Thank you for showing an interest in funding "The
Penalty King". The film is being made possible by
the funding scheme and the support of local companies - a
So What, Who and When..
A message from Chris Cook - Writer/Director
a life-long Leeds fan I'm well aware of what a
dramatic club we are!
Working with a man who had lost his sight gave me the
inspiration for The Penalty King. His love for 'The
Beautiful Game' remained and he still yearned for 'a
damn good kick about'. When I came to write the
script it seemed obvious that the hero's inspiration
to play football again could only come from one
source - the fabulous Leeds United!"
The Penalty King by Chris Cook
Meet Lee Vaughan. He's blind. He's miserable. He's from
Glaucoma. It robbed him of his job, it robbed him of his
self-respect, worst of all; it robbed him of his
football. No more banging in goals for the local pub
team, no more trips to Elland Road to watch his beloved
Leeds United play.
All that remains of the beautiful game for blind Lee is
an unquenchable yearning for a 'damn good kickabout'.
When KwikFit, Leeds, let him go, Lee found work, of a
sort, down South. Working for the council at the Social
Services Disability Equipment Store. Now he sits all day
at a computer that talks to him. It tells him how many
artificial limbs, bath hoists, bottom wipers, there are
in stock. He also answers the phone - to the disabled and
disaffected of the city. Some of the calls are abusive;
not everyone bottles up their frustrations like Lee
Now meet Charlie Howard. He works alongside blind Lee.
He's unhinged. He's damaged. He's American. And he's
always looking for the next crack.
The 'next crack' presents itself when a call from a
particularly repellent client brings home to Lee the full
wretchedness of his situation. He slams down the phone,
rubs his aching blind eyes and mutters his familiar
'I could do with a damn good kickabout'. For once,
Charlie takes him at his word. He marches Lee over the
road to the petrol station, buys a cheap plastic football
and places it at Lee's feet. 'Go!' he yells. Blind Lee
takes a wild swing at the ball and . . . a ridiculous
quest has begun.
Charlie is now a Man on a Mission. He persuades work
colleague, Gina, to get Lee a trial with her boyfriend's
football team. The trial is a disaster - the first of
many - but, unbeknownst to Lee, Charlie wins the team
over by creating a bogus grant which promises a thousand
quid to any club that takes on a blind footballer. As our
heroes overcome various obstacles Lee emerges from his
shell and begins to re-assert himself in the
high-testosterone culture that is pub football. But the
real breakthrough is yet to come . . .
Whilst training Lee in the local park, Charlie observes a
group of teenagers holding a 'penalty shoot-out'. A
penalty kick . . . now here's a drama in which, even
against sighted opponents, Lee can play a leading role: a
dead-ball situation, a nail-biting, one-on-one against
the goal-keeper. Step forward Lee Vaughan, The Penalty
Lee's dignity is fully restored when he scores the
winning penalty in a cup-final shoot-out but not before
Charlie embarks on a catastrophic 'fling' with Gina (who
is, of course, the captain of the team's girlfriend).
This provokes the cuckolded boyfriend to make a vengeful
exposť of Charlie's bogus 'Blind Footballer' grant which
in turn wreaks havoc with Lee's pride and his willingness
to even play in the cup final. Only a rare incidence of
humility by Charlie and a strange visitation by one of
Lee's late great footballing heroes - Billy Bremner -
gets the quest back on track and The Penalty King is duly
The script safely in the bag it's time to welcome some of
Claire Grogan - (Father Ted,Altered Images)
Nick Bartlett - (Gangs of New York)
Steve Sweeney - (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)
Alan Smith - interested in a cameo role as a Leeds Fan
Cameras start rolling 1st November.
out for the new web site www.penaltyking.com . The LUFC Official
site will also be keeping you up to date with a diary and
running pictures of the making of The Penalty King.
the event of your lines ending up on the cutting room
floor you will be sent a new line!
This scheme hopes to repay everyone 200 percent when the
film takes off.
to the Website at www.penaltyking.com for more details
links on this website ...
the first report on this site in December 2002
from Chris Cook, see Emails November 2003
complete, see Email
22 April 2005
links on other sites...
to do with it, I know, but see England Penalty Kick
Note: Just in case you are wondering, Bob and 1970-71
Footballers has no connections with The
Penalty King film whatsoever,
financial or otherwise, other than an appreciation of
Billy Bremner. Please send all corresdondence about the
film to the makers via their website.