Fever Pitch: The Rise of the Premier League (2021) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

Hello once again.
I'm Martin Tyler.
Welcome to the start
of a new season in England,
football more popular
than ever here.
-[crowd cheering]
-[whistle blows]
[David Beckham]
I remember Brian McClair
just tapping the ball forward,
and it was just rolling
perfectly, and I thought,
"Why not?"
And it was just instinctively
something that I knew,
that I'd done so many times
as a youth team player.
I remember it going
far out left,
and then all of a sudden
it started to turn,
and I was like,
"This has got a chance."
[commentator] Beckham!
That's absolutely brilliant.
Take a bow, David Beckham.
[Beckham] The boss said to me,
"Get on the bus.
Do not speak to the media."
That was his way
of protecting me
because he probably knew
what was gonna happen
after scoring a goal like that.
I don't think anything
prepares you
for media attention
at such a young age.
And I think that for some
it was too much.
The Football Association
has approved controversial plans
to set up a new super league.
On he goes!
[man 1] When Murdoch
wrote the cheque,
everyone said,
"Poor old Rupert's
lost it this time."
[Alan Shearer] How big it was
gonna be, I don't think anyone
could have predicted.
I would love it
if we beat them. Love it.
[Eric Cantona]
When the seagulls
follow the trawler,
they think sardines
will be thrown.
It's just all money.
Each club is one big
theme park now.
[Les Ferdinand] Footballers
became sort of like
rock stars overnight.
[crowd roars]
[Paul Merson]
I've got a choice in life now.
I either go back to the booze
and the gambling and the drugs
or I go the other way.
It's like a religion.
It's something to believe in.
[narrator] In 1992,
the Premier League and its stars
were roaring onto our TV screens
and into
the public consciousness.
But behind the scenes,
the big clubs
were developing players
who would soon become
a new, emerging cast
in the football soap opera.
[man] We'd heard rumours
that something special
was brewing at Manchester United
with the group of young players
that were coming through.
Something young and fresh
and exciting, which is what
the Premier League was.
David Beckham was part
of the first generation
to come of age
in the Premier League era.
The youth team he joined
at Manchester United,
would go on to dominate
British football for a decade.
[commentator] Beckham,
who's a ball-playing
midfield man,
the number eight
for Manchester United.
[Beckham] From the moment
we started playing
for the youth team,
we realized
that we had something special
because we were coming up
against teams
like Liverpool, Everton,
and we wasn't just beating them
1-0 or 2-0.
We were beating them like 7-2
and winning these games easily.
We were all from
working-class backgrounds,
and being at Manchester United,
we knew that we had
one opportunity.
This wasn't gonna
come around again.
[commentator] Gillespie.
[narrator] At the time,
one of the most promising
players on their side
was Keith Gillespie,
a 17-year-old
from a small town
in Northern Ireland.
[reporter] They've asked you
to sign now?
Actually, I have signed
to an apprenticeship.
It starts next year.
Do you feel
under pressure,
or are you excited?
Excited. Right, yeah.
Keith was one of those kids
that naturally
You know, when he ran
with the ball, it's like
when you watch Giggsy play.
I was nowhere near as fast
as Keith. He was so talented.
[Gillespie] It's obviously very
difficult, you know, leaving
home at such a young age,
and you're sort of thrust
into the big, bad world
so to speak.
You know, but I think
the main focus is
that you just want to do well.
You want to make people proud
of yourself.
And for a town like Bangor
where I was living,
it was a big thing signing
for a club like Man United.
So that was the first
sort of press
that I would've had.
The youth team
that I was part of,
we were very fortunate
as a group that we all
came through the same year,
and we really helped
each other on.
[Beckham] Keith, he was actually
next to the same digs
as what I was in.
Keith was one of the ones
that I knew probably best
out of most of the lads, really.
Obviously, him being
from Ireland
and me being from London,
there was a bond there because,
A, we both missed home,
and, obviously, you know,
we were also both right wingers.
[Gillespie] A few of my mates
in London turned around to me
and said I'm lucky
and that I know I'm lucky,
but you know, you have
to give up a lot of things,
and I was prepared to do that.
Yeah, he was just like
any normal young lad
who just wanted
what everyone else wanted,
to be a professional footballer.
He was very dedicated.
[news anchor] We're gonna meet
one 14-year-old boy
who has just signed
for Manchester United.
But the question is,
can he handle the fame,
or will he eventually
self-destruct like George Best?
David, will you hurry up?
You're late.
[reporter] There's a picture
of you there signing
with Alex Ferguson.
What was it like
when you signed that?
How did you feel?
Well, it was brilliant.
Just brilliant.
When I first met Becks,
he had this perfect
coiffed hair,
gelled probably Brylcreem
or something fancy like that
and I just thought he was flash.
You would do.
Perfect track suit,
perfect trainers,
perfect hair style,
and I was Gary from Bury.
[narrator] In the early days
of the Premier League,
Manchester United
started filming
their young players
behind the scenes
as well as on the pitch
to sell mail-order videos
to fans.
I always got a camera on me.
They always push it on me.
I think it's 'cause they're
from Bury. I don't know.[man] Bury!
[man] Show us which is
your favourite.Probably the New York one.
New York?
Did you get that fromI got it from London, actually.
Not from New York.No.
[man] How many pairs
of football boots
have you got?
[Beckham] Two pairs there
and I've got about
four pairs in the cupboard.
[man] And these here?
See that? "Becks".
David wanted to be a star.
I genuinely believe
he wanted to be a star.
He was meant to be a star.
[boy] David, can I have
your autograph?
No problem.
What's your name?[man] Joey Roberts.
Marc Pettican.Marc.
And a "C".
[crowd cheering]
[Neville] It was almost
like the perfect storm.
The Premier League starting,
us coming through
at Manchester United,
Sir Alex winning the league
for the first time.
Everything coming
together at once.
