Hollywood artist Lionel Stanhope designs mural for Millwall Football Club with backing from Network Rail: The leaping lion

Friday 26 Jun 2020

Hollywood artist Lionel Stanhope designs mural for Millwall Football Club with backing from Network Rail

Region & Route:
| Southern: Sussex

Network Rail has partnered with community groups and Millwall Football Club to celebrate the historic club crest of the leaping lion which has been used since 1936.

Historic railway bridges across South London have been transformed into stunning pieces of art thanks to Network Rail’s unique partnership with community groups, schools, artists and Lionel Stanhope, a street artist renowned for his vintage typography work.

Lionel has painted sets for Hollywood and Disney and his artwork has been featured on episodes of Black Mirror and Humans along with movies The Good Liar starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen and The Courier staring Gary Oldman.

The mural on Zampa Road is close to the Millwall home stadium – The Den and depicts the current club crest of a leaping lion which first appeared on a Millwall kit in 1979. It remained until 1999 and was re-introduced again in 2007 while referred to in the team’s nickname 'The Lions'.

Lionel Stanhope said:

I’m really happy to have worked with Network Rail and Millwall Football Club on this mural and I’m pleased with the outcome. It sits well on the wall with strong colours and I’ve received positive feedback from people walking past.”

Steve Kavanagh, Millwall chief executive, said:

“I’d like to thank everyone involved at Network Rail for assisting with this project and we’re also incredibly grateful for the efforts of Lionel, who has done a superb job with the new mural. I’d like to extend our thanks to members of Millwall Supporters’ Club who have overseen an initiative organised by the fans, for the fans.”

Eddie Burton, community engagement manager at Network Rail said:

“It’s great to see this wall looking so good and I’m really pleased we could do this for Millwall Football Club. We hope the fans and local community will treasure this artwork and the mural will offer a great photo opportunity for years to come”

The team nickname was previously The Dockers and arose from the job of many of the club's supporters in the early 1900s. However, the press headlined Millwall as 'Lions of the South', after knocking Football League leaders Aston Villa out of the 1899–1900 FA Cup and the 'Lions' nickname was born.

Do you want one of Lionel’s signs to brighten up a railway structure in your neighbourhood? Contact Eddie Burton on eddie.burton@networkrail.co.uk.

Notes to Editors

Millwall's traditional kit has predominantly consisted of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks throughout their 125-year history.

For the first 50 years, up until 1936, they played in a traditional navy blue, similar to the colours of the Scotland national team. This colour was chosen because it paid homage to the Scottish roots of the club with the nucleus of the first Millwall Rovers squad being from Dundee.

The club crest has been a leaping lion since 1936 and there have been many variations of the lion; the first was a single red lion, often mistakenly said to be chosen because of the club's Scottish roots.

From 1956 to 1974, Millwall's crest was two leaping red lions facing each other. The current crest is a leaping lion, which first appeared on a Millwall kit in 1979 and remained until 1999 and was then re-introduced again in 2007.

The club mascot is a giant lion called Zampa, named after Zampa Road, the road The Den is located on.

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