12 November 2017
Producer Amy Lawrence, far left, is joined by former Arsenal players and manager George Graham at the official premiere of '89 - The Film © Getty Images
Amy Lawrence, Women in Football's Journalist of the Year 2016 has this week proudly added another string to her bow - that of film producer - following the official premiére of 89 - The Film.
The film tells the incredible story of one of football’s greatest triumphs when against all odds Arsenal snatched the Championship title from Liverpool at Anfield in the last minute of the last game of the season 28 years ago.
Mixing archive and previously unseen exclusive footage with revealing interviews, insights and memories from the original squad, game officials, fans and the people who were there on the night 89 - The Film is a unique account of a watershed moment in football.
The official premiere in North London was attended by a host of players from that legendary Gunners team including captain Tony Adams, goalscorers on that historic Anfield night Alan Smith and Michael Thomas, manager George Graham and many more.
Speaking to Arsenal TV, Guardian and Observer football writer Amy explained how the film was borne out of an initial email exchange with an old friend.
She said: "This started about 18 months ago when an old pal of mine sent me an email saying 'Why has no one made a film...' He didn’t even need to get to the end of the sentence as I knew what he was going to say.
"I thought 'What an unbelievable idea' and started a chain of converstaions with Adam, my friend who used to write for The Gooner and even bumped off school missing an O'level to go to the game in ’89!
"I then ended up meeting the director, David Stewart, who is a top man. He really bought into the idea and Universal Studios very quickly liked it and back it, which was extraordinary.
"One minute you are having an email exchange and the next minute Universal are saying they want to make a film. So I was feeling a little bit 'Hmmm, so how do we make a film then?!'."
Amy quickly called on the services of Lee Dixon, who played an integral part in the never-to-be-forgotten triumph as part of Arsenal's formidible defence.
He said: “The conundrum was how you tell the story of Anfield 89 in a different way.
“When Amy came to me to see if I would be interested in being part of the film I could tell straight away before she even pitched it to me how excited she was.
“She started telling me and as soon as she mentioned the words Anfield I said: ‘Yes, what can I do to help?’
“Looking at the obvious thing – they needed a contact to pull the whole team together and facilitate filming that’s where my role was pretty obvious."
Lee was appointed Executive Producer and all their hard work over the past few months has finally come to fruition.
“I was so grateful for the team behind the team who gave us so much guidance and expertise in the art of film making," added Amy.
"Lee (Dixon) was absolutely magnificent and bought his commitment, energy, desire and love for the club, along with his knowledge.
"I tried to help in any one I could to make sure the story was told as faithfully as possible with the type of emotion it deserves."
89 is now available in OurScreen cinemas and will be available to purchase on DVD & Digital Download from 20 November.
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