1980s Black football drama finds its writer and director

A picture of a football. Nowt else to see here.
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Three Degrees will focus on the impact of three legendary Black players at West Bromwich Albion in the 1970s.

Racism in football is an ongoing narrative in the beautiful game, a blight that continues to infect different levels of the world’s most popular sport. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar now in the rear-view mirror, the structurally racist treatment of the migrant workers who built the country’s infrastructure will continue to be a story moving forwards.

Go back to Britain in the 1970s and racism was endemic within the game, on the pitch, in the crowds, manifesting itself at all levels of the sport. It is against this backdrop that the upcoming Three Degrees will be set, telling the story of three instrumental Black players who transformed the fortunes of West Bromwich Albion Football Club during the ‘winter of discontent’ when strikes were also ravaging the country.

It’s a period rife for dramatic exploitation and the project (which is being executive produced by the mighty Lenny Henry) has now found the creative duo that will bring it to life. Clint Dyer and Roy Williams will direct and write respectively having previously collaborated on London’s National Theatre play Death Of England: Face To Face. That production would go on to become a feature-length production shown on Sky Arts in the UK.

Three Degrees is being backed by Film4 and will see the duo jump firmly into the world of cinema.

Considering the raw human emotions that football can evoke, both beautiful and ugly, it’s a surprise that there aren’t more attempts to tackle grown-up takes on the sport. Still, Three Degrees looks like it could be something special.

We’ll leave you with the synopsis below…

‘Three Degrees follows three young Black footballers, Cyrille Regis, Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham, who were instrumental in boosting a struggling West Bromwich Albion football team during the ‘winter of discontent’ – a period between November 1978 and February 1979 when the UK was hit with a series of mass strikes. The pioneering footballers are credited with helping break down barriers for Black and minority ethnic football players during a time of widespread racism in the game.’

As we hear more about the project, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Screen Daily

Image: BigStock

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