‘Floodlights’ trailer: Andy Woodward drama tells story of 1980s football abuse

A one-off BBC drama about footballer Andy Woodward is coming soon.

Floodlights tells the story of former professional footballer Andy Woodward, whose brave revelations about the sexual abuse he suffered as a youth player sent shockwaves throughout the industry and across the globe.

Gerard Kearns, best known for his roles in The Last Kingdom and Shameless, is playing Andy Woodward.

The 80-minute TV movie also stars Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood), Morven Christie (Grantchester), and Steve Edge (Benidorm).

Made with the full cooperation of Andy Woodward, Floodlights has been written by award-winning screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh.

Greenhalgh previously wrote Joy Division biopic Control, John Lennon drama Nowhere Boy, and ’70s romance Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool.

The official synopsis for Floodlights reads: “In November 2016, Andy found the strength to go public about horrific sexual abuse by his youth coach, Barry Bennell.

After doing so, hundreds more men, many also victims of Bennell, found the courage to speak up about their harrowing experiences of abuse, lifting the lid on a national scandal in the country’s most popular sport.

“The factual drama depicts Andy’s life, from a boy with a passion for the game to a successful professional footballer who seemingly has the world at his feet, until, no longer able to ignore the haunting memories of the abuse he was subject to by his youth coach, his career is cut short.

“It examines the power and control held by Bennell, grooming young players and their families with the promise of making their dreams come true.”

Watch the trailer:


Floodlights will premiere in the UK on BBC Two at 9pm on Tuesday 17th May, before streaming on BBC iPlayer.

Andy Woodward commented: “Since speaking out in 2016 I’ve wanted to continue to encourage people to talk without fear, to make a change. Floodlights tells my story, which no child should ever have to go through. I hope this film helps to stop abuse in football and in all areas of life.”

Writer Matt Greenhalgh explained why he wanted to write the film: “I was in the crowd at Maine Road when Bury FC beat my team, Manchester City, 0-1 in 1998. Andy Woodward was playing for Bury… and was outstanding.

“When his brutal story broke I remember being stunned not only by the magnanimity of his courage, but by how this could happen in our national sport. His horrific revelations were undoubtedly a pivotal moment for football… but also for many, many men.

“Andy’s story more than deserves telling as drama, so that it can keep on telling, and informing the next generation of parents and kids. And I am very proud to be part of his honourable fight to expose those who prey on children in any walk of life.”

Control is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.