Here we go
Here we go, here we go♪
As this generation
came through,
they were entering a new world
where footballers
were transforming from
sportsmen into celebrities.
[audience applauding,
Extremely lucky this morning.
I'm on the bed with soccer's
latest sex god.
Yes. He has scored more times
than anyone else
in the Premier League.
With the introduction
of the Premier League,
footballers became sort of
like rock stars overnight.
What rock stars were,
footballers became,
and most of us tried
to live up to that lifestyle.
So what did you do
I did a variety of jobs.
I was a steam cleaner,
I did a bit of painting
and decorating.
All the best-looking boys
are painters and decorators.
[laughs]Well, they are.
They are.
At the time, my job was to edit
the Bizarre pages of The Sun.
It was the most famous sort of
pop celebrity column in Britain.
I'd regularly see footballers
out and about at parties.
There'd be loads of girls
clamouring around them.
A lot of them enjoyed playing
a part of that,
and that helped fuel the rise
of their celebrity and fame.
-[fans clamouring]
-[Jamie Redknapp]
As the Premier League started
to really transform the game,
I was sort of 19, 20 years
of age and so wide-eyed.
I just wanted
to be a part of it.
I enjoyed the razzmatazz,
if you like, of it.
This way. Around this way.
[Redknapp] David Beckham was
starting to come on the scene
and the pop star girlfriend.
I had a pop star girlfriend.
There was a lot of people
judging you.
Worrying What's first,
is it football or show biz?
What do you want to be more?
It all changed, you know?
Girls have pictures
of footballers on their wall.
And that's how it was going.
It was becoming that big.
Would you please make some noise
for Mr David Ginola.
[cheering and applause]
How does it feel
when your balls hit
the back of the net?
[audience laughing]
What is that feeling like?
-I know what you mean. Exactly.
-Good. I'm glad you do.
-We're getting on just fine.
Five, four, three, two, one!
As Manchester United enjoyed
success on the pitch,
they were rapidly
developing ways to exploit
their brand off it.
[man] We find
that the kids today
are more a leisure garment.
People actually look forward
to the kit coming out
'cause they want to wear it
as a fashion garment.
And we'd rather them
purchase clothing off us
rather than going to Harrods
or any other High Street
Harrods may not be
a good example
any other High Street store.
Like many of the big teams,
Manchester United were fast
realizing the real value
lay in their stars.
We've been to places,
the Far East,
we've been to Europe,
and no matter where you go,
there's people brawling
to get lads' autographs.
-[man 1] You're on the air.
-I was quiet, mate.
-[man 2] Shh.
[man 1] How do you think
you'll cope
with all the fame
-[man 2] Stop.
Let's do it again.
-[man 1] How do you think
How do you think
you'll cope
with all the fame
and all the pressure
that might come
from the media?
When you come to a club
like Manchester United,
you've got to be able
to handle the media.
And at the moment,
organized by Paul McGuinness,
there's media training
at the club,
and people from local radio
come in and test us
and try and catch us out.
It's very good.
Thank you.[chattering]
[man 1] I was gonna say,
and it's working.
When I look
at the media training,
it was critical
because Manchester United
is the most scrutinized football
club in this country,
and we, if we were gonna make it
into the first team,
were gonna be always expected
to speak to the media.
It was actually
more nerve-racking speaking
in front of your teammates
than it was actually
to a reporter
without them being there.
What is Manchester like as
a city to live and to work in?
[all laughing]We're overwhelmed.
What is Manchester like as
a city to live and work in?
[all laugh]
Giggs, they need us here again.
[reporter] All Ferguson's
youngsters are warned about
the dangers of various vices
at a club where memories
are still fresh of how
George Best once fell prey
to a cocktail of bunking,
betting and boozing.
Jesus Christ!
[Neville] We were close
as a group of people.
You were there from 8:00
in the morning till 4:00
in the afternoon,
and we were always
socializing together.
I was living
with one of the boys
I played with on the youth team,
and he said to me one day,
did I fancy taking a walk
with him up to the bookies?
And I'd never been to bookies
in my life before,
but took the walk with him.
I got in there, and that was me
just totally hooked.
We would go and sit
in the bookies together,
all of us.
We'd go in the afternoon,
it was just to be
two or three hours.
We'd put a pound
on the placepot. We'd put
a pound on the dog race.
We'd put 50p on it.
It was always that money
that you would
I felt you would accept
that you could lose.
It was never big money.
It was more being together
and socializing.
We all did it together.
Keith obviously loved
He was the one that, to be fair,
he had the contacts
with the trainers
and stuff like that,
and he had contacts with people
who would give him tips.
I used to bring in
the fixed odds coupons
into the training ground,
and, you know,
the physios had a syndicate,
the coaches had a syndicate.
Alex Ferguson would get one.
So, yep, I would have been
the sort of bookies runner
so to speak,
and put the bets on
for everyone.
[McCarthy] Keith Gillespie, he
and Ryan Giggs were the players
that everybody spoke of.
Gillespie was the sort of person
that if you were in
the front two rows
at Old Trafford,
you'd be on your feet.
This was something
quite exciting,
and he got into the first team
ahead of obviously ahead
of David Beckham.
By his second year, he was
he developed
into a really, you know,
outstanding athlete.
Good shoulders on him.
His stamina improved
And then I gave him a chance
in his third year.
[news anchor] Keith Gillespie
made an unexpected
but headline-hogging debut.
[crowd roaring]
Only 18 and surrounded
by internationals,
he rounded off
an impressive debut
with a memorable goal
ten minutes from time.
[Gillespie] The debut
couldn't have gone any better.
You know, setting one up
and scoring on your debut
for the club that you supported.
So, as I say, things can't get
much better than that.
It happened quite quickly
for me. I left school at 16,
but within a year and a half,
I had made my first team debut.
Just as Gillespie was
establishing himself
as part of
the Manchester United team,
Alex Ferguson made
an unexpected decision
that would have a huge impact
on the young player's life.
