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The Damned United receives world premiere in London

The Damned United UK premiere

Story by Jack Foley

MICHAEL Sheen has joined the makers of Brian Clough movie The Damned United in expressing the hope that the late football manager’s family will go and see the film.

The Cloughs have always been unhappy with the book upon which the movie is based, and announced their intention to boycott the film almost as soon as it went into development.

The Damned United follows Clough’s doomed spell at Leeds United in 1974, when he was sacked after just 44 days.

But speaking to the BBC ahead of the film’s world premiere in London on Wednesday night (March 18, 2009), Sheen said it was a “much more affectionate and respectful look at Brian”, that effectively conveyed why “people had so much affection and admiration for him”.

The film’s director Tom Hooper and screenwriter Peter Morgan also revealed that they had made every effort to get Clough’s family involved, saying: “We would have loved to speak to them because what better [way is there to do] research? We definitely wanted to involve them.

Hooper added: “Peter and I were affected by what they felt about the book so it did inspire us to make as rounded a portrait of Brian Clough as we could.”

The red carpet world premiere of the film proved a star-studded affair, with Sheen joined on the red carpet by co-stars Timothy Spall and Jim Broadbent, writer Morgan and director Hooper.

View photos from the red carpet