Football Diary: Outlook poor for Best film

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH-made Oscar-winning film starring George Best is languishing on the shelf - because neither the BBC nor Channel 4 can afford to screen it. Produced by undergraduates at the National Film School two years ago, 'This Boy's Story', a captivating, stylish drama which follows a runaway's odyssey to watch Best, picked up an Academy Award for best student film, but since then has been confined to the (very) rare art-house showing.

TV programme buyers enjoyed the film directed by John Roberts, now working with David Puttnam, but say they cannot contemplate purchasing it because of actors' payments and musical royalties, which depending on who you talk to range from pounds 30,000 to pounds 100,000 (a snip compared to Middlemarch's pounds 1m an hour). 'It's very accomplished,' C4's Michael Rose says. 'A strong hour's drama, but acquiring it would use up most of our annual budget. I can't blow pounds 20-30,000 on one film.' Rose may not have the budget but surely some enterprising broadcaster could find the funds for a surefire ratings success. 'This Boy's Story' should be told.

BRADFORD CITY line-ups are always eagerly awaited: they are, after all, the club who paired Abbott and Costello as well as Leonard and McCarthy. A noble tradition continued recently when Nos 4, 5, 6, for the Bantams' reserves at Rotherham read Benn, Scargill, Heseltine. They all had one thing in common - all answer to the most excellent name of Wayne.

LIKE other Ewood employees, Terry Gennoe will this weekend remind himself of that famous cliche - 'it's a marathon not a sprint'. Otherwise he will be knackered. The popular former goalkeeper, now Blackburn's 'Learning Through Football' co-ordinator, runs in tomorrow's London Marathon, aiming to raise thousands for Derian House, the children's charity. A regular Rover throughout the 1980s, Gennoe, the father of three boys one of whom 'is showing an inclination towards Manchester United but we'll soon knock that out of him', found his footballing fitness has not given him much of a head start in the world of endurance running. 'The most I'd run before is 18 yards,' said the No 1 turned No 27,769. 'But the training has gone well and I did an 18-miler from Southport to Preston recently.'

Blackburn have been very supportive of Gennoe, who intends racing in the famous blue-and-white- halves. 'The players plus the management have all sponsored me,' the 41-year-old added, 'but the players have been joking that they will only pay up if I finish.'

AMONG the truck-loads of flowers and sack-loads of cards, the hospitalised Paul Gascoigne received a large get-well gift from Channel 4 - a catering pack of 48 Mars Bars.

A RARE event - all Manchester United's players available at once - has resulted in a single. 'Come On You Reds' is rather catchy, particularly if you like Status Quo. For those who can't wait until Monday's release, here's the chorus: 'Come on you Reds; come on you Reds;

Just keep your bottle and use your heads.

For 90 minutes we'll let them know;

It's Man United - Here We Go]

Come on you Reds; come on you Reds;

The team that every defender dreads.

We are the devils in red you know;

It's Man United - Here We Go'.

CONTAINED by Arsenal on Tuesday, PSG's David Ginola again had trouble getting a shot on target when teamed with Olazabal and Ballesteros in a Paris golf pro-am on Wednesday. At one hole, he ploughed his way to a 10 - frightfully bad form in golf, as the hole was already lost. With Ginola showing no inclination to pick up his ball, Ballesteros discreetly enquired: 'Are you still playing?'

STATS LIFE

THE Wild Turkey Bourbon for the week's freak fact goes to Eastleigh's Peter Beloch:

'The only two London sides to win in the League on Saturday did so against London opposition: Palace 1 Millwall 0; Brentford 1 Fulham 2'.

More bourbon next week. Entries to Football Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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