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Sports Film of the Week: Marvellous

This true story about an unlikely star is truly heart-warming.

p0274bwn Source: BBC

Title: Marvellous

Released: 2014

Director: Julian Farino

Plot: ‘Marvellous’, the BBC television film, is the uplifting story of how Neil Baldwin defied his learning difficulties to become Stoke City’s kit-man.

On the face of it, a tale about how a middle-aged man, who had worked as a professional clown for most of his life, was offered a role by Lou Macari, the then Stoke manager, to work with his backroom team seems fictional and implausible.

However, that’s the beauty of this endearing tale.

“I’ve always wanted to be happy, so I decided to be,” is one of the striking lines from the 90-minute film that charts Baldwin’s journey from a travelling circus to giving the team talks in the guise of Brian Clough dressed in top hat and tails.

Baldwin is an innocent character, who lives life without a care in the world. His mantra is if you ask for it, you’ll more than likely get it.

It’s this attitude that leads him to the Britannia Stadium on the day Macari was appointed as the new manager of Baldwin’s beloved Stoke City. A few days later, he is the Potters’ kit-man.

As his relationship with Macari develops, so does his influence in the dressing room as his upbeat demeanour endears him to the players – who had initially made fun of him – and the fans.

In his autobiography in 2009, Macari dedicated seven pages to Baldwin, admitting he was the best signing he had ever made during his managerial career.

What the critics said: “Marvellous is a modern fairy tale, completely unbelievable and utterly heart-warming.” (Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph)

Random Quote: “I’m nice to people and people are nice to me”

Watch it in full here:

Source: Marvellous/YouTube

See more of our Sports Film of the Week series here >

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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