Millwall Football Club was originally founded in 1885 as Millwall Rovers. The club later went by the name Millwall Athletic, before eventually becoming Millwall FC prior to entry into the Football League in 1920. Nicknamed the Lions, the club is named after the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs, although Millwall have not played a game in the area since 1910, when the club moved to New Cross.
Throughout most of the team's existence, it has played in level 2 and level 3 of the English league system, although from 1988–1990 the club did compete in the top tier. The club's highest ever finish in the league table was 10th place in 1988-89. For much of that season, the club had been one of the top 5 teams in the country, even briefly topping the league table in October, before their season faded in the final months of the campaign. At the end of the following season, they were relegated, finishing bottom of the league.
Major success has alluded Millwall, although during the 1970s, the club set an unbeaten home record of 59 games, which included 43 wins. Perhaps most impressively, the team kept a clean sheet on 35 of those occasions. Despite never winning a major national trophy, Millwall did manage to reach the FA Cup final in 2004, eventually losing 3-0 to Manchester United. However, because United had already qualified for European competition, the result granted Millwall entry into the following season's UEFA Cup, bringing European football to the club for the first time in its history.
The closest Millwall have come to returning to the top flight of English football was in 2002 when they lost a last minute heart breaker in the semifinal of the play-offs to Birmingham City Football Club.
Noteable former Millwall players include well known names like John Fashanu, Dennis Wise, Tim Cahill, Tony Cascarino and Teddy Sheringham.
The club currently plays its matches at The Den, formerly known as the New Den. The stadium was the first all-seater ground built after the Hillsborough disaster and has a capacity of 20,146. It is situated close to the club's old ground, which was also called The Den, and was opened in 1993.