Zoogon is entering pre-production with a new historical documentary for RTÉ One entitled ‘Frank O’Farrell: the Shadow of Busby’. The feature doc will tell the story of Frank O'Farrell, a former Irish footballer who went on to take over from Matt Busby as manager of Manchester United.
Frank O’Farrell was the first and only Irish man to manage Manchester United. His football career started with Cork United after which he was signed on to play for West Ham United in January 1948. He retired as a player in 1961 due to injury, following this he managed Torquay United, Leicester City and finally Manchester United where he followed in the footsteps of Matt Busby in 1971. With 2011 marking the 40th anniversary of Frank’s 18 month reign at Old Trafford, Zoogon Ltd. have decided to explore exactly what went on during the manager’s turbulent time with the Red Devils.
Pre-production for the 52 minute documentary is to start on Monday, April 4th. The feature will then shoot for 4-5 weeks from the start of May. Producer is Sean Doyle who tells IFTN that the feature doc has ”snowballed completely from a small doc idea which has taken off.”The RTÉ executive producers involved with the project are Paula Fahy and RTÉ’s Deputy Head of Television Sport, Cliona O’Leary.
‘Frank O’Farrell: the Shadow of Busby’will feature an interview with Frank O’Farrell along with archive footage from both the BBC and ITN Source libraries. Sean tells us what drew him to the footballer in the first place, saying: ”Here is a guy who had to play football in secret when he was growing up in Cork. He was planning to be a train driver when he grew up and instead he went to the top of the football world. And yet, not many people know his story.”
The doc's RTÉ TX date is TBC. ‘Frank O’Farrell: the Shadow of Busby’ received funding of €90,000 as part of the BAI’s most recent round of Sound and Vision funding decisions.