Purely Belter

Gerry (Beattie) and Sewell (McLane) are apprentice foot soldiers in the Toon Army - meaning that, as low expectation truants, they haven't a prayer of finding the £1,000 needed for a season ticket to see their beloved Newcastle United FC. Indomitable, they lay off the tabs and the glue, and start fund raising. They tout scrap metal, try robbing 'Everything's-a-Pound' stores, even beseech Alan Shearer. Mostly, though, real life intrudes in the form of simple or sickly parental figures, brutal errant dads, useless social workers, scornful teachers, fickle girls and street psychos. Given the growing inequities between big showbiz football clubs and their old proletarian fans, you'd not blame writer/director Herman for expounding the sort of angry polemic that gave his Brassed Off its biting edge. That's implicit in this lively adaptation of Jonathan Tulloch's novel The Season Ticket, but Herman couches his social judgment in broadminded comic observation. The comedy is patchily successful, but it's the immediate affection and empathy for the wayward leads that really plays. There's none of the triumphalism of most sports movies here, just a whole lot of mixed-up life.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mark Herman
Screenwriter: Mark Herman
Cast: Charlie Hardwick
Tim Healy
Roy Hudd
Kevin Whately
Chris Beattie
Greg McLane
Jody Baldwin
Kerry Ann Christiansen
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