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Hunger Games star Sam Claflin to play Reading FC legend Robin Friday in upcoming film
Reading FC legend Robin Friday's life will soon be coming to a big screen near you.
Hunger Games star Sam Claflin will play the role of Friday, who spent two years with Royals from 1974-76, in a new biopic film.
Despite spending a relatively short time at the club, the forward is thought of as one of Reading's greatest ever players.
Having signed from non-league Hayes after impressing in an FA Cup tie, Friday went on to captivate the Elm Park crowd for a couple of seasons.
But his wild ways away from football, involving drinking and other excesses, proved to be too big a distraction and he was sold to Cardiff in 1976.
Unfortunately his off-field problems continued and within a year his contract with the Welsh club was cancelled and his life went into free fall.
Drug and alcohol convictions followed until, on New Year's Eve 1990, Friday was found dead in his flat at the age of just 38.
Subsequently, the maverick striker has become part of football's folklore and he was immortalised in the best-selling book 'The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw'.
That book will now be the base for an upcoming film on Friday's life and career, which is due to start filming in the autumn. It will be directed by Oscar-nominated Henry-Alex Robin and Claflin will play the lead role.
Producer Julian Stone said: "This will not just be a film about cheering a goal, but about tears and laughs and music and silence and anger and love because this working-class hero with outrageous talent lived it all.
"It was a time before the age of privileged athletes, a time when the fans lived next door to their heroes. As Robin Friday walked down the streets of the '70s, everybody wanted to be him. But quite frankly, no one else had the balls."
Fortitude International, will handle the foreign rights of the film and it's co-founder, Nadine de Barros said: "Robin Friday's legacy continues to live on today and is a story tailor-made for the big screen given the larger-than-life energy which Friday brought to the sport and his life.
"The talented Sam Claflin is the perfect actor to fill the shoes of this British legend due to his background in the sport prior to pursuing his acting career."
By Charles Watts, getReading.
10 June 2015
04 April 2019