12 August 2008
Go behind the scenes to see
how the Respect campaign film was put together at
It was a match like no other. A
pro-celebrity meeting at the home of Isthmian League outfit
Northwood FC. But why was Shaun Williamson wrestling with Les
Ferdinand? Why wasn’t Steve Claridge booked for an outrageous
foul on Mark Chapman? What’s Howard Webb doing with Kevin
Sacre in a headlock? And why are the players calling on Fabio
Capello to take charge of the game?
Last month, TheFA.com went behind
the scenes at the filming of The FA’s Respect viral campaign
video, which is currently doing the rounds on the internet.
Football and TV stars past and present turned up at Chestnut
Avenue to take part in the film aimed at highlighting what
matches could be like without a referee.
year, 7,000 officials drop out of the game due to the
treatment they receive on the field by players, spectators
and fans, and Respect aims to snuff out this abuse. The film
was developed with The FA by Contentment Worldwide, and the
director Theo Delaney explained the idea behind it.
“We’ve got this problem where
we’re losing so many referees each season, so we needed to
show what a football match would be like without a
referee," he said. “We got these great ex-players
and celebrities together to play a pretend match without a
referee and it completely descends into chaos.”The likes of Gary Mabbutt, Les
Ferdinand, Dave Beasant, Mark Bright, GMTV’s Ben Sheppard,
Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones and Andrew Lancel, The
Bill’s DI Neil Manson, all lent their support. Among those
well-known faces was Premier League referee Howard Webb
playing a different role to normal.
one of the players, this time, in a game that has no referee
and the intention is to highlight the important role a referee
plays in a football match and the consequences of not having
one,” said Webb, fresh from grappling with Sacre, aka
Hollyoaks’ Jake Dean.“Hopefully it’ll send out a
serious message: When people are thinking of offering abuse to
a referee, they should consider the consequences of that
particular ref packing in and there not being enough to cover
the games that we’ve got.”
Webb’s character wasn’t
interested in refereeing on this occasion, but he suggests
that a lone figure, strolling along the touchline watching the
match, is given the whistle to manage the game. But why would
anybody want to referee under those circumstances, when the
game has descended into chaos, particularly if the person in
question is the England Manager. Fabio’s response says it all:
“You must be joking ."
supporter Shaun Williamson, or Barry from Eastenders, was
delighted to see Fabio take part in the day.
“It’s been every schoolboy’s dream. I’ve met Les Ferdinand,
Gary Mabbutt, Dave Beasant, legends of the game, but also I
met Fabio Capello who plays an important part in the film,” he
“It’s great to be involved in
something that can encourage people to don the black kit, get
out there and take charge. It’s just to prove in a
light-hearted way that, no matter what you think of the
referee, we need them out there and we need an authority
After brushing himself down
following his encounter with Claridge, Radio One presenter,
Mark ‘Chappers’ Chapman – a regular player in the grassroots
game – said why he feels we need to start cherishing our
referees.“It’s time that we draw a line
under what’s happened over the years, both in amateur football
and in the professional game, and stop giving the refs abuse,"
"It’s a big thing, when you’ve
got kids, I want mine to be playing football for years and in
order for them to do that there is going to have to be
referees. If we continue to abuse them as we do, both on the
pitch and in the media, then there isn’t going to be many of
A very serious message.