Submissions closed

2022 Nominees

Football's Darkest Secret

Insight TWI, Passion Pictures, Very Much So, Ventureland, BBC


- Sports Documentary

Three years in the making, Football’s Darkest Secret examines historical child abuse in English football and the ensuing attempts by survivors to seek justice decades later. From the mid 1970s until the mid 1990s, several coaches and scouts connected to top football clubs abused their positions of power to prey on vulnerable, young boys. All three episodes deal with different themes, but together they provide a nuanced insight into the effects that historical child abuse has on men across their lifetimes. The storylines reveal the hidden mental health struggles of these working-class men and lift the lid on the toxic impact that hyper-masculine, competitive or homophobic environments can have. Hopefully others that might be bottling issues, can take strength and comfort from knowing there are others like them and seek support, should they wish to do so. It was important to us to chart the lives of both survivors that made it as footballers and also those that did not.