We were playing a game
against Sheffield United
in the FA Cup,
and I'd travelled to the game
and thought I was gonna play.
The team was announced,
the subs was announced,
and I wasn't involved.
[man] What's this? Alex?
We all know we're taking
the Cole kid, do we?
Alex Ferguson
just pulled me aside
and explained the situation,
that we're in for the striker
at Newcastle.
He says the only way
the deal is gonna happen
is if you go the other way.
You know, I'm a Man United fan.
I still am a Man United fan.
And, you know, so,
to be going to a sort of game
where I'm expecting to play,
and within a conversation
with the manager,
you're thinking about leaving
the club that you love,
and you're gonna be sad.
[news anchor] The Newcastle
United forward, Andy Cole,
has signed for Manchester United
in a deal worth
seven million pounds.
It's a record British transfer
and the third highest anywhere.
Was it a shock?A big shock.
I think it's a shock
to you boys as well 'cause
no one thought that Kevin Keegan
would sell me
to arch-rivals Man United,
but I'm looking forward to it.
Big smile, big smile.[shutter clicking]
[reporter] The bait,
as United hooked Cole,
was their own Keith Gillespie,
admired by Newcastle not least
for his goal against them
earlier this season.
A million for Gillespie
plus six million cash
makes seven million,
a British record.
[audience clapping]
Thank you. If
If Listen to me. If
If you won a million pounds
on the lottery,
what would you spend it on?
Well, you'd probably buy a car.
You'd buy a holiday.
You'd buy a big house.
You'd buy a yacht. Maybe.
Or you could buy
a top-class footballer.
Not just any ordinary
The one that Kevin Keegan
has described
as the most exciting player
in British football today.
Would you please welcome
the former Manchester United
and now Newcastle United player,
our very own Keith Gillespie.
A million smackeroos.
Aye. Well, congratulations
for a start.
Thanks very much.When did you hear
you were on the move?
Late Monday night.
It was just a total shock to me.
I think as a young 19-year-old
and being at the club
that you support and
Does just go to show
how quickly things change
in football.
Here one day, gone the next
sort of thing.
And, you know, clubs
all of a sudden don't want you.
You must have some worries
about going to Newcastle
because you knew Manchester
very well. All your friends
were there.
You're gonna have to start
a whole new life.
Will you fit in easy?
I think so.
I mean, I've met
I met up today with the players,
and they all seemed really nice,
so maybe they'll help me
settle in into the area.
I remember Keith coming
to see me in the gym
at The Cliff the day he left,
and he said, "I've just been
to see the boss,
and I'm gonna go to Newcastle.
He's gonna swap me
with Andy Cole." And I said,
"No. You don't have to go."
I'd always say that to players.
You could always say no.
You've got a contract.
I was gutted.
[The Cure's
"Just Like Heaven" playing]
Newcastle United had long been
one of the best-supported
football clubs in Britain.
But the passion of its fans
had not been matched
by success on the pitch.
[crowd cheering]
1992, Newcastle was a football
club completely on its knees,
going nowhere.
They had one foot
in the old Division Three.
[crowd chanting]
It had been almost 70 years
since the club
had last won the league.
But things were about
to change with the arrival
of Kevin Keegan,
who'd been a hero
as a player for Newcastle.
I'd like to now introduce you
to the new manager
of Newcastle United,
Kevin Keegan.
Show me how
You do that trick♪
We will turn this club around.
This club will go back
where it belongs.
It may seem odd days to you all
that it's not going
the right way,
but long term, it will.
When Keegan returned
to the club,
it was hailed
as the return of the messiah.
[crowd cheering]
[Hardy] The club just took off.
It was incredible.
Newcastle scored
more goals than anybody
in the top two divisions,
and then went
into the Premier League,
and Kevin Keegan said,
"We're coming to win this."
The club was finally
being run properly.
The ground got redeveloped.
Better players were coming in.
Ferdinand's a Geordie
Ferdinand's a Geordie♪
La, la, la
La, la, la♪
[narrator] Newcastle landed
star striker Les Ferdinand
for six million in 1995,
followed soon by Gillespie.
For a club that had been
in the doldrums for so long,
it was just kind of
manna from heaven.
[reporter] This morning
was 19-year-old Gillespie's
first chance
to impress his new manager
at close quarters
and get to know
a new squad of players.
Don't underestimate
young Keith Gillespie.
He is the most exciting player
in this country for me,
and I've looked at everybody.
He's a class player.
He's better.
We got the better part of the
deal between Andy Cole and him.
[pop music playing]
[crowd roars]
[Gillespie] I think you just
know what the Geordie people
are like.
It's a city
with one football team.
They're great fans
to play in front of.
We're gonna be
the Premiership champions
this season.
This has been a whirlwind,
that the whole club
has turned around.
And now it's Keegan
versus Ferguson
and Manchester United
versus Newcastle United,
and it's everything
Keegan said would happen.
[narrator] Four years
into the Premier League,
Manchester United
had been dominant.
They'd won the title twice,
but lost out the season before
to Blackburn.
Ferguson was expected
to spend big
to revitalize his team.
Instead, he surprised everyone
and took a huge gamble
on his young players.
I was with my parents
on holiday, and all of a sudden,
I saw, you know,
Mark Hughes leave,
Kanchelskis leave.
You know, all of these great
players, and we were like,
"What's going on?"
And then all of a sudden,
the manager was turning around
to us and saying
"You're gonna be starting
this weekend,"
and we were like,
"Really? Are you sure?"
And I think people
were very surprised,
very sceptical.
[commentator] Aston Villa
kick off the season
here at Villa Park
against a Manchester United
side with the accent
very much on youth.
And half the side
with an average age of just 21.
We didn't think
that Sir Alex was sensible
in getting rid of experienced
players like Paul Ince,
like Andrei Kanchelskis,
to facilitate the progress
of these young players.
