Champion stuff! Leeds United documentary film has the winning combination

Vinnie Jones, Howard Wilkinson and Gary McAllister at the film's premiere.
Vinnie Jones, Howard Wilkinson and Gary McAllister at the film's premiere.
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The eagerly-awaited Leeds United documentary film Do You Want To Win? had its premiere last night. PAUL ROBINSON was there to review it for the YEP.

Do You Want To Win? may be the title but it’s not the only question posed by this fabulous new Leeds United documenatry film.

Will you want to watch it again the moment it finishes?

And, even more importantly, does it do justice to one of the most remarkable periods in any football club’s history?

The answer on both counts, it’s a pleasure to report, is a ‘yes’ every bit as emphatic as a Vinnie Jones tackle.

Vinnie features in the film, of course, along with the likes of Howard Wilkinson, Gordon Strachan, Mel Sterland and Gary McAllister.

Footage of the key on-field moments from the late 1980s and early 1990s is present and correct as well. Strachan’s goal against Leicester? Check.

Chapman’s diving headers at Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday? Check.

Brian Gayle’s crazy own goal on the day the title was won? Check.

But director Lee Hicken and writer Daniel Chapman have crafted a feelgood film that is about more than just points on the board and performances on the pitch.

It also tells the story of how United chairman Leslie Silver and managing director Bill Fotherby went about finding the money to pay for their Elland Road revolution.

Fotherby, still as flamboyant as ever, comes close to stealing the show, with business associates happily recounting his determination to wring every penny out of them to support United’s rise back to glory in the space of three short seasons.

Strachan at one point recalls going in to see Fotherby for a pay rise and leaves having agreed to sponsor a game!

Ces Podd, Leeds’s community officer of the time, and fan Andy Peterson also vividly describe how the revival of the club helped transform the mindset of a city ready to be reborn after the ups but mainly downs of the 80s.

If you were there, you’ll feel like a young ‘un again. If you weren’t, the film will make you wish you had been.

Do You Want To Win? is out now on DVD – get your hands on a copy as soon as possible.

As Vinnie very nearly said in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, it’ll be emotional.

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