So a new BBC Two drama about the club’s rebirth following the 1958 Munich air disaster, starring David Tennant, should get the thumbs up.
The Munich air crash claimed eight members of the United team, among the 23 passengers who died. The February 6 flight carried supporters, journalists and embassy staff.
The film, United — The Busby Babes And The Munich Air Crash, is seen through the eyes of Bobby Charlton, who was on the plane. Written by Chris Chibnall, it will show Charlton (Jack O’Connell) strapped into his seat, “traumatised and terrified.”
Tennant plays Jimmy Murphy, the club’s scout, who developed and nurtured the young players known as the Busby Babes, whose members were cut down by the crash.
Murphy avoided the Munich flight because he had missed United’s European game to manage the Welsh team instead.
A respected tactician, who built a strong personal relationship with players including Charlton and Duncan Edwards, Murphy briefly took over the team when manager Matt Busby recovered from his Munich injuries.
Thomas Howes, who played William, a footman in Downton Abbey, will portray the club captain Mark Jones.
The film draws on first-hand interviews with the survivors and their families to tell the “inspirational story of a team and community overcoming terrible tragedy.”
McGovern claimed that the compliance unit asked why the Liverpool-based writer made so many denigratory comments about Wayne Rooney and Man Utd in scripts for his BBC series, The Street.
He told the Radio Times: “I ask: ‘What is the point of this unit?’ And the response is: ‘It’s in case you cause offence.’ I told them every chance I get I write with anti-Manchester United bias. I’m a dramatist.”
Football clubs in crisis have become a fertile source of drama. This year BBC Two screened The Damned United, the story of Brian Clough’s disastrous 44-days as boss of Leeds United. McGovern wrote the campaigning Hillsborough drama about the 1989 tragedy.