Five sports documentaries to watch on BBC iPlayer

By Ciaran VarleyBBC Sport
Left to right: Marcus, Sam Cook, Tonya Harding, Renee Hector, Daryl Clark
Five more documentaries to binge

Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, we're here to bring you five more sports stories you can watch on BBC iPlayer.

This week: a scandal that shook figure skating, personal testimonies from footballers on the receiving end of racial abuse, a touching tale about wrestling, bringing football back to Bury, and a tour with the Great Britain Lions.

Shame in The Game: Racism in Football

This BBC Three documentary came out in February 2020, but the experiences of Premier League players Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe and Romaine Sawyers this week show it remains depressingly relevant.

The film is made up of personal testimonies from players at different levels of the men's and women's games in England. Among them, Inih Effiong describes fans making racist gestures at him while he played for Dover Athletic, and former Tottenham defender Renee Hector speaks about the horrific abuse she was sent after suffering the first recorded case of racist abuse in women's professional football.

It shows the devastating impact the abuse can have on the players and their families, and asks what can be done to stop it.

Bury: Bringing Football Back

When financially stricken Bury FC were expelled from the English Football League in 2019, the local community was devastated.

A group of fans decided to set up a phoenix club - Bury AFC - and got the team playing. During a global pandemic.

But while some in the town are excited to have football back, others see it as disrespectful to the original club.

Step Into the Ring

This is one of the most touching series you'll watch this year.

James lost his sight as a child, Pocket has PTSD, and Marcus - who is autistic - struggles to deal with his anger issues. All three are training to become wrestlers with Zak Knight, whose sister Paige is a massive WWE star

But Knight doesn't just train these youngsters how to drop-kick an opponent - he's sort of a life coach too. And it's therapy for him, as wrestling has helped with his depression.

The Price of Gold

This has everything: intrigue, drama, social-class analysis, pathos, and also great skating.

You may already be aware of the story of US Olympic figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. But even if you aren't, you should check out this film.

Harding and Kerrigan were both gold-medal hopefuls for the 1994 Winter Olympics. They both presented a very different face of the sport, and were treated very differently: Kerrigan regarded as the all-American poster girl; Harding seen as the uncouth pretender.

Six weeks before the Olympics, Kerrigan was attacked and her career put in jeopardy. When it transpired Harding's ex-husband was involved, the scandal engulfed the sport.

Once Were Lions

After 12 years in the wilderness, the Great Britain Lions toured New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Once Were Lions follows that journey.

It's also an investigation of class, masculinity, racial dynamics, regional pride, and the culture of a sport rooted in working-class northern communities.

The access to the team is as good as any sports documentary we've seen.

Contains hard tackles and more robust changing-room banter.

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