Cult football movie Escape to Victory celebrates 40 years with charity dinner

Bobby Robson and the Ipswich Town stars who appeared in Escape to Victory with Gaumont manager David Lowe

Bobby Robson and the Ipswich Town stars who appeared in Escape to Victory with Gaumont manager David Lowe at the Ipswich premiere of the film - now to mark the film's 40th anniversary a charity dinner will raise funds for children with life-limiting illnesses - Credit: Archant

When Escape To Victory was released in 1981, it was a big deal for not only for British film fans, but also for the footballing community and Ipswich Town in particular.

Now people can enjoy a special, fundraising event in Suffolk, hosted by Alan Brazil, to mark its 40th anniversary.

This was the late summer feelgood movie that teamed up members of the Town’s elite first team with cinema icons Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine and with World Cup icon Pele.

Included in the cast are Ipswich legends such as Russell Osman, John Wark, Kevin Beattie, Laurie Sivell, Kevin O'Callaghan, Robin Turner and Paul Cooper. 

They played prisoners-of-war interned in a prison camp just outside Paris in 1943 and occasionally provided body-double footballing skills when the Hollywood actors didn’t prove to be as nimble as they should have been in close-up shots.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film’s release a special anniversary dinner is being held at Milsoms Kesgrave Hangar on Friday, March 4, 2022, hosted by Ipswich Town legend Alan Brazil.

Also attending the event are Escape to Victory footballing icons Ossie Ardiles, John Wark and Russell Osman. The trio will also take part in a question and answer session after the meal.

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They will discuss the film plus reveal behind the scenes tales of being part of that 1981 UEFA Cup-winning side.

The venue will be dressed in a war-time theme, with a vintage singer, red carpet and a montage of the film's best parts will play throughout the two-course dinner.

The dinner, staged by Elle & Tyne Events, will be raising funds for the Gee Wizz charity, will celebrate the film's anniversary with a star-lit two-course dinner. Founded in 2015, the GeeWizz Charitable Foundation is a small registered charity, based just outside Bury St Edmunds. They support children and young adults, across Suffolk and Norfolk, who are learning disabled or neurodivergent or have a life-limiting illness such as cancer.

Prices are £150 per person or £1,500 for a table of 10. For more information or to book tickets, email or call 07920 795733.