Story of Britain's worst football team told in new film The Bromley Boys
PUBLISHED: 13:27 05 November 2012 | UPDATED: 13:56 05 November 2012
The tagline reads "You can't help who you fall in love with" and for Bromley-based producer TJ Herbert, new film The Bromley Boys was certainly a case of love at first sight.
Set during the 1969/70 season, the film is inspired by Dave Roberts’s novel of the same name and follows the trials and tribulations of one young fan’s passion for his beloved Bromley FC – the worst team in Britain.
“In one season he takes it upon himself to turn the fortunes of the club, which gets them on to Match of the Day”, says TJ.
“It’s based on the book rather than an adaptation, but it’s set in a time where opposing fans were losing track of the score and players were pulling sickies.
“This one kid turns up every week with his boots in the hope he might get a game. It’s kind of a Fever Pitch type film.”
A former pupil at Bishops Challoner School, in Shortlands, TJ, 43, stumbled across the novel in his local bookshop and decided this was to be the first project for his new production company – Itchy Fish Film.
In an attempt to keep as much of the production local as possible, he is looking for a Bromley youngster to cast as his lead.
He said: “The romantic in me says it would be really lovely to find the Bromley Boy in the borough.
“We will be holding open auditions in the area later this year and inviting boys and girls to come down and try their luck.
“It would be especially great to get some kids along from Bishops Challoner.”
Production is picking up speed and filming is set to begin in March after TJ found BAFTA-winning director, Matt Lipsey, of BBC comedy series Little Britain.
He has worked with the nation’s top comedians, including Steve Coogan, Harry Hill and Matt Lucas, leaving him well suited to handle the stars set to appear in The Bromley Boys.
TJ added: “He is the top comedy director in Britain at the moment. He has made the project so much more real and exciting.
“He has basically come on board because he sees himself in the main character. He’s a Hereford United fan and knows the life of a lower league fan.”
Despite their lowly spell in the 1960s and 1970s, Bromley FC at one point held the record for a Wembley crowd when in 1949 they beat Romford 1-0 in the FA Amateur Cup Final in front of 96,000 fans.
Honours have been few and far between since that triumph, with the team now nestling in sixth tier of English football – The Blue Square Bet South division.
The budget for the film based on their early exploits stands at £1million and in his role as producer TJ is looking to secure half of that budget privately.
Keen investors can offer a sum of more than £2,500 in return for a share of the movie profits, but a fundraiser will be held at Bromley FC, in Hayes Lane, with “perks” on offer for those looking to invest less.
“We will be selling memorabilia at the fundraiser, things like signed footballs, as well as cameos in the film”, said TJ.
“There’s a space for a non-league side to feature, so we want to invite a local side to appear in The Bromley Boys too, but we’ll be holding a separate competition for that.”
To attend the fundraiser, which is being held on Wednesday, November 7, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information on the film visit www.thebromleyboys.com.