The Script



(Note: To see the Story Outline, click on "The Story" above)

    WHAT FOLLOWS ARE THE OPENING SCENES OF THE FULL SCRIPT



EXT. NUREMBERG STADIUM. GERMANY. DAY. (STOCK)

Crowds of GERMAN FAMILIES, the CHILDREN waving miniature swastika flags, converging from all directions towards the
entrances to the stadium.

CUT TO: EXT. BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. BOLTON. ENGLAND. DAY

Crowds of ENGLISH FAMILIES, the CHILDREN waving wooden rattles and wearing team scarves, converging from all
directions towards the entrances to the stadium.

CUT BACK TO: EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. HIGH SHOT. (STOCK)

The small figures of ADOLF HITLER, flanked by Deputy
Fuehrer RUDOLF HESS and REICHSFUEHRER HEINRICH HIMMLER,
advancing in uncanny silence up a long avenue between amassed ranks of steel-helmeted Nazi troops towards the
huge concrete platform which dominates the stadium.

CUT TO: EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.

CHARLES FOWERAKER, long-time manager of Bolton Wanderers Football Club. A powerfully-built man of iron will and determination, amid the cheerful hubbub of the crowd, leaving the directors box in the main stand and moving down to a lone microphone positioned on the lower terrace. Followed by the local MP and the town MAYOR.

CUT BACK TO:
EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. (STOCK)


HESS stepping aside from a bank of microphones on the podium to make deferential way for HITLER.

CUT TO:

EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.


FOWERAKER at the microphone, gesturing towards the pitch, where the Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland teams are lined
up before a BRASS BAND, standing to attention. At the signal, HARRY GOSLIN, the Bolton captain, moves off the
pitch towards the microphone.

CUT BACK TO: EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. (STOCK)

HITLER at the bank of microphones, gazing around with the assurance of a supreme at the thousands of expectant
faces gazing up at him, prolonging the silence, making them wait.

CUT TO: EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.

GOSLIN at the single microphone. Tall, fair-haired very erect, a natural leader, though just now nervous, unsure of
himself, aware of the murmuring of the crowd, like a puzzled giant. He gets a curt nod from FOWERAKER, clears
his throat, takes hold of the microphone.

CUT BACK TO:
EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. (STOCK)


HITLER starts to speak, pitching his voice low, measured, rhythmic, scattering words like a mesmerist over the
spellbound crowd.

CUT TO: EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.

GOSLIN starts to speak, or rather his strong, Northern voice blurts out huge over the speakers, startling and
silencing the crowd.

GOSLIN

We are facing a national emergency!

He checks, moderates his tone, resumes more steadily.

GOSLIN (CONT’D)

But the danger can be met, if everyone keeps a cool head and knows what to do.

CUT BACK TO: EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY (STOCK)

HITLER is beginning to increase the pressure on the crowd, raising the pitch of his voice, increasing the tempo.

CUT TO: EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.

GOSLIN is gaining confidence, his sincerity shining through his inexperience of public speaking.

GOSLIN

At the request of the Government, the Football Association have asked us to make a plea for you men here today who are fit and
able to come to the defence of your country.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. (STOCK)


HITLER is gradually lifting the power and eloquence of his speech. We see its effect on the faces of the men and
women in the stadium, even on the children.

CUT TO:

EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.


GOSLIN

What I am saying to you now comes from my own head, and from my own heart.

As he speaks, CAMERA IS PANNING DOWN the line-up of his team-mates RAY WESTWOOD, a Midlander with movie-star looks,
sleek black hair neatly parted: ERNIE FORREST, an irrepressible, madcap Geordie: STAN HANSON, the goalkeeper,
a big cheerful Scouser: DONNY HOWE, a canny Yorkshireman: JACK HURST, a Boltonian, a gentle giant of a man: ALBERT
GELDARD, a tough Scot: JOHN ROBERTS, Welsh and proud of it: VAL THOMPSON; JIMMY ITHELL: and GEORGE CATERALL.

GOSLIN (CONT’D)

This is not something you can leave to the other fellow. Everyone should do his share. I have a wife and two children, and
it's to help ensure their freedom that I have decided to join the Army. I hope, I think, I know, that at least some of my team-mates will decide to do the same.

CUT BACK TO:


EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. (STOCK)


HITLER is working up to a peroration, starting to , his voice growing harsher, hoarser, louder and louder.

