TEN BEST FOOTBALL DOCUMENTARIES
AN ALTERNATIVE REALITY: THE FOOTBALL MANAGER DOCUMENTARY
“It’s always just one more game“
This funny and fascinating documentary tells the story of the addictive PC game, Football Manager, formerly known as Championship Manager.
From the original makers of the game to the addicted players, who all have their own humorous and unique tale to tell.
Comedians, Musicians, Actors, Bus Drivers, even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talks about organising his squad while on away trips with Manchester United.
You will hear from people reminiscing about playing as teenagers in the 90s, wearing suits for “cup finals” and one guy shaking hands with doorknobs pretending he was meeting Prince Michael of Kent.
Even Alex Mcleish is featured, talking about how he enquired about signing Messi and Iniesta for Rangers, off the back of hearing about the youngster's stats on Football Manager.
Best Quote: John McClure of Reverend and the Makers, on playing Football Manager “I remember playing Glastonbury, first time I’m playing Glastonbury, there’s gonna be like thousands of people. And I’m back stage looking for a new right winger, for Man U”
THE CRAZY GANG
“We were your worst weekend”
‘The Crazy Gang (an FA Cup fairytale)’ is the story of Wimbledon FC and their rise from non-league football to 1988 FA Cup winners, made by BT sport.
With their unconventional style and approach on and off the field, the Crazy Gang story is told by amongst others, the psychopathic and merciless leader John Fashanu, midfield hardman Vinnie Jones and managers Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett and Bobby Gould.
Stories of dog shit down the back of shirts, cars set alight and players being tied to roofs of cars driven up the A3, were commonplace, in the crazy world of eccentric owner Sam Hamman’s Wimbledon.
Other players featured include Alan Cork, Lawrie Sanchez, Andy Thorn, Dennis Wise, Terry Phelan and John Scales, along with brutal acid tongued coach Wally Downes.
‘The Crazy Gang’ is a must see documentary, which shows the brutal and unorthodox side of football.
Best Quote: Vinnie Jones “I smashed Steve McMahon early on. That was a real, like, Yeah, we don’t give a shit. That tackle was planned for weeks.”
ONE NIGHT IN TURIN
“This is the big one. Germany’s the big one“
‘One Night in Turin’, is the story of Bobby Robson’s England, in the buildup and eventual participation, to the Italia ‘90 World Cup.
This 2010 documentary is set against a backdrop of Hooliganism, Political tension and a brilliant soundtrack which includes The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, as England and Football entered a new decade and a new era.
As Robson fought the British Press and supporters fought rival fans and the Italian Police off the field, England led by talisman Paul Gascoigne, stuttered through the group stages and knockouts, to reach the World Cup Semi-Final.
Narrated by Gary Oldman and interviews with Bobby Robson and Republic of Ireland Manager Jack Charlton, the main focus is on the magnificent Gazza and his rise to stardom, as he captured the whole nation.
With Pavarotti's 'Nessun Dorma' as the perfect soundtrack to this iconic and fondly remembered Wolrd Cup, One night in Turin, is a must see Documentary.
GAZZA'S ITALIAN DIARY
“When we got him, my God, it seemed like Jesus Christ was arriving”
“Gazza’s Italian diary” is a behind the scenes look at Paul Gascoigne’s three-year stay in Italy, after signing with Serie A giants, Lazio.
This fascinating and entertaining documentary shows everything from his 1992 Beatles-Esq arrival in Rome, through his many rehab sessions and games, during his time in the Italian capital.
Gazza is adored by the Lazio supporters which is shown, as he talks about the pressures of playing and scoring in the Rome derby and the relief at getting on the scoresheet.
He talks candidly about his life, his future and his problems on and off the pitch, during his time as the biggest football star in the world, along with the problem of who he can trust.
Funniest Moment: During his Lazio medical, a sheepish and embarrassed Paul Gascoigne, tells the filmmaker how he forgot to bring his boots and trainers with him to Italy, and shows some beige deck shoes he is wearing.
KEVIN ALLEN'S WORLD CUP DIARY
"Let's all have a disco, let's all have a disco, la la la"
Kevin Allen, brother of actor and ‘vindaloo’ star Keith, follows the England national team around Italy for Italia ‘90 in ‘Kevin Allen's World Cup Video Diary.’
