BY TOBY PORTER
British welterweight champion Johnny Garton is one of the bravest boxers around.
But even the King of Peckham, pictured far right, as he has been dubbed by fans, would be the first to bow down and pay tribute to the courage of the servicemen and women who have protected us from our enemies.
Millwall staged an early Remembrance Day salute last Saturday at The Den as they do not now have another home fixture until they take on Bolton on November 24.
But even Garton’s war against Gary Corcoran does not come close to the sacrifice soldiers, sailors and other servicemen have made over the course of recent conflicts to protect their countries – and in wars very far from our shores.
Thousands donated to bucket collections and were in their seats early to salute those parading servicemen, who joined a special ceremony.
Referee Robert Jones carried the match ball out on to the pitch, followed by two personnel, each carrying a wreath – one from the club and one from Millwall Supporters’ Club – and a bugler.
Soldiers welcomed the teams and officials on to the pitch, before the bugler played the Last Post, followed by a minute’s silence to remember the fallen.
The period of silence was ended by the Reveille, then the referee’s whistle – which was followed by the now traditional Millwall fans’ roar, hailing those who have given their lives, but also anticipating the match.
Those fans dug deep for the Royal British Legion Programme, not just with donations, but also by buying hot drinks on a cold day – Huski Chocolate sold drinking chocolate and a commemorative fundraising mug with a poppy, a Millwall badge and the firm’s logo.
Both wreaths were laid behind the goal at the Cold Blow Lane end before the match – in which Lee Gregory scored twice and record signing Ryan Leonard sweetly lobbed Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski for his first Lions goal and a 3-0 victory.
The next Millwall home game will see another British boxing champ parade before the game, this time against Bolton Wanderers.
Ted Cheeseman will show off his new British super-welterweight title belt in front of Millwall fans on November 24.
The Bermondsey boxer, a big Lions fans, outpointed Asinia Byfield to win the domestic belt at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday night.
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