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HOLLYWOOD DROPS SCOT AS SKIPPER

Category: The Game of Their Lives News
Article Date: September 20, 2004 | Publication: Daily Star | Author: RUAIRI O'KANE
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HOLLYWOOD bigwigs have rewritten history again by playing down the role of a Scot in a famous football victory.

Ed McIlvenny captained the United States to a 1-0 win over England in the 1950World Cup.

The shock result is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in football history.

A movie version of the match called The Game of Their Lives will be released later this year.

But Tinseltown producers have taken the captain's armband off McIlvenny, who hailed from Greenock.

Instead they wanted a heroic American to lead the team. McIlvenny was the only professional in the team and played an important part in the move which lead to the winning goal.

It was from his throw-in that Walter Bahr's shot was headed in by striker Joe Gaetjens.

Former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder and US captain John Harkes will play the part of McIlvenny in the film. And he revealed he was annoyed by moviemakers who insisted that they want Bahr as skipper. He said: "I was not given the captain's armband when we filmed the match against England.

"I questioned it but was told that this was Hollywood and they could do whatever they wanted. But I was honoured to play McIlvenny because they tell me he was the best player."

The US team were 500-1 outsiders to beat an England team that included footballing greats Sir Tom Finney and Billy Wright .

McIlvenny moved to America in 1949 aged 24.

After the World Cup he was snapped up legendary Manchester United boss Sir Matt Busby.

He only played two games for United before playing in Ireland. He was inducted into US soccer's Hall of Fame in 1976 but died 13 years later.

Harkes, whose mother is from Paisley and father played for both Dundee clubs, won his role after working as an adviser on the movie.

Tomb Raider star Gerard Butler co-stars as goalkeeper Frank Borghi while Star Trek's Patrick Stewart plays a reporter.

US directors have been criticised for rewriting history so they come out in top. In U-571, they had the Americans rescuing the Enigma machine from a sinking U-boat - but the Royal Navy did the job.

While Oscar-winning director James Cameron was forced to apologise to the family of Titanic crewman William Murdoch for casting him as a villain in his 1997 film.

Copyright 2004 Express Newspapers

 


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