Shoreditch: a Footballing Hotbed

Posted by on Apr 27, 2010 in Uncategorized | One Comment

Thus far, The Two Unfortunates has passed on the opportunity to appraise the primary source for most Championship fans’ weekly fix, BBC Television’s The Football League Show; its first airing back in August being met with some engaging reviews elsewhere. We may well cast the microscope on the antics of Lizzie, Clem, Manish and company once a full campaign is completed, but for now, I’d like to put forth a view observations on one of the show’s most perplexing features, namely the opening credits sequence.

You may recall that said montage features a host of “dancers” of various hues cavorting in carefully chosen locations around Britain, some in replica kits, some in scarves, and some in mufti, although few resembling genuine fans.

Amongst the recognisable locales can be counted Sheffield train station, replete with Blades logo, although sadly denying us the opportunity to view the wondrous Park Hill Estatebehind, Soho Square (moderately appropriately), the interior of a Metropolitan line tube train, Blackpool beach, somewhere with a bunch of neoclassical buildings that I don’t recognise (but which could well be Nottingham) and un unknown pub interior.

So far, so good, but it’s clear those Design types hired by the BBC didn’t see the need to stick to the Football League theme. I double took when I recognized an archway mural from Hoxton’s almost imossibly trendy Rivington Street: a location for the above snapshot from outside the venue for my employers’ Christmas do a couple of years back and the inspiration for TV’s Nathan Barley. Similarly, the commendable but decidedly bourgeois Spitalfields delicatessen A. Gold features, with a man in a very fake looking beard prancing in front of it and a Plymouth fan cavorting in another East End alleyway confirms the impression that the programme’s makers were dissatisfied with the lack of yoof credentials in and around our nation’s stadia and soccer cities. Hence, the handy fallback of locations just around the corner from the studio. Oh…and the requisite shot of Salford Lads’ Club as well of course, just ‘cos the Smiths are “well weapon” after all.

As our occasional commenter Gerschenkron, star of the above pic, said to me, “Shoreditch: it’s a well known footballing hotbed after all.”

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.

1 Comment

  1. Chris
    April 27, 2010

    I believe that the bearded chap outside A. Gold sports a Bristol City scarf. And while I'm at it, that definitely isn't The Valley (or indeed any location in Charlton) behind the fella in the Charlton Athletic shirt? With the BBC's diverse regional teams, would it not be have been easy to get each one to film a clip reflecting more accurately the geography of the Football League? Rather than a bloke balancing a ball on his head outside the Cavern Club.


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