On The Run - BBC
TWO, 7 January 2003, 9.00pm
McGowan had just signed a professional football contract to play
with Gary Lineker when his world collapsed.
visiting his native Belfast, he found himself wrongfully arrested
for the murder of a British soldier. Fearing an unfair trial, he
20 years he was ruled an innocent man, but by that time he had lost
the prime of his life, his career and his mother, who died while
he was in hiding.
BBC TWO documentary retraces the physical and emotional impact of
Gerry's life on the run.
relives his first night as a fugitive and talks openly of the constant
fear of being hunted down, living under false identities.
said: "I was not going to spend one day in prison for something
I had absolutely nothing to do with. Whoever pulled the trigger
in Derry killed my career as sure as they killed that British soldier."
story begins on a training ground in Leicester in 1979. Gerry McGowan,
then aged 17, and a team mate of the young Gary Lineker, had just
signed a contract as a professional footballer for Leicester City
and had the soccer world at his feet.
The Run takes Gerry back to the training ground in Leicester where
he recalls his joy at being signed but reveals how, as an Irishman
living in the UK, it was a difficult time.
takes the viewer to the places that mattered to him and gives an
insight into his life at the time.
then faces another trip down memory lane - this time to the Creggan
Estate in Northern Ireland, the place where McGowan grew up.
Gerry explains how he returned to Belfast for a visit soon after
signing for Leicester and how he was forced to put his signature
to a confession that he had taken part in the killing of a British