[commentator] Dwight Yorke,
who has been busy in this
first quarter of an hour.
And a nice ball back to him
from Townsend.
That came off the forehead
of Neville.
Villa still have it.
Here's Charles,
just drilled it in.
Taylor scores!
[crowd cheering]
-[crowd roars]
It's 2-0, and we've not played
half an hour,
and Manchester United
look a team in trouble.
[Neville] First day of the
season, get beat at Villa away.
I mean, battered.
There were polls from
the Manchester Evening News
saying he should be sacked.
-[crowd cheering]
3-1 is the final score.
It's a great start
to the season for Aston Villa.
Well, United
were scarcely recognizable
from the team we've known
over the last couple of seasons.
What's going on?
Three players have departed.
The trick is always buy
when you're strong.
So he needs to buy players.
You can't win anything
with kids.
The trick at winning
the championship
is having strength and depth.
-They just haven't got it.
-When you hear someone
like Alan Hansen,
who is a legend and was one
of the best players in the game,
come out and say that,
all of a sudden,
as young kids, you're like,
"Maybe we're not ready.
Maybe we are too young.
Maybe that was our chance.
That was our one chance
to impress, and it's gone."
[Blur's "Song 2" playing]
Just at the moment,
this seems to be
the most exhilarating place
to visit in the Premiership.
Here at St James',
they've lost only once
in their last 31 league games.
By contrast, Gillespie
and the Entertainers,
as Newcastle were now known,
were flying.
[commentator] Ginola.
Oh, neat. Now Gillespie.
Now Beardsley.
Back to Gillespie.
He's gone over.
Penalty says the referee.
[Gillespie] The '95-'96 season,
we were playing on a side
which was full of excitement,
full of attacking,
you know, full of flair.
Les thrived on crosses,
and Ginola was providing them
from the left,
I was providing them
from the right.
We started the season
like a house on fire.
[commentator] Gillespie again.
Looking for Ferdinand.
[crowd roars]
-[crowd cheering]
-[commentator chattering]
[Ferdinand] Keith Gillespie
was just out-and-out pace.
Get down the line,
cross the ball, no nonsense.
All of the time
But I'm never sure♪
Why I need you♪
Pleased to meet you♪
And Gillespie What a goal!
The Entertainers
was just a brand of football we
played that everybody enjoyed.
Everywhere we went,
I'd come back to London,
and people used to say to me,
"I don't support Newcastle,
but every time they're on
the TV, I watch them
'cause I know I'm gonna see
a good game of football."
[commentator] Now Gillespie
Beardsley wants it square.
Ferdinand wanted it,
Lee got it.
Ferdinand Goal!
When I feel heavy metal
And I'm pins and I'm needles
Oh, yeah♪
I'll just go
and have a quick word.Okay.
Or back to Oh, sorry.
Okay.[man] Shouldn't add
too much to the day.
Okay. Turn him to
Go back. Yeah.
This is Ralph Dellor
with Keith Gillespie
at Newcastle
for Match of the Day.
You look as if you're enjoying
your football as well.
Yeah, I mean, I get a
I get a lot of support
from the midfield,
which is nice,
and I like to get
the ball to my feet
and run at defenders,
and in the past few games,
I've been able to do that.
Signing for them
when I'm 19, nearly 20,
I'm going to a strange city.
The first five months
of my life at Newcastle,
I was living in a hotel.
You're a professional
You train from
half 10:00 till 12:00,
quarter past 12:00 every day.
The rest of the day is your own.
And my afternoons were spent
in the bookmakers.
I think I've probably got
that addictive personality.
You know, the strange thing is,
it didn't matter
if I had ten pounds on a horse
or a thousand pounds on a horse,
you know?
The thrill was all about
the winning.
You know, I just loved
that adrenaline buzz of winning.
[Dellor] And you're relishing
your opportunity?Oh, yeah. Definitely.
We wish you luck.
Thanks very much indeed.
[Gillespie] Thank you. Cheers.
Now this person, I'm really
excited to be interviewing.
I've got a TV exclusive,
and I know I shouldn't say this,
but I really fancy him.
He's pinned up all over
hundreds and thousands
and millions of girls' walls.
He's really sexy,
and I'm hoping I'm gonna get a
really good interview with him,
and maybe something else.
Come on.
[door squeaking]
[Beckham chuckles]
Right. Come on.
So, when [laughs]
I'm gonna be
really, really crap now.
So when did you first decide
realize that you were
really famous?
Straight away.Straight [laughs]
It was when he first started
going out with me,
I think, actually.
He met Victoria,
and that took him
from being what would be
an emerging, talented,
good-looking young
Manchester United player
to being somebody who was like
sort of a megastar.
Wherever we went,
there was a barrage of,
you know,
photographers ready.
The Spice Girls' global status
and their stardom was
nothing that
I'd ever seen before.
[female reporter]
The sun smiled on the pop star
and the football idol
as they tied the knot at
what's undoubtedly the show biz
wedding of the year.
You'd go to film premieres
or fashion shows,
and they were both in,
head to toe, the same clothes,
so they really enjoyed
marketing themselves
in that way.
She was more famous than him.
It was a Spice Girl going out
with this bloke who's just
signed for Man United.
[man laughs]
Is that a shirt?
Spin it around.
Yeah, it's a shirt.
It's a smart shirt.
I wore it once,
and the manager
had a go at me for it.
Yeah, and I totally
went off it.
There was a time when studs
was something you found
on football boots,
shooting was something
that footballers did
with the ball
and vital statistics
were how many goals
your centre forward scored.
But now footballers are
witnessing a whole new
ball game opening up,
and it doesn't happen
on the pitch.
We're talking modelling,
on the catwalk, in editorials
and advertising.
The guys from Arena Homme Plus,
who we'd met out in
a nightclub somewhere,
he said, um,
"You wanna do a shoot?"
So I'm like,
"Cool. They want me
to do this modelling thing.
