For the Love of the Game was originally planned as a longer project charting the plight of non league Wivenhoe Towns fight for survival, however things became more urgent when the club was locked out of its ground by the trustees of The Wivenhoe and District Sporting Facilities Trust because of a long running dispute.
We had some discussions and when we decided to produce the film we knew we had on archive some footage of news items as well as some footage from a local camera crew who had recorded the protest marches, where men woman and children took to the streets to show solidarity with the football clubs plight.
I personally wanted to also record the efforts of all concerned to display the lengths that normal people go to for the love of the game.
The short film in two parts chartered the journey from former premier league player Julian Dicks arrival (from Spain) as manager which in my opinion was in itself was a huge moment in the clubs recent history – raising the clubs profile to the national media. Through to the protest march and the passion of the people drawn from within the small sleepy village, to this day I still feel proud that we stood up for the many years of history and the efforts of so many local people who had contributed to Wivenhoe Town. Its rumoured that the trustees had convinced themselves that only a small handful of people had marched, as the footage shows, a placard waving snake winding its way along the high street, of normal folks chanting and walking together, if nothing else, the film visually recorded the truth of that day.
We filmed the interviews on the iphone, rather than a traditional method, this was a quick and convenient method. However we encountered problems when transferring to DVD due to synching issues with HD. Which was overcome by slicing out frames in the visual.
We rushed to get the editing ready and I recall my co director and producer Aaron Weddell working through the night before the premier to get the final cut ready, we premiered the film at an event within the club entitled “An evening with Anthony Clavane – Promised Land”, Anthony a local author and national journalist writing for the Sunday Mirror had just released his debut book, Promised Land, charting the history of Leeds united. We showed the film to a packed club and an audience of fans, players, local officials (the mayor) as well as freinds and family. Anthony then read from his book which has since won many awards and rave reviews.
The film now resides on You Tube. It has almost hit a thousand views..
One day ill make the longer version, when I’ve finished the book.
On reflection it was rather rushed and at times amateur in its creation, however I believe it was an admirable account especially considering the time restrictions (it was made over 3 weeks). Most importantly I believe its a lasting reminder of how we all worked for something we believed in, it didn’t have to be for Wivenhoe Town, it could have been any village standing alongside their local club. Hopefully whilst not a Hollywood classic, the film will remain a fitting reminder of the lengths a small number of people will go for the love of the game.
The community project that started it all… a short film highlighting the efforts at Wivenhoe Town Football Club.
This film is shown in two parts, click on the links below to view.
Nicholas Murphy Whymark