Over the years there have been a number of feature-length documentaries chronicling the exploits of football teams and players.
From the experimental Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait to the fly-on-the-wall Being: Liverpool or the thought-provoking The Two Escobars, there is a vast spectrum when it comes to style and subject matter.
A niche market certainly exists and, in 2013, the world was treated to another in genre. Goal takes a look at The Class of ’92.
What is The Class of ’92?
The Class of ’92 is a documentary film that examines the breakthrough of six young footballers – David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes – at Manchester United and the role they played in helping the club achieve success in the 1990s, including the Red Devils’ famous treble in 1999.
Directed by brothers Benjamin and Gabe Turner, the documentary incorporates interviews with the chief subjects as well as their team-mates, coaches and contemporaries, situating their story within the wider cultural and political context of the United Kingdom during their rise to prominence.
The film was released in December 2013 and, according to the popular movie database website IMDb, it had an estimated budget of $1,250,000 (£900k). The same website gives the film a rating of 8.1/10, while another well-known database, Rotten Tomatoes, rates it as 4.1/5.
The Class of ’92 cast
As well as the main subjects Beckham, Butt, Giggs, Scholes and the Neville brothers, The Class of ’92 interviews a number of figures both from within football and outside of the game.
The views of former Man United striker Eric Cantona are sought in the documentary, while Zinedine Zidane, who played against the protagonists during his career, also makes an appearance.
Academy Award-winning film director Danny Boyle, The Stone Roses bassist Mani and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair also feature.
Eric Harrison, the man who is credited with helping to produce the famous batch of youth players, is involved in the film, as are the group’s team-mates Robbie Savage, Georgie Switzer and John O’Kane.
You can see the full cast on IMDb.
Why are they called ‘The Class of ’92’?
The players in question are popularly dubbed ‘The Class of ’92’ because that is the year in which the majority of them graduated, so to speak, into the Manchester United first-team.
Notably, Beckham, Giggs, Butt and Gary Neville were part of Eric Harrison’s FA Youth Cup-winning team in 1992, with Neville wearing the captain’s armband. Scholes and Phil Neville featured in the team that reached the final the following season (Beckham and Gary Neville also featured that year.)
Giggs made his first-team debut in 1991, while Beckham, Butt and Gary Neville followed in 1992. Scholes’ senior debut came in 1994 and Phil Neville followed in early 1995.
Can you watch ‘The Class of ’92’ online?
Yes, you can. The Class of ’92 can be watched online using YouTube Movies.
There are two options for those who wish to watch the film; it can either be rented or bought and it comes in either high definition (HD) or standard definition (SD).
Alternatively, depending on where in the world you are, The Class of ’92 may be available to watch on the streaming service Netflix.
Class of ’92 spin-offs
The documentary film The Class of ’92 has been followed up by a television documentary series called Class of ’92: Out of Their League, which follows the group’s venture into football-club ownership.
Giggs, Butt, Scholes and the Neville brothers each own a 10 per cent of non-league club Salford City, having purchased stakes in 2014 and Out of Their League centres on their experiences since taking ownership.
Out of Their League ran for two series on BBC in 2015 and 2016 and another instalment, called Class of ’92: Full Time, is aired on Sky Sports in 2017.
As you can see in the video above, the group have staged promotional and fund-raising friendly matches between a Class of ’92 XI and Salford City.
Notably, Beckham is not involved in the Salford project, but he is a key player in a Miami-based Major League Soccer expansion team bid.
As well as delving into the world of film and documentary media, the Class of ’92 has teamed up with sportswear manufacturer Adidas in 2017 to produce a limited edition shoe, called the Adidas Ninety-Two.