Our full-blooded full-back joined Millwall’s youth ranks in 1992 and went on to play over 150 games for the club before moving to Wimbledon.
Stevens, nicknamed ‘Rhino’, was a mentor throughout Ben’s three seasons as a first-team regular and we now honour him by taking on Millwall for his testimonial on Saturday.
Ben, on his way back from a long-term groin problem, said: “Rhino’s a great lad. I still speak to him weekly. He’s Mr Millwall really and has been there since he was about 13.
“I came in and played centre-half under Mick McCarthy and he played alongside me and made it so much easier.
“When he wasn’t playing through injury or suspension the job was more difficult.
“He half taught me the game and I’ve a lot of respect for him.
“He went on to be manager, did well, harshly sacked in my opinion but he’s still loved by the fans and he still keeps in touch with the lads, who hold him in high esteem.
“He’s a great lad. He’s a legend down there, Mr Millwall. I’m sure there will be a good turn out for him.”
Ben still goes to watch his old club occasionally and the only shame is that he will not be able to take part on Saturday — he has started running in his rehab but is still some way off full fitness.
“I still pop down there and all my mates go,” he revealed. “They are down there now buying season tickets for next season.
“Fantastic, great end to the season, them or Rotherham to be champions and Millwall winning 5-0.
“They have some terrific players now. The young kids have all played another 40, 50 games. A mate of mine said last year he was going to put a grand on them to win the title and a few people laughed at him but he was proved right.
“Steve Reed looks a fantastic player, powerful, strong. Tim Cahill’s does well and Mark McGhee looks a shrewd manager. The club looks back on its feet, rid of all the turmoil and going places again.”
Ben Thatcher says Keith Stevens, or ‘Mr Millwall’ as he describes him, taught him the game as he kicked-off his professional career with the Lions.