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  • By Yann Tear at the Den

Millwall don't do sentiment. But they make an exception for Berylson.

Millwall (0) 0

Bristol City (0) 1 James 90

He was the American businessman who somehow forged a long emotional bond with a club whose fans are often portrayed as the very antithesis of all that is sentimental.

New Yorker John Berylson became chairman of Millwall in 2007 and was still in post 16 years later when he passed away early last month at the age of 70 after a car crash in Massachusetts.

The philanthropist's passing clearly has tugged at the heartstrings of even he hardiest souls and the Den paid an emotional tribute in Saturday's first home game of the Championship season.

The club has stopped producing matchday programmes, alas, but they did publish a glossy tribute, which was being snapped up eagerly behind a packed Cold Blow Lane stand ahead of kick-off.

Before the game, a heart-felt video montage was played out on the screens, with players past and present eulogising about the kind of man he was - passionate about his club and as 'on edge' during games as the next fan. The Dockers Stand faithful started up the chants of his name and everyone followed.

The applause after that was sustained and loud, with visiting fans joining in. Family members came out on to the pitch to receive more acclaim. A few Stars and Stripes flags were waved in the stands. Wreaths were laid by captains of both teams in the centre circle.

Berylson would have been quietly pleased with the start the Lions have made to the season with a win at Middlesbrough on the opening day, but they followed up with a horrible 4-0 home defeat to Reading in the Carabao Cup and were beaten here in injury time.

They could have few complaints.

Gary Rowett's men were not at their best and rarely troubled an assured City rearguard although a late free-kick from the edge of the area from George Saville almost did the trick and Danny McNamara was close to snaffling the parry from keeper Max O'Leary in the follow-up.

Tom Bradshaw came on to try and spark more life into a quiet front line but could not make the difference this time.

There was plenty of noise from home fans for the last knockings, with sub Romain Esse making a nuisance of himself. But a win they chased went to the visitors, who had bossed possession.

The Lions failed to deal with a long throw from the right which eventually fell to Matty James and his volley found the bottom corner to spoil Millwall's emotional afternoon.

Lions: (3-5-2) Sarkic - Hutchinson, Cooper, M Wallace - McNamara (Leonard 90), Mitchell, De Norre (Saville 80), Watmore (Bradshaw 62), Bryan - Nisbet (Emakhu 80), Flemming (Esse 80)

Robins: (4-3-3) O'Leary - Tanner, Vyner, Dickie, Pring (Roberts 76) - James, Williams (Naismith 63), Knight - Sykes (Cornick 63), Wells (Mehmeti 63), Bell (Yeboah 85)

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