Fans urged to back Shaun Barker documentary

Shaun Barker
Shaun Barker
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Fans are being asked to dig deep into their pockets to help fund a film which will chronicle the comeback of former Blackpool player Shaun Barker.

The feature length documentary, entitled Shaun Barker :1,065 days, is currently in production with a view to a release in December 2016.

The film will chronicle the horrific knee injury Barker suffered while playing for Derby County against local rivals Nottingham Forest in 2012 and his subsequent rehabilitation.

The 34-year-old defender made 134 appearances for Blackpool in a three-year spell with the club, prior to joining Derby for an undisclosed fee in 2009.

He quickly became a fans' favourite at Derby but his time was overshadowed by spells out injured.

His career-threatening injury came in a collision with Derby goalkeeper Frank Fielding, as both came out to clear a ball. The collision snapped his kneecap and ruptured his medial, anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments - in the defender’s own words, his leg “was only hanging on by the skin”. His surgeon admitted it is the worst knee injury he had ever seen.

Despite being told he would never play again, Barker spent three years in gruelling rehabilitation sessions, before miraculously making a comeback for Derby County's Under 21s in 2015.

Barker then completed his professional comeback earlier this season when he came on a substitute for Burton Albion in a 1-0 win against Derby.

Shaun Barker: 1,065 Days director Ashley Carter, a lifelong Derby fan, is keen to show all sides of Shaun Barker’s personality, and shed light on a period of his career that fans might not know all the facts about.

“Since meeting Shaun in 2015, it’s clear that he isn’t like other footballers, and the players we’ve interviewed so far constantly talk about how influential and inspirational he is off the pitch as well as on it," he said.

"What he went through on a personal and professional level is astounding, and to still be looking to play professional football again is remarkable.”

Filming has included interviews with some of his former Blackpool team-mates as well as current and past players at Derby.

As well as looking back on Barker’s career, the film will also examine some of the misconceptions football fans have about the post-playing careers of professional footballers, particularly those playing at lower levels.

Ashley added: “I think everyone would agree that professional footballers live a dream life, but there’s something intrinsically tragic about being forced to stop doing the thing you’ve devoted your entire life to your prime.

"A lot of people think that footballers are financially set for life once they’ve hung their boots up, but it’s a big myth. That’s only the top players."

Shaun Barker: 1,065 Days will continue filming through the year before holding a Premiere screening at the QUAD Cinema in Derby, as well as being released online. All proceeds from screenings and sales will be going to the Shaun Barker Foundation, which aims to help underprivileged children in the Derby area.

The documentary is a non-profit project, with neither the director or the producers taking a fee.

The producers are now looking for £5,000 in additional funding through Indiegogo to complete the film. This money will go towards paying local, freelance members of the crew and securing rights to archive footage.

To donate to the crowdfunding, visit the website here.