People Sought to Play Leeds United Stars

By: Karri Madelline

Film bosses from Sony Pictures, BBC Films, Screen Yorkshire and Left Bank Pictures are looking for football-mad Leeds United fans to help them recreate the team’s famous 1970s squad for a new ?10 million film.

The Damned United, which starts filming later this month, is the film adaptation of a novel by Yorkshire-born writer David Pearce. The novel tells the story of Brian Clough's memorable 44-day stint as manager of Leeds United, before he was sacked in 1974 for being unpopular with the rest of the team The team disliked Clough because they were still very loyal to Don Revie, their previous manager who had left to manage England.

Although the main characters of the film are cast, the production team are searching for people to play other members of the Leeds United squad. Simon Clifford, who is a Leeds-based football coach, is responsible for finding the other members of the 1970s team and has said that he is looking for people with great football skills, as oppose to acting skills. He said: “I'm looking for lads who have played at Northern Counties East or Unibond league level or higher. They'll have to look something like their characters as well... These are non-speaking parts, although the people we pick will obviously have to react to what the actors are doing around them.”

The auditions will be in the form of football trials, which will take place at Garforth Town’s home ground in east Leeds between 10am and 6pm on Wednesday. Potential Leeds United superstars are advised to book a place on the trial by e-mailing g.williams@icfds.com or calling 0113 287 7145.

In addition to seeking out some of Leeds United’s heroes, Clifford is also looking for members of some other British teams that will feature in the movie such as Derby County, Liverpool and Manchester City.

The lucky footballers will join a stellar cast, which is thought to include Jim Broadbent and Timothy Spall. The role of Brian Clough will be played by established British actor Michael Sheen, who starred as Tony Blair in the Oscar-nominated film The Queen and played Kenneth Williams in the BBC drama Fantabulosa!, and the part of the popular manager Don Revie will be played by Colm Meaney, who is best known for Star Trek’s Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

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