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Football grounds and movies: "I.D." and "ID2: Shadwell Army"

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell

Football grounds sometimes serve as "hidden" locations in many football movies but they do not always represent what/where they really are. Let's take a journey to discover stadiums and places in “I.D.” (1995) and “ID2: Shadwell Army” (2016).

“I.D.” has been one of the best movies about football culture during the 90s. The story surrounding Shadwell FC was very well described by Philip Davis, the director, but which ground was selected to represent "The Kennel" (Shadwell's home ground)? Where did the fans stand during the fictional matches in the film?

Many things are changed since 1995, obviously. "I.D." was filmed in 1994 when a lot of grounds around Britain were being completely renovated. Some stands we see in the film are different nowadays, no more crush barriers and a lot of seats instead, but still we can find the same atmosphere the film try to communicate.

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell


FROM SHADWELL TO BRISBANE ROAD - Shadwell FC don't exist, really. We all know that but the "places" they're referred to are real. Shadwell Overground and DLR station, in London - one of the oldest in town, by the way, opened in 1876 - represents the area from where the fictional Club should come from.

Also, Wapping station - next one southbound after Shadwell - is the link to Wapping FC, fierce rivals of the Dogs and highlighted in the film when the derby match comes up from the FA Cup draw.

The first real impact with a football ground, during "I.D.", comes after 15 minutes or so, when the four undercover agents go to their first proper home game. The Kennel is Shadwell's home ground and Brisbane Road, home of Leyton Orient, served for the external views of the stadium.

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
The walk to Shadwell's ground, in the film, is actually a real path to Brisbane Road.

Looking at the movie scene when John, Trevor and the others walk towards The Kennel (see pic above) we can understand that's actually the real path to reach Brisbane Road. The lads are coming down from north, along Thornhill Gardens, then through a small alley to pop up on Windsor Road. They then keep on walking westwards and finally turn left on Brisbane Rd, the London street along the old stand of Leyton Orient's home ground (clearly seen in that scene).

Brisbane Road has changed a lot since 1994, with a new main stand on the west side and blocks of flats at the four corners of the ground. The east stand is still there, though, and almost unaltered - and you can tell it from this comparison, pictured below.

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
The lads arrive at Brisbane Road (movie scene)

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
Brisbane Road east stand, from Brisbane Rd

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ROTHERHAM, MILLMOOR GROUND - London wasn't the only location for “I.D.”, anyway. Several scenes were shot in Rotherham, Yorkshire, at Millmoor Ground.

This ground, home of Rotherham FC until 2008, served as location for the internal views of the Shadwell's home park – despite several times in the film we see close-ups on the fans and we can't appreciate any detail of the stadium. Millmoor Ground, though, was not only used as the Dogs home ground but also as an away ground.

When the Shadwell play away against Tyneburn FC, in fact, John and the other travelling fans reach the ground through an alley, leading them to the away section inside the stadium. That's Millmoor Lane, actually a path to Millmoor Lane End, at the Rotherham's ground (see pic below).

Also, the point of view from the away section we see in the film is actually the real one from Millmoor Lane End looking towards the Railway End (as I tried to highlight with a map and a photo comparison at the end of the article).

-> you can find Millmoor Lane on Google Maps, here: https://goo.gl/maps/reSQXc1U4BD2

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
Shadwell's travelling fans reaching Tyneburn's ground (movie scene)

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
Millmoor Lane, leading to Millmoor Ground, Rotherham

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BRADFORD, VALLEY PARADE - One of the pivotal scenes in "I.D." certainly happens during the derby Wapping v Shadwell, as I've mentioned before. John, the main character, with a few other Dogs, attacks the opposite fans inside their own stand, is almost arrested by the police and eventually runs away reaching the away section where Shadwell fans stand.

When the two policemen escort John along the pitch, that's another ground we can identify in "I.D.": they walk along the Main Stand of Valley Parade, Bradford and the scene was actually filmed during a Bradford v Hull City game.


stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
Valley Parade's Main Stand - movie scenes (above) and during the 1986 opening (below)

This stand was re-opened in 1986, after the tragic 1985 stadium fire, and what we see in “I.D.” is its first version, before a new expansion occurred at the end of the 90s. The side wall structure is very well recognisable from the movie scenes (see pic above) and if we pay further attention to the frames we would see Admiral (Bradford City's kit sponsor in 1994/95 season) and Pulse Radio (Bradford's local radio) adv panels alongside the pitch, when John is hold by the two bobbies.

Not to forget, the "direction" John is forced to walk in is actually "the right one". In "I.D." he's brought alongside the West Stand towards the Bradford End (today TL Dallas Stand) to rejoin his fellow Dogs friends. This is a correct characterisation as the Bradford End is indeed the away section of the ground during Bradford City matches.


***

stadi location film hooligans id shadwell


ID2: SHADWELL ARMY - A mention is due for the second chapter of "I.D.", finally, came out more than twenty years after the original film, in 2016.

We didn't see football scenes in the first movie and, if possible, we see even less "stadium action" in this new episode.

“ID2: Shadwell Army” (directed by Joel Novoa) is very much about a wider perspective of criminal trades of different sort and Shadwell matches are just on the background. Kingston-upon-Hull served as location for the entire film and the stadium picked to represent The Kennel is Craven Park, home ground of Hull Kingston Rovers, rugby league local team.


stadi location film hooligans id shadwell


We can see Craven Park/The Kennel around the halfway point of the film, when Shadwell play Tambuur FC (a fictional dutch team) in the Europa Cup 1st round. The main characters decide to sell their tickets and listen to the game from the radio, outside the ground. When Shadwell score they jump for joy and the Roger Millwar West Stand (see pic at the end of the page) is perfectly visible.

The same stand is portrayed from the inside of the ground at the end of the film (but I won't say how and why to avoid any spoiler).

***

I must say a big "thank you" to Philip Davis himself, who kindly helped me to identify the location in a particular frame of "I.D.". Almost around the end of the movie, in fact, when the four undercover agents understand they won't see the Dogs anymore, they say "No more Shadwell" and an empty stand appears: that's the Railway End, at Millmoor Ground, Rotherham (see the first pic below).

I'd also like to thank Matteo Azzimonti, from Theatres of Football page, Paul Wells and Mark Shepherd for their invaluable help.

* the original version of this article was published in italian language on Archistadia.it, here


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stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
"No more Shadwell" (movie scene) - that's the Railway End at Millmoor Ground, Rotherham


stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
Millmoor Ground map, around 1994, and comparison of places and point of views from the "I.D." movie



stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
Away turnstiles at Wapping FC home ground, in "I.D." film - they're actually at Brisbane Road, this part of the ground doesn't exist anymore


stadi location film hooligans id shadwell
Craven Park, Hull, from the outside, during a scene of "ID2: Shadwell Army"


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Comments

  1. There are very few good movies on Football and I like ID Movie very much. Thanks for your input.

    ZincMovies

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