.

Travel is by a large mini-bus (ungoverned), and when demand meets then by a 49-seater coach.

Arrival at Elland Rd is generally by 1pm. Return travel is straight after the game with last drop offs usually by 8.30pm.

There is usually one stop at Leicester Forest Services on the M1 motorway.

Membership is currently free on completing an application form.

Contact the Branch by email.

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