Top 10 Sports Documentaries

The Galway Bay FM Sports team have been bingeing on every kind of sports movie and documentary imaginable in recent weeks. Here is a list of 10 of their favourites:

1) The Last Dance

Ollie Turner

I know it’s new to Netflix but I’m hooked after only the first episode. The title name refers to the last year that coach Phil Jackson and star player Michael Jordan had with the Chicago Bulls Basketball team in the 1997/98 season. It’s the NBA version of ‘A Year til Sunday’ and then some. Brilliant.

2) Muhammad and Larry

John Mulligan

A look at the famous world title fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes in 1980 and the aftermath. Looks at Ali’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease and whether he already had it at that stage. Sad but Amazing. One of the ESPN 30 for 30 films made in 2009.

3) The Game

Sean Walsh

RTE documentary on hurling. Fine production on the game as
it went through its history and major events.

4) Living with Lions

John O’Sullivan

Brilliant insight into the 2001 Lions tour of Australia. Worth watching for Jim Telfer’s speeches if nothing else.

5) Diego Maradona

Ivan Smyth

2019 British documentary film about the brilliant Argentine whose move to Napoli inspired a city. We see his descent into trouble as his inner demons surface and eventually is forced to flee the city that once treated him as a god. ” There was Diego. Then there was Maradona.”

6) Senna

Gerry Murphy

2010 film from director Asif Kapadia (who also made Diego
Maradona). I was in Monza the year after his fatal crash. The marks were still on the wall and fans had built a huge bank of flowers and momentos there. I saw Senna race Formula Ford in Mondello Park and was also a fan of ‘The Professor’ Alain Prost who features prominently.

7) Once Brothers

Tomas Keating

It follows two professional basketball players, Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic. They were best friends who played together for
Yugoslavia from youths level up to senior. Both men ended up not speaking to one another because of the outbreak of civil war in Yugoslavia as Divac is Serbian and Petrovic is Croatian.

8) Free Solo

Barry Cullinane

2018 American documentary film charting the story of Alex Honnold climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan, a 3000-foot vertical rock, with no ropes. Gripping.

9) We got Game

Patrick Flaherty

A retelling of the glory days of Irish Basketball, including the influx of American players during the boom period of the 1980s. Available on Youtube. Watch HERE.

10) Batmen

William Davies

The story of Irish cricket, from its inception to 2012. A look at how one of the world’s most misunderstood sports survived the trials of history to the point where Ireland beat England at the 2011 World Cup.