Defoe – Preview

Jermain Defoe is a natural born goal scorer. A player of supreme instinct and God given intuition, he relentlessly found the back of the net throughout his illustrious career. Even today as a Youth Team coach working at his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, his boyish enthusiasm for scoring remains unchanged, even if it is against protegees half his age. Ask him why he still wants to continue in the game as a coach after retiring as a professional player and his answer is instant; “I just love it”. His inspirational connection to football and enduring love for the game is deep and intrinsic. But his glory and status on the pitch, hides a story of great tragedy off the pitch.

In this powerful documentary, Jermain Defoe lifts the lid on both his incredible professional career, but also the scandalous and shocking personal events that shaped him as a player and as a man. At the very peak of his career, he experienced the murder of his half-brother in 2009, the death of his father on the eve of the Euros in 2012 and then the sudden death of his 20 year old cousin just a few months later. But rather than stop, Jermain pushed away the grief and found refuge in football instead. Pouring his heart and soul onto the pitch, he tried to escape from the tragedy that dogged him. But eventually, a chance encounter with a 6 year old boy battling a rare childhood cancer forced Jermain to reconcile himself to his past, confront his true feelings about life and death, and find a renewed sense of purpose in life. In many ways, his relationship with Bradley Lowery is the moment that has come to define him as a player and man and is perhaps his greatest achievement in the game.

With remarkable access to Jermain, his family, fellow players and managers including Joe Cole, Harry Redknapp, Peter Crouch, Gus Poyet (and many more!) and the family of Bradley Lowery (who Jermain still remains incredibly close with today), this is an inspiring, unexpectedly heart-warming and powerful film that explores how football gave Jermain Defoe both great success on the pitch, but so much more beyond it. Unafraid of looking at the darker and more controversial moments of his life, but also revelling in the greatness of his achievements, the film will be honest, and intimate and offer a surprising insight into the man. Mixing stylishly shot Master Interviews and historical archive footage with personal, access-driven present-day documentary scenes, the film will feel bold, and cinematic and give viewers the defining portrait of one of England’s greatest goal-scorers.

Defoe The new documentary on the former England striker will be in UK Cinemas for One Night Only on 29th February, complete with an exclusive Q&A with Defoe himself.

John McArthur
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