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Biographical film of the first black England footballer

LaurenceCunningham.jpgThe first black footballer to play for England is about to get a biographical film made about his life. Black Flash is the story of the seventies football (that's soccer for Americans) player Laurie Cunningham who was picked to play for England, the first ever black football player in the team at any level. Now that's a startling fact.

There are quite a few more startling facts to his life, and he continued to break taboos, so his story is definitely one to be transferred to a film. Kwame Kwei-Armah is the man tasked with writing the film, and he's already written a biographical film of another black footballer, and the writer has broken some taboos himself.

Not only did Laurence Paul "Laurie" Cunningham play for England and was the first black footballer at any level to play for the team, but in a football obsessed country during in the seventies that had a large football hooligan scene, he dated a white woman and garnered more controversy.

He played for the England Under 21's for two years and six appearances, then the England B team for one and then the full England team for two years and another six appearances.

He also became the first black footballer to play for Real Madrid as well as being the first English player to sign for them, as well as playing for Manchester United, Marseille and Rayo Vallecano, and a number of other teams in English football. He was breaking taboos and records right left and centre, a cracking role model.

However things didn't go well from there as he died in a suspicious car accident when he was thirty-three after becoming involved in some seedier sides of the Costa Del Sol.

Kwame Kwei-Armah is a BAFTA nominated scriptwriter and playwright who has already written the script for the BBC television drama about Walter Tull, a black footballer who played for Tottenham Hotspur before the first World War, and that surely was something new for the team back then. Kwei-Armah also starred in the show playing Daniel Tull, his father.

The story from Deadline Hollywood Daily also tells us that the writer himself was the first black British born writer to have a play in the West End, Elmina's Kitchen.

Sounds perfect material to make the film, and it's about time that we had some decent football films that aren't just about hooligans. This story sounds like it could well be inspirational as well as entertaining. I'm looking forward to it, and from an intelligent writer as well. This could well be something special, and finally a good football film.



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