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Blitz spirit

The producers of Wartime Wanderers, the true story of the 1939 Bolton Wanderers football team which signed up to serve in World War II, have come up with an innovative way to finance their film whilst also raising money for charity.

Tim Purcell and his fellow producers decided to set up a production fund in aid of four charities as a way of allowing people to make small investments into their film. Money raised through this route will first be used to produce the film and then the income from the film’s release will be paid to the charities up to the full value of the fund. And it means that investors can put in as little or as much as they like.

The film began life as a book written by Tim Purcell and Mike Gething which Purcell went on to turn into a screenplay with Jack Seddon in 1996. It tells the true story of the Bolton Wanderers’ football team which signed up in its entirety to serve in World War II.

Bradley Walsh, Jonathan Pryce, Matthew McNulty and Sean McGuire are all attached to star in the film, which will be directed by David Whitney (Kandahar Break) and is due to begin shooting in the next few months in Bolton, Salisbury Plain, as well as in Northern France and Malta. The budget stands at £5m with money also being raised through the EIS scheme.

“It’s a really important part of British history and sporting heritage,” said Purcell who is producing along with John Hodges, Tahir Gulkaya, Mark Cornwell, Eduardo Barreto and David Evans.

“The football element is to a large extent irrelevant. This is about a bunch of guys who were patriotic and sacrificed their career and big wages to join the army. There is a romance side as well.”

They are currently in talks with distributors witha view to release in Autumn 2012.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Correction: The book was written by Tim Purcell & Mike Gething, the screenplay was co-written with Jack Seddon, who was one of The Longest Day writers. The 'big wages' in 1939, were just £6 in Summer, £8 in winter, £2 win bonus, £1 for a draw. But average UK wages were around £2 per week, professional person £3 plus. Army wages £1.05 per week! A massive drop; and put your life on the line. website: www.wartimewanderers.co.uk
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