Improvised weapon made of a manipulated newspaper, used as a small club. It was named after supporters of Millwall F.C., who had a reputation for football hooliganism. The Millwall brick was allegedly used as a stealth weapon at football matches in England during the 1960s and 1970s. The weapon’s popularity appears to have been due to the wide availability of newspapers, the difficulty in restricting newspapers being brought into football grounds, and the ease of its construction.
A Millwall brick is constructed from several newspaper sheets stacked and tightly rolled lengthwise. The resulting tube is then bent in half to create a handle (a haft) and a rounded head at the fold.
In the late 1960s — in response to football hooliganism at matches in England — police began confiscating any objects that could be used as weapons. These items included steel combs, pens, beermats, horse brasses, Polo mints, shoelaces and boots. However, fans were still permitted to bring in newspapers. Larger broadsheet newspapers work best for a Millwall brick, and the police looked with suspicion at working class football fans who carried such newspapers. Because of their more innocent appearance, tabloid newspapers became the preferred choice for Millwall bricks. The book Spirit of ‘69: A Skinhead Bible describes the use of Millwall bricks by British football hooligans in the late 1960s: “Newspapers were rolled up tightly to form the so-called Millwall Brick and another trick was to make a knuckleduster out of pennies held in place by a wrapped around paper. You could hardly be pulled up for having a bit of loose change in your pocket and a Daily Mirror under your arm.” The book Skinhead says, “The Millwall brick, for example, was a newspaper folded again and again and squashed together to form a cosh.”