All right, cool.
Yeah, I'll do it." So, um
We go Sunday morning,
we're in this car park,
and Norman, the photographer,
pacing up and down,
he takes photographs.
I'm kissing
"Can you kiss the ball?"
So I went [kisses]
And a few weeks later,
I got a phone call that's like,
"We like the pictures.
We're gonna put one
on the cover."
I said, "What? Cover?
Oh, cool. Nice, yeah."
Then a few weeks later,
Norman calls me and he says,
"Armani's press office
have seen the pictures,
and they want to consider you
for the campaign."
And all of a sudden,
it was like, yeah,
you're an Armani model.
Most of all
I want that man♪
I want that man♪
This is David James.
He's the goalie for Liverpool.
He's only allowed to appear
on The Clothes Show
under certain conditions.
We're not allowed
to call him a model
because he is, after all,
the face of Emporio Armani.
[James] It's how
the Premier League allowed me
to be in that position.
There was this clamour
for glamour.
You look at some
of the old matches on telly
and, you know
With all With all respect
to the players, it was,
like, just football.
Whereas all of a sudden,
it was all about the image,
and the image sort of
goes in line with magazines.
It goes in line
with being on TV shows,
and we liked that.
[Newton] You had the rise
of the lads' mag
in the '90s, which was huge.
Many footballers made the cover
of those magazines
because people
were so interested
in their lifestyle.
And those articles
weren't really about
what they did in the pitch.
It was all
what their home life was like.
[woman 1] Is there
any kind of competition
to get the best work?
[Redknapp] Nah, no.
We all know that football's
the most important thing.
Obviously, David has done
very well with Armani,
and we're all pleased for him.
[woman 1] How would you compare
both careers?
Um, I don't think
there's any comparison
Modelling's better.
Nah. Football.
[woman 2] We did a shoot
back in November issue
where we did ten pages
of footballers, and we travelled
all over England
trying to get these guys.
There was a time
when we turned up
at Liverpool training ground,
and we were chasing them
all over the pitches
trying to get hold of them,
saying, "We want to shoot you."
This was really the start
of the crossover
between fashion and sport.
Footballers suddenly realized
that their image was as
important off the pitch
as it was on the pitch,
and these guys were getting
big advertising deals.
[pop music playing]
[Beckham] These things
just came up,
and every now and again,
it'd be the right thing to do,
but I kind of enjoyed them.
To be part of a brand
like Brylcreem at the time,
you know,
it was a huge brand.
I must admit
there's some front covers
that I look back on,
and I think, "What was
I thinking at the time?"
But it's obviously part of,
you know, it was part
of my life, you know?
At that point.
[Bellan] These were guys
which were earning
huge amounts of money.
And what we saw is that,
you know,
cars were important to them,
clothes were important to them.
So they had the money
to suddenly buy
designer clothing
or the car of their dreams.
Consider what happens if you
drink too much prune juice
and eat figs at the same time.
It goes in one end
and out the other.
And that's exactly
what's happening
with the TV money.
It really doesn't stay
with the clubs. It just flows
right the way through.
The people that are better off
are the players,
who get paid
enormous amounts of money.
[James] You know, John Barnes
was on £10,000 a week.
I was like, "What?
Half a million pounds a year?
Wow! That is ama"
And it sort of blew your mind.
And then within a few years,
that was standard
for a lot of players.
When the Premier League
became so big,
the money became so vast
that I did change, and I didn't
change into a particularly
nice person with it.
There are stories.
One of my old teammates said
that if I lost a game,
I would change my car,
which was utter nonsense.
I changed my watch.
Get a new watch, yeah.
We lost the game,
I'd get a new watch.
This isn't a gradual thing.
As an academy player,
you're not earning half
a massive amount of money,
and then when you become
a senior player,
you earn the full amount.
It's kind of like you earn
nothing, and all of a sudden,
you're just given
When I first came into the game
and was at
The News of the World,
I was probably earning
a similar amount
to young footballers.
But suddenly,
the Premier League took them
into a different sphere,
into a different universe,
And there's situations
where players had too much money
and that's what got them
into problems.
[Gillespie] I just signed
a sort of new contract
with Newcastle
and so I was earning, what
five and a half grand then?
So, talking 26 years ago,
which is obviously,
you know, a good wage.
I suppose
when your wages increase
you're gonna start
putting more and more
on on your bets.
I think the big problem came
when you had phone betting
and you could just ring up,
and you're not physically
handing over that money.
And that's where the problems,
you know, really started for me.
For tonight's match, Newcastle
in their changed strip
of purple tonight.
Stoke City
in the stripes of course.
We played Stoke away,
and I knew Peter Beardsley
hadn't scored
in quite a few weeks
and so I decided to ring up
and had £500 on Peter Beardsley
for the first goal,
and then I had £500 on Beardsley
first goal with 2-0,
2-1, 3-0, 3-1.
It's a dangerous one,
and Beardsley
has taken full advantage
by giving Newcastle United
the lead.
Peter Beardsley scored
the first goal.
A couple of minutes later,
he made it 2-0
just before halftime.
[commentator] Still Beardsley,
chance for number two.
Would you believe it?
And Beardsley makes it 2-0
at the other end.
About 15 minutes
into the second half,
I had a cross shot,
the keeper saved
and Les scored.
Gillespie, danger here.
Good save,
and turned in by Ferdinand.
You know, we were 3-0 up,
but the problem for me then is
there's half an hour left.
You know, I'm not wanting
any more goals.
Well, not for us anyway.
If I was gonna say anything,
probably halftime
would have been the time
to say it.
But I suppose once it went 3-0,
it's hard to sort of get
everybody in a huddle
to let them know that,
by the way,
I've a bet on here.
Don't be scoring anymore.
Just keep it tight.
So, I'm sort of not wanting
to venture forward too much.
I was wanting to, you know,
pass the ball backwards.
