The Class of ’92 started when Gary Neville got his old teammates to agree to make a film about their “Class of ’92”, Alex Ferguson’s young guns who went from youth academy to winning the treble in 1999 (FA Cup, EPL, and Champions League).
Directors and brothers Gabe and Benjamin Turner, owners of production company Fulwell 73, assembled the best integration of soccer player interviews and past game footage that I have seen. They get the players to open up individually and put them together for one day of camaraderie.
The men kick the ball around and then over a meal, share mutual stories of past fears and mistakes while growing up in the system and then excelling in it. The directors intersperse game footage with the stories, retracing ManU’s fabulous but arduous run to the treble.
It’s the connections that warm this film
Many people have written extensive reviews of the film, because it touches so many areas so well, but especially, it is heartwarming to see these players as ordinary blokes, mates, and themselves great fans of ManU. You understand, in the eyes of each, what made the other player great.
At the same time, the directors set a context where the team’s success parallels the rise of Manchester rock bands and the turnaround in the UK economy and politics. You also get an intimate sense of what a professional footballer’s life can be like, and the level of excellence it takes to make and stay on the first team.
The Class of 92 could have been from a Business School
The other fascinating part of this story, but beyond the film’s scope, was to research how the main parties of this film have gone on to further collaborations. Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs formed GG Hospitality to run restaurant Cafe Football and Hotel Football. Along with Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, and Paul Scholes, they acquired Salford FC, a team in the 8th division, which won promotion in Apr-2015. (I’m sure David Beckham is not part of the consortium only because he’s got his own mega-business empire.)
Fulwell 73 is working on more soccer/sports film projects such as a sequel to Mike Bassett: England Manager, an Usain Bolt documentary, and a theatrical version of their documentary on England’s first capped black footballer, Laurie Cunningham. Starting with their film In the Hands of the Gods, the Turner Brothers have progressed almost as rapidly as Fergie’s Fledglings. Because in the end, it’s about enjoying what you do for a living.
This movie is a must see!
9 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 9