Blyth Spartans are delighted to be supporting local film-maker Alex Ayre as his short film Robbie Dale on the Wall is set to premiere at Tyneside Cinema on 12th July.
The film focuses on Spartans legend Robbie Dale and his legacy at Blyth, as told by the residents of the town against the backdrop of the magnificent mural created by artist Frank Styles.
Alex spoke to us about his inspiration for the film, “The first documentary I ever made was about the career of jovial Blyth Spartans kit man Tony Kennedy, and it definitely felt like I had an unfinished story left to tell at the club. My films have always touched on the theme of local fame, and Robbie Dale is the epitome of those words.
A whole community has forged around his skills on the pitch and passion for his team, and they’ve thanked him for his service by having a huge mural of him painted outside the ground! To me, that seemed like a story worth telling.”
The mural itself was started back in May 2021 after non-league football struggled with another curtailed season due to Covid-19.
“The film was shot in the depths of the pandemic, when local clubs’ futures felt uncertain while their grounds remained closed to supporters,” Alex added. “To me, documentary film serves as a living archive of people and events that may not otherwise have been filmed. It’s content that should be available as a window on the past for generations to come. So it’s important to me that this local story be seen and heard in parallel to that of the wider footballing world.”
Alex described the film as a deeply personal project, “Documenting the mural’s creation kept me busy and in good spirits during one of many difficult stages of the pandemic, and the production has been a family affair from the start. My cousin Stephen Clark, took on the cutting of the film and has brought the story to life. My Uncle John, was brought up in Blyth and first introduced me to Spartans many years ago. And my brother Paul, who is a massage therapist based in Blyth, even has a brief cameo in the film!”
The film has been submitted to a number of national film festivals, with Alex hopeful of a good turnout from the Spartans faithful. “Tyneside Cinema has been my place of work for nearly ten years now, so to see the film get its first outing on a screen there is just amazing. Let’s hope some Spartans supporters come along, and it’s not the last we see of Robbie on the big screen!”
Robbie Dale on the Wall will premiere in support of The Football Monologues which will also feature a Q+A with director Greg Crutwell, on Tuesday 12th July. Tickets can be booked in advance here.