David Preece: How Sunderland’s upcoming Netflix ‘horror movie’ evoked memories of my ‘starring’ role in Premier Passions

The Netflix documentary will showcase Sunderland's relegation from the Championship.
The Netflix documentary will showcase Sunderland's relegation from the Championship.
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The news is out then. A series documenting last season’s travails is being aired on Netflix this December and should make for interesting viewing.

I say ‘interesting’, but it’s probably more accurate to describe it as a cross between Nightmare On Elm Street and Titanic.

SAFC coverage in association with John Hogg

SAFC coverage in association with John Hogg

A horror movie crossed with a tragedy that ends in something large going down.

That said, it’s never been said that Sunderland have ever been unsinkable, but you get what I was driving at.

It was a project that I was supposed to take part in, but after one brief interview down by the banks of the Tyne, work and logistics worked against me and I just couldn’t get back up again to be more involved.

Which is a shame, but I dare say they did all right without me. Who wants to be a star on Netflix anyway?

With a camera pointed at you your walk becomes less natural and something resembling a John Cleese sketch.

With a camera pointed at you your walk becomes less natural and something resembling a John Cleese sketch.

Of course I regret not being more involved now, but I’ve already been the star of a couple of fly-on-the-wall documentaries, it’s only fair to give someone else a chance.

Oh, you didn’t know about my starring roles?

Well, one was a starring role and the other was a cameo appearance in something you might have seen; Premier Passions.

Who could forget the dressing room scene where I can be seen putting on a pair of shorts as David Kelly wishes me good luck before a game?

Or the scene at Villa Park as I sit in awe watching the pearls of wisdom fall from the mouth of Bobby Saxton.

How I wasn’t nominated for a BAFTA I’ll never know. That was 21 years ago, and of course, the reals stars were Peter Reid and Sacko, who as always, were good value for money.

It was more a case of me trying to put myself in front of the cameras rather than them ever being pointed directly at me. The experience was still a strange one.

No matter what anyone says, unless you’re an old pro at it, having a camera present in the dressing room and around the squad does make you act differently, especially at the the age of 20, as I was then.

You become ultra aware of what you’re doing. You talk differently, you hold yourself differently. Your walk becomes less natural and something resembling a John Cleese sketch as you become uptight.

Most of the stuff that I remember being filmed never made the final cut, which is a shame because it was probably more interesting!

The other documentary I mentioned was one filmed whilst I was at Silkeborg in Denmark, but that will keep for another time.