And then about six minutes
from time,
Darren Peacock,
he found himself in the box.
[commentator] Still and still,
and in the end
The ball fell at his feet and he
rifled it into the top corner,
and everyone was running,
jumping on top of him.
Everyone but me.
I was sort of trudging back
to the halfway line
"You've just cost me £52,000."
It was a heavy hit,
and, I mean, probably should
have learned my lesson then
but, you know, obviously didn't.
Gillespie was losing thousands
at the bookies,
but his team were delivering
win after win on the pitch.
By Christmas, they looked like
they were in with a chance
of taking the title.
Manchester United
were in second,
a distant ten points behind.
It's Manchester United
against Newcastle United,
the eagerly anticipated meeting
of the top two
in the Premier League.
Kevin Keegan and Alex Ferguson,
though they look very relaxed,
but so much could depend
on the outcome here.
United have gone five games
without a win.
It's their worst run
in the league since 1992.
And a return to Old Trafford,
of course, for Keith Gillespie,
who scored
for Manchester United
against Newcastle
in this fixture last season.
I think at the start
of the season,
the only person who believed
we could win it
was Kevin Keegan.
Without a shadow of a doubt.
We knew we had a good squad,
but I think by about
four or five games into it,
we started to believe
maybe we were onto
something here.
It's Gillespie who's down.
And it does look a bit serious,
doesn't it?
My leg wanted to go one way,
and it decided
to go to the other, um
It was my
I had a bruise from my knee
all the way up to my hip.
[commentator] It does look
as if he may be playing
no further part in this game.
The physios had a look at it,
and there is a possibility
that I could be out
for the rest of the season,
which is gonna be
very disappointing if I am.
The injury to Keith Gillespie
is proof that the game
isn't all glamour.
Following his move
from Manchester United,
he's had a very good 12 months
here at St James' Park.
But for the immediate future,
he'll be on the treatment table.
[Gillespie] It's murder really.
The team's doing so well,
and all you want to do is play.
And, I mean, I just hope
that we can get a trophy
at the end of the season.
Giggs takes that
beautifully on his chest.
Now into his stride.
Teases Phillips,
puts in a good cross.
Great save! It's a goal!
Whilst Gillespie
was out with an injury,
Manchester United
went on a winning spree
by his old teammates.
[commentator] Shaw!
A beautiful goal
from David Beckham!
We, over a period of time,
got stronger and stronger.
We turned it from
a massive pressure moment to
complete confidence and belief,
and then we just
hunted them down.
Beckham looking
and finding Giggs.
Beautiful, beautiful!
That was a class goal.
Beckham, Giggs and Scholes,
the kids of United.
Manchester United have moved to
within four points of Newcastle
at the top
of the FA Carling Premiership.
There was never a moment where
I thought, "Do you know what?
It's really tough
being a United player.
It's really tough".
Because I was playing
for the team that I always
wanted to play for,
I was doing
what I loved best and most
and we were winning.
Scholes lets it run brilliantly
for Beckham.
Under pressure,
another one for David Beckham.
[narrator] Privately,
Gillespie's gambling
was spiralling.
Unbeknownst to anyone,
he was often losing
thousands of pounds a day.
[Gillespie] I remember
the 27th of October, 1995.
I had been betting
all afternoon.
You know,
I had a thousand pounds
on the first race that day,
a horse called Quandary.
But by 5:20 that afternoon,
I'd lost 47,000.
The following day,
I had lost another 15,000.
On the Sunday,
Kevin Keegan came in.
He was sitting opposite me,
You know, just sort of
small chat at first,
but then he pointed at me
and says to Peter Beardsley,
"He could be the best player
in the country at this time."
I knew I was having
a good season.
Incredible to hear somebody
like Kevin Keegan
give me a compliment like that,
but I was sort of
more just thinking
if only you knew
the last two days I've just had
and losing 62 grand.
I got a knock on the door,
The Sunnewspaper. Um
You know, the next day
when I seen the paper,
they must have had somebody
hiding as well
'cause there was a picture of me
at the door, you know,
with hair everywhere
and all sorts, so
The bookie had sold the story.
On tomorrow morning's
front pages,
The Sunhas news that
Keith Gillespie of Newcastle
has apparently spent £62,000
in a week at the bookies.
The hardest thing in the end
that I had to do
was ring my mum
to let her know the situation
and that there would be a story
getting into the newspapers.
And that was
that was really difficult.
[Mrs Gillespie]
I felt that there wasn't
a lot for me to say,
and I really just wanted
to support him.
And I just hoped that, you know,
it was a blessing in disguise,
and that at 21 years of age,
it had come to light
and hopefully
this was the end of it.
Footballers being footballers,
you go in,
and the boys were taking
the mickey out of him.
I'll always remember him coming
in the sauna
and he said to me,
"Why wasn't you laughing
like all the other boys
taking a piss?
Why didn't you take a piss?"
And I said, "Well, basically,
'cause I know that you know
that my mum, my dad,
your mum, your dad
knows what a pound note is
and how hard it is
to make a pound note.
So what you lost,
I don't see as being funny."
From a young boy
who's a long way from home
without his family influence
around him.
Now, in today's football,
we talk about mental health
issues and stuff
that goes on with people,
but back when we
you know, back in '95-'96,
because you're a footballer,
It's deemed that you should
just get on with it.
[man] Is it behind you?Oh, definitely.
I mean, you sort of learn
by your mistakes,
and that was probably
the biggest mistake I ever made.
You know,
I mean, everyone's human,
and I've just got
to get on with things.
There's no doubt about it.
Had he been a bit more upfront
with us at the time,
we could have helped him
an awful lot more,
and maybe the headlines
would never have got
to the papers.
But I think he was embarrassed
and he was shy,
and he's a lovely boy.
I've spent a lot of time
with him,
and I like his character.
But he's learnt a lesson
a very hard way there.
