Championship: Millwall celebrating two decades at The Den
Millwall are celebrating 20 years at The Den - a ground which set the blueprint for other stadia in the modern era.
Last Updated: 22/08/13 1:31pm
The Den was the first stadium to be built following the Taylor Report which was issued in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
This season the team are playing in a special kit to commemorate the anniversary of the move to the 20,000 all-seater stadium and Millwall defender Alan Dunne has paid tribute to the foresight shown by the club two decades ago.
"It's a credit to the club for the ambition they have shown to build a stadium like this," he told Sky Sports News. "From that we have gone on to build 30 other stadiums up and down the country. It is down to a club like Millwall for showing ambition building a fantastic stadium."
Architect Robert Kennedy, part of the design team that worked on the construction of The Den, agrees and believes the move made sense for a club that needed to grow.
"Millwall had the opportunity really to move," Kennedy said. "They had the site available, realised that the old Den couldn't be expanded further. They had a chairman who had the vision, put the two together and built a new stadium."
Dunne, who joined the club as an eight-year old in 1990 and has been a first-team regular for over a decade, believes The Den generates an atmosphere like no other ground.
"It's a passionate club and they demand a lot from you," he added. "You have to be mentally strong and be able to take that. It's part of being at Millwall Football Club. It needs a certain type of player and when you are in the side it's one of the best clubs in the world to play for.
"It's always been a tough place to play here. It's one of the tools we have here, having an intimidating crowd and it helps us on a Saturday when you've got fans as passionate as ours, fighting your cause on every tackle.
"We have got some of the most passionate fans in the country."