CUT TO:

EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.


GOSLIN

So here's what I'm asking. I'm asking all of you men who are fit and able, to follow us.

CUT BACK TO:

EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. (STOCK)


HITLER is reaching the end of his peroration.

CUT TO:

EXT INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.



GOSLIN is reaching the end of his.

GOSLIN

Are all of us here in Bolton, all of us men here in this stadium, as prepared as the Germans to stand up for the freedom of our
children?

CUT BACK TO:

EXT. INSIDE NUREMBERG STADIUM. DAY. (STOCK)


HITLER as the crowd erupts into a mighty roar.

CROWD

Seig heil!

CUT TO:

EXT. INSIDE BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.


GOSLIN as the crowd erupts into a mighty roar. Tossing their hats into the air.

CROWD

Y-e-e-e-e-e-sssss!

END OPENING TITLES

CAMERA PULLS UP HIGH TO LOOK OVER THE MAIN STAND AND DOWN
INTO THE NOW ALMOST DESERTED CAR PARK IN FRONT OF THE
STADIUM.


Three BOYS are running pell-mell across the car park, dribbling and passing between a make-shift football up of old . They pull up short at the SOUND spilling over from inside the stadium.

EXT. BURNDEN PARK STADIUM. DAY.

The three boys, NAT LOFTHOUSE, his pals JIMMY and FRANK, staring at the stadium. NAT, aged 14, is unusually big and
strong for his age.

JIMMY

We must’ve scored already!

NAT

Can’t have. It’s not time for Kick-Off yet!

Nat boots the ball ahead and they chase it towards the corner of a street that leads down the of the stadium and to the back. NAT gets there first and boots the ball again, hitting a young girl, ALMA FOSTER, as ALMA comes round the corner, arm in arm with her friend EILEEN BARNET.

ALMA snatches up the ball as if she means to keep it. FRANK grabs it from her and keeps on running.

NAT stays still, staring at ALMA.

NAT (CONT’D)

Sorry. Didn’t see you coming.

EILEEN

Well, you should have!

NAT stops in his tracks, obviously smitten by the stunning young ALMA, her blonde locks half covering her face.

NAT

Well, I am sorry, you know

The girls continue walking, turning their backs on NAT

NAT (CONT’D)

(Still to ALMA) You go to our school, don't you? Castle Hill school.

EILEEN

We both do.

EILEEN doesn’t look back, but ALMA can’t resist, and gives NAT a coy smile over her shoulder.

NAT

Yes. I've seen you.

NAT looking , as ALMA turns away.

ALMA

He plays for our school team

EILEEN

Kicking a ball about, I expect that's all he's good at.

NAT hears SHOUTS from down the street.

JIMMY

NAT! NAT!

FRANK

What you doing?

CAMERA GOING WITH NAT as he sets off full-tilt to join them.

CAMERA CONTINUING WITH as they belt along the back of the stadium towards the railway Embankment End.
SOUND from inside the stadium: the brass band striking up the National Anthem, the crowd singing.

FRANK (CONT’D)

(As they run) They're playing the National Anthem!

JIMMY

Must be the King’s birthday.

FRANK

That were last week.

NAT

Perhaps he’s died.

Panting, they reach a particular drainpipe, they know it well, it leads up to the roof of the IPA Bar at the
Embankment End. NAT grabs the rag ball from FRANK, stuffs it up his jersey, starts to swarm up the drainpipe, FRANK
and JIMMY following.

CUT TO:

EXT. BURNDEN PARK PITCH/ STADIUM. DAY.


As RAY WESTWOOD (Nat's "Wessy") gets a heavy challenge that sends him arse over tip and the ball spinning out of
play. His ERNIE FORREST does one of his stunts, sliding down to the perimeter track like a skier, scooping
up the ball and ending up gracefully at the terrace barrier.

He calls to the CROWD.

FORREST

How the favorite do in the 2.30 at Haydock?

SHOUT
Didn’t finish!

FORREST

Bloody hell!

He bounces the ball savagely.

GOSLIN

(To FORREST) Game’s up here!

CONTINUED.....THROUGH CALL-UP,  OPERATIONS IN FRANCE,  EVACUATION FROM DUNKIRK,   FIGHTING IN NORTH AFRICA,

THE BATTLES IN ITALY,  NAT JOINING THE CLUB........TO 1945