I think probably back then,
I probably should have been
offered maybe more help,
but again, gambling wasn't
that big a topic
as it is nowadays. Um
And I was just sort of left
to my own devices again and
stopped for a while,
but it was inevitable that,
you know, I would go back to it.
I'd already been through
all that before,
and then to see someone else
do it is not nice.
When you got an addiction
of gambling,
you could be on
a million pound a week
and it won't be enough.
You know? It's a bad addiction.
With the drink and the drugs,
I could go out
and you can only put
so much up your nose
and you can only put so much
down your throat in drink.
But with gambling,
you could lose everything.
You could lose
absolutely everything.
Every player out there
has to be careful
'cause it's the one thing
you can hide.
You know, if a footballer's out
and they've had ten pints,
you know they've had a drink.
If a player's lost
all their money,
you would never know.
This is the feeling
about, I think,
most of the people around.
You are very young,
you get a lot of money,
you are very lucky
in this world,
so we will never forgive you
if you do one mistake.
[James] A lot of the media side
of it, the press in particular,
didn't like the fact
and I say it because
I had access with players
the people that
you're bumping shoulders
with in the car park
all of a sudden are earning
ridiculous amounts of money.
So, in a way, it was almost
like the media's obligation
to bring people
back down to earth
a little bit.
Jealousy's a horrible thing.
[man] The Sunnewspaper
done this article on me
about Kenny Dalglish.
He said, "You won at Anfield.
We heard you said
you was gonna rip his head off
and shit in the hole."
And I probably did say that
to Kenny, but
I don't remember doing it
in the game or whatever.
I screamed something at him,
I don't know.
'Cause he came and went in
for a tackle,
he took a liberty
and I went over the top.
Uh, he was a dirty
little bastard, Dalglish,
tough little bastard.
And I said, "Oh, yeah?"
And he said, "Yeah, I want
to do an article with you."
He said, "I'll give you
250 quid for the article."
So I'm getting paid,
you know what I mean?
250 quid,
and then saw my mate
who used to do the press
for The Mirror,
Tony Stenson, and he said,
"You'll pay for that
for the rest of your life.
Once you take a dollar
from any one of the newspapers,
you've sold your soul to them."
And he was right, to be fair.
He was right.
Then they owned you.
They wanted a piece of you,
you know what I mean?
You was good fodder
for the press
because they wanted
to see players drunk.
They wanted to see players
with women and all the stuff
that goes with it.
You know, we were picking up
the tabloids every Sunday,
and there was another footballer
in it, there was another story.
That was the unfortunate thing
with footballers
coming into the limelight,
as it were.
That was always
gonna come with it.
And then it got to a stage
where you had the tabloids
employing girls
to come down to London
from up north
and different places
just to try and bed footballers.
And that's when you're going
way beyond anything ethical
that's right in life
and in society,
do you know what I mean?
And that's where it went to.
[Newton] Obviously, the press
was incredibly involved,
but some of them were making
the stories themselves.
They were not being dragged
kicking and screaming
to these celebrity events,
[Gillespie] I think
with the English press,
they'd just be itching
to get a story.
They want these big scandals,
they want these stories,
and you just have to realize
that that's what some people
get kicks out of.
They like to do
that sort of thing
and try and, you know,
ruin lives pretty much.
[Merson] I was writing
for the back page
of a newspaper,
and I was on the front page
for what I was doing.
They didn't look at it and go,
"Oh, he writes for us."
But as George used to say to me,
"I'm on the front page.
They keep on picking on me.
Why me? Why is it always me?"
I used to say,
"Sit at home and watch the telly
and I'll bet you
they don't write about you."
And it's true.
[crowd cheering]
[commentator] on recent
record, they're the most likely
to break the deadlock.
It's a good challenge by Speed.
This is Keane.
Trying to find some room,
and he has!
[crowd roars]
Priceless goal!
[narrator] After Roy Keane's
strike delivered the win
for Manchester United
against Leeds,
Alex Ferguson decided to play
a psychological game.
Newcastle were to play Leeds
in five days,
so Ferguson claimed opponents
fought harder against Man United
than they did
against Keegan's side.
For some, it's more important
to get a goal
against Manchester United
to stop them winning the league
than anything else.
Which, to me, is
they're cheating their manager.
That's all it is.
And when they come to Newcastle,
you wait and see the difference,
you know?
At St James' Park
[narrator] After being injured
for more than two months,
Gillespie was fit to play
in this crucial game.
David Ginola is suspended
for one game,
but Northern Ireland
Keith Gillespie
is a more-than-adequate
stand-in for Ginola.
Manchester United
will be watching tonight
knowing that the pressure
is on Keegan's men.
Beardsley again to take.
Better one this time.
And it's in!
Gillespie has given
Newcastle United the lead.
What a return
for Keith Gillespie!
Kevin Keegan's team
have managed to hang on
with Keith Gillespie's
first half goal
knowing that the championship
race is still very much alive.
After a night game,
I was one of them
that struggled to sleep,
so I was lying on my bed
and I was watching
the rerun of the game.
And then I saw the rant.
I think you've got to send
Alex Ferguson
a tape of this game,
haven't you?
Isn't that what he asked for?
Well, I'm sure if he was
watching it tonight, Kevin,
he could have no arguments
about the way Leeds
went about their job.
-They tested your team.
-We're bigger than that.
[man] That's part and parcel
of the psychological battle,
isn't it?
No. That's When you do that
with footballers
like he said about Leeds,
you can tell him now
if you're watching it, we're
still fighting for this title,
and he's got to go
to Middlesbrough
and get something.
And I'll tell you,
honestly, I would love it
if we beat them. Love it.
I remember picking up the phone
probably about 1:00
in the morning
and I phoned Warren Barton,
and I said,
"Have you just watched the TV?"
And he went,
"No, I was sleeping."
I'm like, "Sorry, mate.
Sorry to wake you up.
I just seen the manager
having a rant on the TV."
