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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumbria film company uncovers the little known 'saviour' of Manchester United

THE TV premiere of a movie made by Cumbria filmmakers about the little known saviour of Manchester United Football Club is set to take place today.

man u savior

Manchester United FC is one of the world’s biggest football clubs and has an estimated 660 million fans across the world. Yet it is perhaps surprising how few know of the club's origins and history and in particular the story of one man - James W. Gibson.

A new documentary, produced by independent production company Cumbria TV, shows how on December 19, 1931, James W. Gibson rescued Manchester United from bankruptcy and later took over and built the foundations of the club that remain today.

In what has to be the greatest Christmas present to every Manchester United fan in the run up to that Christmas during the depression in 1931, he not only saved the United from ruin paying debts and players wages, but also gave every member of the United players and staff a Christmas turkey.

Much of this new documentary was shot with support from the club inside MUFC’s stadium Old Trafford and includes exclusive interviews with Gibson’s remaining relatives. It also provides unique access to the family’s personal archives and photographs including many interesting Manchester United related items never seen before outside of the Gibson family.

The film is directed and voiced by journalist filmmaker Gary Robinson, a lifelong United fan who came across the story whilst producing his TV series ‘United Fans TV’.

He said: “It is remarkable how little was and still is known about how close Manchester United came to obscurity and how Manchester businessman James W. Gibson saved and later rebuilt the club.

“I was alerted to the story by The Manchester United Support’s Trust who were keen to properly mark the 80th anniversary of ‘The Gibson Guarantee’ as it is known.”

The film highlights how, after saving United, Gibson, often against the odds, developed Old Trafford.

He also set up the club’s much-heralded youth policy and signed Matt Busby laying the foundations for years of success.

The premiere of the film takes place on Community Channel on Monday at 11.30pm on channel 539 SKY, channel 233 Virgin Media, channel 87 Freeview and on BT Vision.

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