A new film which features a fictional tale about Bellshill’s most famous son Sir Matt Busby hits the big screen this week.
Set in Manchester in the early 1980s, ‘Believe’ tells how Sir Matt comes out of retirement to coach a team of youngsters after being impressed by its extraordinarily gifted, but unruly captain.
Busby, played by Brian Cox, tracks 11-year-old Georgie Gallacher down following an act of petty crime but, upon discovering his footballing talent, decides to come out of retirement for one last coaching challenge - to transform a young group of scallywags into a dream team to compete for the upcoming Manchester Junior Football League Cup.
Although the funny and touching family film is a fictional tale rather than a biopic, it does attempt to grapple with the effect the 1958 Munich air disaster - and the decimation of his beloved Busby Babes team - had on him.
Escaping life as a miner in Bellshill, Busby played for Manchester City and Liverpool before eventually presiding over Manchester United as the team’s manager.
He rebuilt the club in the wake of the Second World War, then again in the aftermath of the 1958 disaster, which he survived, but which killed some of United’s most promising young stars.
Although brought up in Dundee, Cox admitted that even as a youngster he was well aware of Busby’s impact.
He said: “I think the interesting thing about Busby was that he came out of one of these mining communities dotted around Hamilton and Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, alongside the likes of Jock Stein and Bill Shankly – all these great managers at a time when football really was something quite extraordinary.”
‘Believe’ is in cinemas from Friday.