And then we went into training
the next day, and the truth is,
all the boys
were taking the mickey, really.
And just saying,
"I'd love it, I'd love it."
That became
the next catch phrase:
"I'd love it."
But no one ever saw that
as Kevin Keegan having
a meltdown.
You know, as players,
we were like
We knew that the manager wore
his heart on his sleeve,
and as a player, that's what
everybody wants to see
you wear your heart
on your sleeve
and show your passion.
But as a manager, it was seen
as a sign of weakness.
[narrator] Going into
the last game of the season,
Newcastle still had a chance
at finishing top.
They needed to win against Spurs
and for Middlesbrough
to beat Manchester United.
For the first time since 1927,
Newcastle could win
the English championship
on the final day of the season,
but it built to the point
whereby you had the huge flag
was outside,
the Three Bulls Heads
near the stadium.
You had the expectation
In those days,
you would follow the radio,
clinging onto this belief
that it could still happen.
[commentator 1]
Sixty-nine years
and still waiting.
But today,
is Tyneside's torment
about to end?
[commentator 2]
Welcome to Middlesbrough's
Riverside Stadium.
It's just like last year.
The title race has gone
to the very last day.
Will it be Manchester United,
or will it be Newcastle?
[commentator 1] Keith Gillespie
starts a home game here for the
first time in three months.
[commentator 2]
Beckham's really taking the eye,
and many saying
that he will shortly be
an England player.
[commentator 1]
Good positioning by Batty.
And the cross
must be surely No!
[crowd groans]
Two players went
for the same ball.
[commentator 2] Giggs.
David May! And that's in!
David May with the goal!
A vital goal
for Manchester United.
Man United scored,
and that just deflated
the whole stadium.
That was it. That was the moment
when everybody went,
"Right, it's gone."
[commentator 2]
In the 14th minute, and that
is absolutely priceless.
Beckham's up on the right.
Giggs shoots.
That has settled it.
They've won the championship
now without any doubt at all.
Ryan Giggs.
They can bring the trophy out
now, really, can't they?
-[audience singing]
-They are indeed champions.
-[commentator 1]
He's collecting the ball.
-[whistle blows]
And the season is over
at St James' Park.
But it's not enough
for Newcastle.
How marvellously
they've entertained us all,
and runners-up after
a thrilling championship race.
Whatever happens in Manchester
can't be any more passionate
and enjoyable
as what was happening
here today.
It'd be frightening
if we could bring back a trophy.
[Gillespie] I think everybody
who was involved in that squad,
there'll always be
that bitter disappointment
that we didn't, you know,
get over the line.
You have a sort of long career
in football,
and you always have
a favourite place to play,
and for me it was
it was Newcastle.
You know, being part of that,
being part of the Entertainers,
almost winning the league.
You know, it was just a great
a great, you know,
place to play football,
and such a vibrant place
when things were going well.
Did the players feel
when you were 12 points behind
a few months ago
that you could still come back
and win this title?
No, we thought
it was all over, really.
No, we kept plugging away,
and we always knew Newcastle
would slip up,
and lucky enough[laughter]
And lucky enough, they did,
and we just kept plugging away.
As I said, I think
we definitely deserved it.
The young lads have come in
and been absolutely fantastic.
It's good for the club.
Manchester United
had a fantastic run in,
didn't they?
One defeat in 22 games
tell the story of the
championship in the end, Alan.
Fantastic, really,
and I think somebody
in this programme early on said,
"You can't win anything
with kids."Do you remember that?
I remember that
very well.I seem to remember it too.
I got that completely wrong.
Winning the championship
after what happened last season
at West Ham,
selling three of
his best players in the summer
then bringing five kids in
that are home-grown,
it really is
a marvellous achievement.
To put in Gary Neville,
Paul Scholes,
Nicky Butt, David Beckham,
it looks like genius now.
It looks like
the right thing to do.
"Well, it's obvious."
It wasn't at the time.
[Beckham] I look back
at my time in the Premiership,
um, and know that
that was the moment
where it made me as a player.
I think it was extra special.
We'd all gone
into the first team,
we'd all had our doubts
around us as individuals
and as a team,
and then all of a sudden,
we won the Premiership.
Some players,
it's sliding doors.
It is sliding doors.
It's weird how it works.
It's weird how it works.
I mean, talk about
Keith Gillespie.
I mean, he's at Man United,
and then he goes to Newcastle
for Andy Cole.
If he stays there,
who's to know he ain't gonna be
one of the best wingers
we've seen?
In terms of off the pitch,
you know, I still have
the gambling problems,
but, you know, I'm happy
in terms of I've been there.
I've sort of done it.
I've been lucky enough to play,
you know,
professional football.
I've made mistakes
over the years, but, you know,
it's how you react
to those mistakes
and get on with your life.
Okay, ready? And so to what's
been the school for scandal
in recent seasons,
comes the scholar,
Arsène Wenger
No, what has he got?
A master's degree?
A master's degree
Travelling around the world,
I had a knowledge and feel
that the game was going
more international,
and that we had to move
with the times.
Oh, hi.Thank you.
And when I saw Arsène,
I realized that he was one
for the future.
[crowd cheering]
Arsène Wenger
brought something different.
And I think that Sir Alex
felt threatened, a little bit.
It's like a tug of war.
He knew that every time
that we stepped onto that pitch,
it was about the fight.
[whistle blows]
I think that Arsenal team
in '98, to this day,
was the best
domestic football team
that I ever played against.
Being a fan at that time
was just fantastic.
It was just about
focusing on the game
and not about all the shit
that was going on off the pitch.
The media tycoon
Rupert Murdoch
wants to buy Britain's
biggest football club,
Manchester United.
Rupert Murdoch needs
Manchester United.
Manchester United
do not need Rupert Murdoch.
We weren't just gonna have
some corporate carpetbagger
come in and take the club over.
It's like, "Well, okay.
All right, you've got
a fight on your hands then."
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