STRETFORD Mall hit the big screen after the release of a major new fictional film based on the legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby.
Believe (PG) stars award winning Scottish actor Brian Cox of Bourne Identity and Braveheart fame.
The team behind the new sporting blockbuster visited Stretford Mall in Chester Road during the film’s production in October 2011 to shoot crucial scenes in the market place area.
The years were rolled back to 1984 as the busy Mall’s market hall became the scene of a fictional meeting between the great Manchester United manager and an 11-year-old footballing tearaway called Georgie.
Colin McCrory, Stretford Mall manager, said: “We are delighted to see this project come to fruition and we are looking forward to spotting the scenes from Stretford Mall on the big screen. It is quite an honour.
“The mall has always been a vibrant and lively place to be and has welcomed its fair share of celebrities over the years including Prime Minister Ted Heath, and England’s World Cup-winning football manager Sir Alf Ramsey but I think making it on to the big screen must be a first for us and it is very exciting.”
The shopping centre welcomed top British actor Philip Jackson and talented young actor 13-year-old Jack Smith who was picked to star in the film as Georgie.
The fictional film sees the late Sir Matt Busby come out of retirement for one last coaching challenge, to transform a young group of tearaways into a dream team to compete for the upcoming Manchester Junior Football League Cup.
Speaking at the time when he visited Stretford Mall, Philip Jackson, Chief Inspector James Japp in ITV’s Poirot, who plays Sir Matt’s friend, Bob, admitted to being a Leeds fan but said: “We’ve rather disrupted quite a few people’s lives here but they’ve been very understanding.
“The film is set in 1984 and I think the mall looks great with all the stalls piled with goods – it makes you want to buy some of it.”
* Believe will be available on DVD, iTunes and Blinkbox on August 4.