BT Sport will premiere the next documentary from its BT Sport Films series, Proud To Be Town, on BT Sport 1 on October 3rd.
The first full-length documentary to highlight the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on football, the film uniquely captures the dilemmas and challenges facing sport at present.
Beginning in June, with the UK taking initial steps out of the early spring lockdown, Proud To Be Town charts the journey of Harrogate Town FC as it grapples with returning to the field of play for the Vanarama National League playoffs, and eventual promotion to the Football League. Filmed and produced during lockdown, while adhering to social distancing and remote ways of working, Proud To Be Town uniquely features self-shot contributions led by club manager Simon Weaver, along with his family, players and other key figures from the club.
When the remainder of the regular 2020/21 Vanarama National League season was cancelled in Spring, Harrogate Town were second behind Barrow in the league’s premier division and set for a place in the end of season play-offs. But this depended on the National League being able to deliver the showpiece matches amid the easing of lockdown.
In the midst of all this uncertainty, the future of Harrogate Town was unclear. At its Wetherby Road stadium, ground improvement work had to go on, to meet the League Two criteria in time for the new Football League season. But the club required some of the revenue from promotion to pay for it.
This film goes behind the scenes with the management team and players, whose futures now depend on a pandemic and related issues beyond their control.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “This is not just the story of one club. It reflects aspects of almost every football club in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This film is a unique collaboration between BT Sport Films and Harrogate Town AFC. A large proportion of the film was self-shot by members of the team and club staff on phones and tablets, who enthusiastically recorded their experiences of lockdown, getting back into action and making their historic bid for promotion. We are grateful for the club’s collaboration. We were honoured to be part of the journey with this inspiring group of individuals, not least the film’s author, manager Simon Weaver.”