Sports Letter: Wrong again

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The Independent Online
Wrong again

Sir: I have read several articles (including the one in your newspaper) bemoaning the fact that Wigan Athletic beat Millwall in the final of the Auto Windscreens Shield.

I'm struck with a real sense of deja vu. I went to Wembley in 1985 when Wigan beat Brentford under similar circumstances in the inaugural year of the Freight Rover Trophy. The national press (based in London, significantly) prejudged the game in the same manner.

Brentford were bound to win, according to every report, but it didn't go according to plan - they were soundly beaten.

This time Millwall couldn't fail, could they? After all, they'll have 45,000 fans and Wigan will shrivel and die. Apparently not. For a second time London-based writers have underestimated the unfashionable team who are lucky to be allowed to visit Wembley with their rugby team, never mind play there.

Had the final been played at Villa Park, how many Millwall fans would have been there? Nearer 10,000 than 45,000, I'll wager.

One report said: "The Auto Windscreens Final is more for appearing in than winning." Really? I feel 45,000 gutted Millwall fans would disagree. I'm sure the press wouldn't have belittled the winners had the result gone the other way.

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