One of those films so utterly banal and predictable as to be almost enjoyable on that account alone, the soccer world of Yesterday's Hero seems now nearly as distant as that of the superior Arsenal Stadium Mystery of forty years earlier. A time when virtually all weekend games kicked off at 15.00 on a Saturday, muddy pitches on some grounds from early winter on, teams rather than 'squads' and when you could pronounce all the players' names. A wealthy owner signing a player over the head of the manager would also look absurd back then, but now seems commonplace, so in that regard the film is prescient.
Not a big fan of Ian McShane but he's excellent here, giving the only really convincing performance and blends in well with the footage from the Forest/Southampton League cup final. (To me he has a passing resemblance to the superb England goalkeeper of the era, Peter Shilton.) Neither Adam Faith nor Paul Nicholas were great actors to say the least, the latter also turning up in another Jackie Collins' epic The World Is Full Of Married Men, released shortly prior to this. So for fans of Ms Collins and Mr Nicholas, 1979 was their year.
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