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Jim Baxter

Jim Baxter

We're really pleased and honoured to have produced a film about the life of Scottish legend, Jim Baxter. The documentary film, written, produced and directed by Margot McCuaig and presented by Alex O'Henley, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA in the autumn.

James Curran Baxter would have turned 75 in 2014. Tragically, he died of pancreatic cancer on the 14th of April, 2001. He was just 61. In life though he lived the dream; a working class miner from Fife he emerged from the ranks of Junior football to become the very first inductee to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.

From Crossgates Primrose to Raith Rovers, Rangers, Sunderland, Nottingham Forest and Rangers again, Scottish international Jim led a lifestyle of riches and fame, forging close friendships with international superstars of the game such as Alfredo di Stéfano, Pele and Ference Puskás. Despite his phenomenal talent Jim's football career was all but over by the time he was 30. His lifestyle had taken its toll on his fitness and ability.

This factual entertainment documentary is a personal look at the life of the popular Scottish character, Jim Baxter. Going beyond the magic on the pitch to understand the man behind the frequent newspaper headlines, this documentary will uncover a new portrayal of the man regarded as one of Scotland’s greatest ever football players, and indeed liveliest characters whose appeal transcended club divides. 

The film features Jim’s own captivating and humorous testimony, match archive and drama, and interviews with the Scottish footballing figures that knew him best including Pat Crerand, Willie Henderson, Davie Wilson and Ian McMillan, as well Crossgates Primrose teammate Drew Telfer and Jim Thorburn and Denis Mochan from Raith Rovers, alongside Neil Martin from Sunderland. We’ll also hear from best-selling author and Raith Rovers Director Val McDermid whose father Jim was the Raith Rovers scout who catapulted him on the road to fame. A happy child, Jim Baxter continued to enjoy a wonderful relationship with his parents as an adult. Jim's family, however, was harbouring a secret, a secret that weighed heavily throughout his life. Its impact was devastating. 

The narrative will explore that past, charting Jim's story from his adoption as a baby, exploring his National Service career, his domestic and international football career, and then his battle for survival following liver transplant surgery not just once, but twice, before he finally, and tragically, succumbed to cancer at a young age. The film will hear testimony from Jim's doctor and his partner Norma is also providing her support to a narrative that promises to be a deserved tribute to a man who holds a special place in Scottish popular culture history. This is a captivating story, a celebration of the life of a working class hero.

25 April 2015 12:09

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