Ashley Walters to play England's first black soccer star

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 6 March 2013
Ashley Walters

Ashley Walters

Ashley Walters is in talks to play Laurie Cunningham, England's first black soccer player, in a TV biopic about the sportsman's life

Ashley Walters is being lined up to play England's first black soccer player in a TV drama.

The 'Top Boy' actor and 'The Hurt Locker' star Anthony Mackie are in talks to star in a biopic about Laurie Cunningham, who paved the way for black footballers to represent the country, while 'Gavin & Stacey' star James Corden is to portray the role of football manager Ron Atkinson.

Producer Leo Pearlman told The Sun newspaper: "We have spoken to Ashley Walters about the project and we have also been contacted by Anthony Mackie.

"Those are the two that we've been speaking to about playing Laurie and we will be making a decision further down the line. We have James Corden as our headline act and other roles are up for grabs."

The film will follow the life of the football legend, who died aged 33 in a car crash in 1989. Laurie made history as the first black player to represent England and was also the first English soccer star to play for Spanish team Real Madrid - the club he was signed to at the time of his death.

Leo will produce the film with Fulwell 73, the company behind a documentary on Laurie's life, 'First Among Equals: The Laurie Cunningham Story', which airs on ITV tonight (06.03.13).

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