Gordon Banks, left, with author Don Mullan at the launch of "Gordon Banks: A Hero Who Could Fly" in Dublin last summer. Photo by Aoife O'Donnell
The British Broadcasting Co. optioned the book, which was published in March, and has received a treatment written by Mullan. Mullan told TheWildGeese.com in a Jan. 12 phone interview that he expected word by mid-February whether the project would be green-lighted, for either theatrical release or TV production.
In a landmark book published in 1997 and reissued in 2002, Derry native Mullan compiled never-before published, first-hand accounts of the Jan. 30, 1972, Bloody Sunday Massacre that killed 14 peaceful demonstrators in his hometown. He has considerable film production experience, having served as a co-producer for the Paul Greengrass film "Bloody Sunday" (2002), as well as the 2004 film "Omagh," which examines the aftermath of the 1998 Real IRA bombing that killed 29 people in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
The author's admiration for Banks has led him to help organize what he calls a "living monument" to the legendary English goalkeeper. Assisted by Banks' Dublin-born teammate Terry Conroy and local sculptor Andrew Edwards, Mullan is working to create a stone monument outside Stoke City FC's Britannia Stadium and a charity match within the stadium, pitting teams led by Brazilian soccer star Pelé and Banks.
The monument unveiling, and the match are slated for the same day, and may occur as early as August. Funds raised will go to the Derry-based charity Children in Crossfire. Mullan said he hopes to have Pelé unveil the monument, which Edwards has titled "A Hero Who Could Fly."
Mullan has frequently worked with charities and human rights organizations. In 2002, he received the Defenders of Human Dignity Award from the International League for Human Rights at the United Nations. His books include "Eyewitness Bloody Sunday: The Truth" and "The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings," both by Wolfhound Press. He has also written Columba Press' 'Little Book' series, including "The Little Book of St. Patrick" and "A Little Book of Mother Theresa of Calcutta."— Gerry Regan, Producer / TheWildGeese.com