Lionel Stanhope, the street artist and film-set painter who recently added Superman to a bridge near St Thomas’ Hospital in London, has been active on the rail network again.
This time, he has worked with Network Rail and has partnered with community groups and Millwall Football Club to celebrate the historic club’s crest of a leaping lion.
The new mural is on Zampa Road, close to Millwall’s home stadium at The Den. It depicts the current club crest of a leaping lion, which first appeared on Millwall’s kit in 1979. It remained until 1999 and was re-introduced again in 2007, being linked with 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.”
The lion that Lionel has depicted is just the latest version of the club’s crest. The first version, introduced in 1936, 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 of a leaping lion in realistic colours, the one which Lionel has painted, first appeared in 1979.
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.”
Millwall FC’s nickname was originally The Dockers – the job of many of the club’s supporters in the early 1900s. However, after knocking Football League leaders Aston Villa out of the 1899–1900 FA Cup, the press called Millwall the ‘Lions of the South’, and so the ‘Lions’ nickname was born.
Eddie Burton, community engagement manager at Network Rail, helped arrange the new mural. “It’s great to see this wall looking so good and I’m really pleased we could do this for Millwall Football Club,” he said.
“We hope the fans and local community will treasure this artwork and the mural will offer a great photo opportunity for years to come”