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Potter star to cast a different spell

sports Updated: Jun 12, 2011 00:21 IST

He shot to fame at a very early age with the Harry Potter series and now that it has come to an end, actor Rupert Grint is set to star in a new film about an English football team during World War II.

The 23-year-old is in talks to take on one of the lead roles in Wartime Wanderers based on Tim Purcell and Mike Gething’s 1996 book.

The movie follows the story of Bolton Wanderers Football Club’s players who quit the game to serve their country in 1939.

The footballers were led by captain Harry Goslin who took the microphone before a match with Sunderland at Bolton’s Burnden Park to urge the 23,000-strong crowd to take up arms, before revealing he was to sign up himself.

Goslin was followed to the local drill hall by every member of the squad, who went on to face some of the heaviest action of the war together in France, North Africa and Italy.

“It really is a gripping yarn. It was a time when footballers were part of the community and not prima donnas. They went to dance halls with fans,” Purcell said.

“They were footballers and Englishmen who wanted to fight for their country. Harry spoke to the supporters on Easter Saturday and said he was going to join up himself. He didn’t know it but all his team-mates followed him and some staff went too,” he added.

Purcell and Gething are looking forward to fans seeing how grounded players used to be. The movie is set for release next summer, and will see Grint playing one of the star players opposite British actors Matthew McNulty and Sean Maguire.