This is the 3nd entry in a mini-series looking at music used in films about football. [Previous one here]

Why do they always use Jimmy or Billy or even Danny as a lead characters name ?
This all started in 1996 when some producers err… “borrowed” the title of the magazine for their film and then named Sean Bean’s character “Jimmy”.

This reached a peak in 2000 with a couple of releases which featured kids as the title character and both of them using the same basic storyline. One was called Billy and the other…


There's only one Jimmy Grimble

As you can see above it also starred Robert Carlyle as well as appearances from the West Ham loyal Ray Winstone (with THE most unconvincing Manc accent you’ve ever heard). But the kid got lucky with the casting of Gina McKee as his mother. Sadly though young McKenzie only did a couple more things.

As mentioned above it’s the Karate Kid approach to this one:

Jimmy Grimble is a shy Manchester school boy. At school he is constantly being bullied by the other kids including his nemesis and football playing competitor “Gorgeous” Gordon.

At home he has to face his mother’s new boyfriend (Ben Miller) who he doesn’t like, preferring the company of her old flame (Ray Winstone).
A scene from the film
The coach of his school’s team (Robert Carlyle) thinks he has potential, but “Gorgeous” Gordon is already a skilled player, and when Gordon’s father informs the school he will make a large and much-needed donation if their team makes it to the Manchester Schools Cup Final, it looks like Jimmy will be on the bench for a while.

But when an old woman gives Jimmy a pair of shoes that once belonged to one of Manchester City’s greatest players, his skills on the field begin to change…

Plot via IMDB and Wikipedia

Jimmy’s character is a big Man City fan, with some of the film being made – including the final game which was shot at Maine Road.

The Soundtrack:

There's Only One Jimmy Grimble soundtrack

Looking at the cover it seems that whoever designed it tried to make it look like it had nothing to do with the film…? With the slightly altered title too: “There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble And No Substitute For Life”.

It is similar to When Saturday Comes with a provincial setting, but unlike unlike Sean Bean’s footie flick they didn’t get any locally (as in well known) musical acts to contribute a couple of songs. For the Jimmy Grimble soundtrack they they got a Scally instead (oh and the guitarist from that Colchester band to assist). Together with the film’s composer they together did a cover of Man City’s anthem… well they had to really didn’t they… and one original composition:

Ian and Alex » McCulloch/Boswell/James – Do You Believe ?

» Ian McCulloch/Simon Boswell/Alex James – Blue Moon

The soundtrack did have some token Manchester bands with the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays.
But both tracks were already familiar releases.

Saying that though I do think this soundtrack has some standout tunes and is a great cross section of different genres.
It looks like this wasn’t going to be a standard film soundtrack CD, but to be a compilation album too.

Notable among the listings is an (awayTEAM) remix of EMF’s Unbelievable, which I’d like to hear…
(Just putting that out there in case anybody happens upon this track.)

Nov 2014 Update: Some kind soul has uploaded it to YouTube.

» EMF – Unbelieveable (AwayTEAM Remix)

Then there’s this from the Scottish chamber pop band The Bathers:


-> This track is from a band called called Contempo and if you think that it sounds familiar that’s because the lead singer went on to form another band, this one they named Hard-Fi…

Now for some bangin’ choons…       sorry I don’t know where that came from.

» Asian Dub Foundation – Real Great Britain

» Freestylers – Feel The Panic

Let’s wrap this up with something that was on the film but didn’t make the soundtrack:
The reviewer on Amazon noted that despite the Manchester and Man City setting there is a distinct absence of the Gallagher brothers on the CD. So what happened ? Where were they ?

Oh that’s right recording and releasing Standing on the Shoulder of Giants and the live album Familiar to Millions which Noel Gallagher recent said was a bit shit.

But the talented one of the unabrowed siblings as mentioned did make the film in the final football game scene:

The Chemical Brothers » Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be

Extra Time.

OK one final last request:
On this BFI page about the film lists all the songs used including : “Orbital – City Boy”.
I’ve looked high and low for any further info on this but to no avail. If you know or can find anything about this track then…. Thank you.

2 Replies to “Football & Movie Music: There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble”

  1. Good film this one, and very well cast (apart from Winstone’s accent issues, natch). The soundtrack’s a bit meh, for me, mind.

    Excellent blog, by the way.

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