Synopsis by Michael Betzold
In this debut feature film from young British writer-director Shane Meadows, an unemployed ex-boxer, Alan Darcy (Bob Hoskins), borrows money from a gangster to set up a boxing club in his small, gritty English city. Darcy narrates the story from his diary notes. Boxing saved him from a wasted youth, and Darcy promotes the idea to the town fathers as a gang-prevention strategy. The town's economy is in shambles and the young men have nothing to look forward to. Darcy gives them a reason to live and a dream, converting their violent energy to sport and fostering a sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship. First he wins them over by playing soccer with them, then he lures them into his lessons on boxing. He drives them hard to prepare them for their first match, against boxers from a rival local team. Darcy has the team poised to win when one of his best fighter's parents threatens to pull him from the match.
loan, boxing, economy, hope, sportsmanship