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10 Reasons Why "There's Only One Jimmy Grimble" Is A Criminally Underrated Football Film

10 Reasons Why "There's Only One Jimmy Grimble" Is A Criminally Underrated Football Film
By Mikey Traynor
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When people talk about their favourite football sports films, why is it that nobody mentions Jimmy Grimble?

Released in the year 2000, it went into direct competition with 'Billy Elliot' and as a result flew under the radar as a ballet phenom appeals to a far wider audience than what looked like just another football film.

But it was so much more than that. 'There's Only One Jimmy Grimble' had hilarious moments, but serious issues such as bullying and rape were dealt with incredibly well, all the while hammering home the message that if you believe in yourself and don't let others bring you down, you can achieve anything.

Here are 10 reasons that show exactly why the film is criminally underrated.

It's a look back to a time when City were crap.

Young boy is slagged in school for supporting City as United rule Europe, the story wouldn't make any sense were it shot in modern times, but little digs at United were central to the plot:

It's actually a realistic rise-to-fame story.

Rather than, let's say 'GOAL!', where a Mexican gardener is spotted playing Sunday League in Los Angeles and is given a trial at Newcastle, this movie actually tells the story of a young lad with bags of talent but can't produce it in front of people because he's crippled by shyness.


He slowly works his way into his schools side and dominates the local circuit before signing with his boyhood club. It's a much more believable story than 90% of sports films.

The casting was superb.

Robert Carlysle, Ray Winstone, and Gina McKee were absolutely outstanding, the kid who played Jimmy did an incredible job considering it was his first gig and he retired from acting almost immediately after this, and the supporting characters such as Grimble's teammates did a fantastic job of making the football situations seem realistic.

The soundtrack was absolutely outstanding.

Honestly, wow.


Right from the start with The Charlatans' 'The Only One I Know' you knew you were in for a cracker, but with the likes of The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, Moby, and FatBoy Slim, this was simply outstanding.

They perfectly captured bleak underage footy with the away trip to "Wreckingham".


The manager having a smoke, the mud, the ref, the headbutts... Perfection.


Jimmy's bullies were clearly based on United players.

'Gorgeous' Gordon Burley and Psycho were so obviously styled on David Beckham on Roy Keane that it's immensely satisfying.

Bet you can guess which one's which.


And bullying was a central role in the film, which was important for the target audience to see and feel able to speak about.

Not just kids bullying each other, but also little shits treating teachers like crap. This movie touched on areas that other films wouldn't.

Jimmy's Mum's new boyfriend...

Everything he did was spot on for the cringy step-dad role...


"Give it to bloody Gordon!"

The character of Gordon's Dad provided the comic relief, as we have all dealt with a parent like this...


FatBoy Slim's 'Right Here Right Now' to start the comeback montage.

Did we mention that the soundtrack was incredible? This was what every young lad watching dreamt about...

The overall message is that superstitions are bollocks.

Jimmy has crippling confidence issues, and meets an old woman who gives him a pair of mouldy old boots worn by a "former City player", but when the kid finds out they were just shite old boots worn by a mascot once, he realises that he had the talent inside him all-along. That's inspirational right there.

Believe in yourself and don't listen to the bullshit. A solid message to aspiring footballers everywhere.

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