This brilliant BBC documentary shows Allen as he drives around Italy for Italia ‘90, showing the good, the bad and the ugly side, following the three lions abroad.
Shot from a supporters point of view this film highlights troubles with customs, Italian Police, ticket touts and fellow England supporters, as Allen camps alongside fans.
With footage from the terraces, inside the stadiums, as Allen watches England reach the Semi-Final of the World Cup, the war on hooliganism is played out alongside the football.
Interviews with fans, Journalists, and Sir Bobby Robson, makes this forgotten documentary a must see.
CASUALS: THE STORY OF THE LEGENDARY TERRACE FASHION
"As the 80s began the Casual movement took grip across the UK"
‘Casuals’, tells the story of terrace fashion from the 1970s Mods revival, through the 1980s, casuals movement.
A subculture originating in Liverpool, Manchester, and London, spreading throughout the UK this documentary hears from casuals, personalities and the trendsetters of the time.
Scousers, Mancs, and Cockneys have their say on who wore what first and differences between cities and sets of supporters matchday attire.
If you were into Adidas Trimm Trabs, Stan Smiths or Diadora Bjorn Borg’s, this is the doc for you.
Fact: Wade Smith Trainer shop in Liverpool early 80s, was selling more Adidas than any other shop in the world.
THE TWO ESCOBARS
“Pablo was the King of Kings“
“Narco-Soccer” as it was known, saw the country's leading Drug Lords buying up the Colombia’s football teams, as a way to launder money and entertain themselves, with Pablo Escobar owning Medellin and Atletico Nacional.
Colombian Internationals including Andres Escobar, Asprilla, Higuita, and Valderrama would regularly visit Pablo’s house to party and play football, even playing a game against Pablo and friends inside La Catedral “Prison” before the USA 94 World Cup.
This brilliant documentary shows the dark side of Colombian Soccer, with the tragic story of Andres Escobar paying for an own goal at the US World Cup in 1994, with his life.
Fact: Pablo Escobar could make £50m in one day.
‘Le God’ is the story of one club legend and football genius Matthew Le Tissier, as he takes you through his career with Southampton and England.
The forward's fascinating and funny story is told by Le Tissier, as he takes you from Guernsey and the Southampton youth team to the Premier League.
He recounts tales of past games, managers and his most memorable goals, which included scoring the final goal at the Dell and playing his last game for the club at St Mary's.
“People have often said, did you enjoy being the big fish in a small pond
and I’ll be honest with you too right I did...I loved been the centre of attention and the main man.”
'LE GOD' THE MATTHEW LE TISSIER STORY
"I wanted to entertain people"
MARCHING ON TOGETHER
"You're born in the Boro, you're proud to be from Boro, so you go and watch them"
‘Marching on Together’ is a behind the scenes documentary, showing a typical match day at Ayresome Park, former home of Middlesbrough, during the 1991-92 season.
Everybody from the kit man and club shop staff to the players arriving and supporters in pubs on a match day are featured.
Filmed during Boro’s promotion to the inaugural Premier League season, manager Lennie Lawrence explains that to get promotion “would be like getting the keys to an Aladdin's cave.”
Best Quote: “Marvellous, Spend your giro on a Saturday enjoy a few pints, that’s what the North-East’s all about. Spend your giro, support the Boro."
GET SHIRTY-THE STORY OF ADMIRAL
"Every kid in the country was a potential customer"
Having started off making ladies underwear, Leicester based hosiery manufacturers Admiral began making football kits, after seeing the commercial potential following England’s 1966 World Cup win.
Admiral approached Leeds United in 1973 and after paying the club £7,000 they became the first football team with a visibly branded kit and tracksuit tops.
This documentary follows the company through the 1970s as they began making football kits for a number of English clubs including Southampton, Manchester United, Manchester City, and the England national team.
Interviews with the owners, factory workers, and chief kit designer, along with England and Leicester City goalkeeper Peter Shilton (who was sponsored by Admiral for a time), make for a fascinating insight into the world of football shirts.