Creative Brain Media tell the remarkable story of Corinthian-Casuals – a club with an extraordinary tale.
The Broadway to Brazil team spoke with players, supporters, coaches, historians, writers, commentators, and general eccentrics associated with the club. They examined the origins of a club that once was one of the country’s most famous – still the only side to have provided the entire XI for an England line up – all while following the modern incarnation’s fortunes.
How is it that Corinthians still hold the record for Manchester United’s biggest defeat, and were once considered the game’s first global superstars? What is their connection with Real Madrid? How do the present entirely amateur club compete against league rivals with significant budgets?
And why on earth are they so loved in Brazil?
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Presented and written by Jarek Zaba and Dominic Bliss
Produced and edited by Brent Davies
Frontline reporter: Tony Banks
Music: John Forrest / Web: Chris Kelly / Artwork: Kelly Bliss
Special thanks: Corinthian-Casuals Football Club and Robin Hutchinson
In our opening episode, the Broadway to Brazil team set the scene for the journey ahead. Host Jarek Zaba wanders the streets of Tolworth Broadway to find out just how much the man and woman on the street know about their local football side, Corinthian-Casuals FC; we catch up with Sao Paulo resident Rafael Pedroso to discover just why he felt the compulsion to visit this anonymous suburban area when he first landed in London; and we speak to the club’s manager James Bracken to find out more about the challenges of running an entirely amateur football side in a largely semi professional league.
In episode 02 of Broadway To Brazil, the team connect the dots between the Victorian era, where the original Corinthian FC were almost the Harlem Globetrotters of their time, to the present day, which has seen Corinthian-Casuals continously struggle to secure its own future.
Why does the history of both Corinthian FC and Casuals FC dictate a modern day refusal to pay their players, unlike all of their peers at the same level? How did they compete in the era of ‘shamateurism’ – which saw the widespread practice of illicitly paying players under the table? How do they compete in the present day, where they remain the highest ranked amateur team in the English football league system?
Among others father and son cricketing legends Alec and Micky Stewart and Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler – all of whom have lined up in the pink and brown of Corinthian-Casuals – help to paint a picture of proud amateurs playing for the love of a game in a world increasingly dominated by professionalism and commerce.
Episode 03 sees the Broadway to Brazil team step away from the fascinating history of the Corinthian-Casuals, and peer into the no less interesting plight of the current squad. For in recent years the first team – led by charismatic manager James Bracken – have been defying the odds and vying for promotion from the Bostik South Division, despite the fact that they do not a penny to their players, unlike almost all of their peers.
As well as charting the short yet success-ridden coaching career of Bracken thus far, including two recent heartbreaking seasons at the Casuals, B2B speaks to players past and present to try and establish just what it is that has enabled the young coach to propel the team up the league. Meanwhile former England international and Premier League footballer Stan Collymore makes an appearance and offers his thoughts on these amateur achievements, as the Casuals vie for that elusive promotion in 2017/18 after two hugely unlucky recent attempts.
Having looked at the on-field success yielded by the club’s players and management, Episode 04 of Broadway to Brazil explores the Corinthian-Casuals’ tight knit community of volunteers, whose behind-the-scenes devotion ensures the club’s survival week in week out.
From beanie hats to pitch maintenance via cheesy chips and stadium construction, this bumper length episode is a tribute to the unsung heroes of non league football whose incredible efforts keep clubs like the Casuals alive across the country.
After following the fortunes of the Corinthian-Casuals for the entire 2017/18 season, the Broadway to Brazil team are there to chronicle its thrilling conclusion. James Bracken’s side are aiming for promotion to the Bostik Premier Division following heartbreak in the previous two years.
To help tell the tale Jarek gets to know a fanbase that has grown significantly since it was once just one man and his infant son behind the goal.
The final episode of Broadway to Brazil sees the team explore the rich tradition of overseas travel that defines the ongoing legacy of Corinthian FC and and the present day spirit of the Corinthian-Casuals.
From South Africa to Japan, via a hugely significant stop in Brazil, these tales more than any other underline just why the Casuals are such a unique entity in English non league football. After Jarek recounts how Corinth’s original journeys led to the birth of a São Paulo club who became champions of the world, Dominic catches up with former players who had the fortune of touring far flung corners of the globe while representing the pink and brown. To conclude the series we hear from a wide range of Brazilian voices who express their joy of visiting a small ground just around the corner from Tolworth Broadway.
In June 2019 the Corinthian-Casuals were given a special opportunity to travel to Hungary to participate in the inaugural Egri Erbstein Tournament and compete for the new Corinthian Cup.
Broadway to Budapest travelled with the club, telling the story of the tournament’s origins with one of football’s forgotten pioneers and covering the action as James Bracken aims to win his first ever Corinthian-Casuals trophy.
Creative Brain Media