First Commission for BBC Two

In Announcements by The Sugar Team

Sugar Films is proud to announce it has received it’s first commission from BBC TWO for a one-off 60 minute documentary “White Boys And Black Heroes – How Black Footballers Transformed Modern Britain.

White Boys And Black Heroes – How Black Footballers Transformed Modern Britain

BBC Two, 60 mins

On 16 May 1979, an extraordinary game of professional football took place that if played today, would cause uproar, mass protest and media frenzy. As part of Len Cantello’s testimonial at West Bromwich Albion, an all-white team took on a side comprised solely of black players – ‘Whites against Blacks’. For the white team, it was nothing more than a lighthearted gimmick, but for the black players it represented so much more. It was a game they had to win.

Life-long West Brom fan Adrian Chiles journeys across England to uncover the truths, taboos and real meaning behind this remarkable game. It was played during an era when for the first time young white boys had black British heroes, not Muhammad Ali or Jimi Hendrix, but black footballers who talked like them, wore the same clothes and played for the teams they loved.

Today, where 30 per cent of English professionals are black, such a game would never take place. These players are superstars in their own right, with some earning in excess of £200,000 a week: names like Ian Wright, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole transcend the sport. But how far have we come and how did we get here? Adrian Chiles charts the remarkable highs and lows of the modern black footballer and how they changed not only football but the country itself.

Pat Young, MD of Sugar Films, said: “This is a great first commission for Sugar Films, unearthing a significant untold but mainstream story that informs our understanding of modern Britain.”

Executive producer is Narinder Minhas at Sugar Films, BBC commissioning editor is Fatima Salaria.