Historical Sports Miniseries ‘The English Game’: Plot, Cast, Trailer, and Netflix Release Date

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The English Game – Copyright. 42

For the love of the game, Netflix has even more to offer football fans in 2020. Arriving later this March is the miniseries The English Game, set in the 1880s, two football teams of different abilities, and backgrounds go head to head in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. We have everything you need to know about The English Game, including the plot, cast, trailer, and Netflix release date.

The English Game is an upcoming Netflix Original historical-drama-sports miniseries directed by Birgitte Stærmose. Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, and screenplay writer of Gosford Park is one of the executive producers behind the series. The series won’t just be for die-hard football fans, as there will be plenty of drama shown on and off the pitch.

When is the Netflix release date for The English Game?

It has been confirmed that the miniseries The English Game is coming to Netflix on March 20th, 2020.

The series will be released globally, which means there won’t be any regions missing out.

What is the plot of The English Game?

Set in the early days of Football’s history, two clubs divided by class face each other in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Darwen FC, a Lancashire side, sign Fergus Suter from Partick FC, illegal at the time, but making him the first recognized professional footballer in history. Meanwhile the amateur side Old Etonians, still believe the game should be played by gentlemen and not those of a lower class. When the two clubs go head to head, it’s a war on and off the pitch, as classes clash, and history is made.

Who are the cast members of The English Game?

There are some very recognizable names and faces set to appear in The English Game:

Role Cast Member Where Have I Seen/Heard Them Before?
Arthur Kinnard Edward Holcroft Vampire Academy | Kingsman: The Secret Service | Alias Grace
Fergus Suter Kevin Guthrie Dunkirk | Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Sunshine on Leith
Martha Almond Niamh Walsh Good Omens | Jamestown
TBA Charlotte Hope Allied | Les Miserables | The Theory of Everything
TBA Craig Parkinson Misfits | Four Lions | Control
TBA James Harkness Macbeth | Rogue One | Darkest Hour
TBA Sam Keeley Anthropoid | Burnt | This Must Be the Place
TBA Gerard Kearns Shameless | The Last Kingdom | The Mark of Cain
TBA Daniel Ings The Crown | Lovesick | Black Mirror
TBA Henry Loyd Hughes Killing Eve | Les Miserables | Indian Summer
TBA Ben Batt Captain America: The First Avenger | Scott & Bailey | The Village

Have any professional footballers taken part?

To our knowledge, all the football scenes shown throughout the series were performed by the actors. In preparation for their roles, cast members were sent to Trafford Training Centre in Carrington, the same complex used by the world-famous Manchester United.

Who are Darwen FC?

Darwen FC was a small football team from Darwen, Lancashire. Founded in 1870, the club was one of the first successful football teams from the North of England, reaching the semi-finals of the F.A Cup, and football league members for almost ten years. Sadly, after almost 140 years the club was forced to dissolve, but in its place were A.F.C. Darwen who still continues to play at Anchor Ground today.

The football club can be credited with signing the first acknowledged professional footballer, Fergus Suter, who was signed from Partick FC. The idea of it being illegal to have professional footballers is completely alien to way the game is known today, but back in the 1880s teams were required to field amateurs only.

A pioneer of football in the early days of the sport’s history, Darwen FC brought elegance to the English game through the Scott, Fergus Suter. Despite the players coming from working-class backgrounds, they played the game like gentlemen, unlike some of their upper-class opponents who were still playing the game that more resembled rugby than football.

Darwen FC 1879-1880 – Bottom center the famous Fergus Suter

A long-lasting legacy

The legacy left by Darwen can be felt throughout football’s long history. Many players, some considered to be the best ever, have since come from poor backgrounds such as Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. Soon after the events of The English Game, fellow northwestern club Preston North End went on to become the first-ever football league champions, also winning the FA Cup in the same season completing ‘The Double.’

Other famous Northern clubs that are playing at the highest level of English football today are the likes of; Manchester United & City, Liverpool, Everton, Burnley, Sheffield United, and Newcastle United.

When and where did production take place for The English Game?

Filming for The English Game was carried out in May 2019 and had concluded by December 2019.

While we don’t know the exact locations, filming took place in the county of Yorkshire.

How many episodes will the series air?

We have confirmation that the series will have a total of six episodes.

The run times haven’t been announced.

Are you looking forward to the release of The English Game on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by

Jacob joined What's on Netflix in 2018 as a fulltime writer having worked in numerous other industries until that point. Jacob covers all things Netflix whether that's TV or movies but specializes in covering new anime and K-dramas. Resides in Norwich in the United Kingdom.