Documentary following US Billionaire Bob Rich's battle to transform struggling northern football club, The Bedlington Terriers.
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Welfare Park, home of the Bedlington Terriers. They are on a
It is half-time... Need a lift, lad? If you don't, we will be 2-0
down. I'm not bothered about this being here because this has been
bottling up for week after week. Instead of playing like terriers,
we are playing like pussycats. Bloody rubbish. To be quite honest.
Welcome to the Bedlington Terriers, fifth in the Northern League, eight
divisions below the Premiership. More mongrel than pedigree. They
are struggling on the field and off. Every Northern League team is just
scraping along on the bones of their backs, we all are. We are all
constantly looking for sponsorship. When it's a rainy, poor night, you
don't get too many in. You often don't cover enough to pay the
officials, never mind the lights, never mind the players' expenses.
The players have all got other jobs and the club is run by a hardcore
of volunteers. I'll take a stud, no problem at all. All right, I will
Tip Ex it out. Somebody has pinched What the Terriers need is a miracle.
Bob Rich Junior is head of a global food empire based in America. He
owns three baseball teams and travels the world by private jet.
His arrival is causing a stir. to meet you too. Bob is worth $2
billion by the Forbes calculations which makes him one of the top 600
wealthiest people on earth. And in the top 200 in the United States.
And he has fallen in love with Bedlington. It's insane, it's
insane. I called David Holmes and he said we would love to have you
sponsor the team. When I first called David Holmes and introduced
myself, told him who I was and told him we wanted to sponsor the team,
there was a great pause at the other end of the line. I think he
thought we were joking. He looks pretty darn good. When I first took
the call from Bob, it caught us by surprise. You don't expect to take
a phone call from an American guy saying he was Lord Beddington. I
didn't believe it. I didn't believe it. I thought it was the guys up
the road being mischievous. This rich American, I thought, come on.
A man called rich from America, it doesn't happen. You know, what has
happened to Bedlington Terriers, it is a fairy-tale. It doesn't happen
in real life. So, my first look at Bedlington. Bob could have bought...
He has the money to buy Aston Villa or some other large Premiership
team but he has a good run track record of taking small things and
growing them. It is very much what he did with the baseball team in
Buffalo and what he did with Rich Food Products. Looking for a
worldwide partnership? Absolutely. When we came over, people said,
what are you, some kind of sugar daddy? I didn't even know what that
meant. Somebody said, oh, you are a tycoon. I thought that was a
weather condition, I wasn't sure what it meant. We are not in this
for the money. Your history's so much older than the US. Yeah.
British by ancestry and found out that I had a relative who was Lord
Beddington many years ago, so my wife surprised me for Christmas and
secured the title. This is Lord Bedlington. Nice to see you. And I
said, now I had better to something to act lordly so why have studies a
lot about Bedlington and found out that the Bedlington Terriers
football team in the Northern League needed a shirt sponsor. What
is your name? Rhys. Rhys, I'm Bob. Hello, Bob. Nice to meet you. How
did school go today, tell the truth. Quite rubbish. You are an honest
lad. It's good to see you guys. See you at the ball park, the pitch.
When is the next match on? That would be next Tuesday. Wednesday.
Or Wednesday. I'll see you there. You are bitten by the Terriers, I
know it is a cliche, but you are bitten by the Terriers. It just
gets in to you, under your skin and you just live for the Terriers.
your pitch dried out. I think Bob Rich has been bitten by the
Terriers, definitely, yes. Hi, I'm Bob Rich. Nice to meet you. The
people are so great. They remind me of my friends back in Buffalo. The
community in Bedlington has struggled. They lost their mining
here, just like we lost steel milling in Buffalo. And they have
great courage in spite of these issues. Bob could be anywhere in
the world but he has chosen to spend his 70th birthday in an
Italian restaurant on Front Street, Bedlington. That's me. Believe me,
I had a lot of options but why not come and spend my birthday with new
Thank you. Terriers, woof woof. This should be interesting.
round the party off in style, Bob and Dave go to Whitley Bay where
the Terriers hope to demolish their local rivals. Somebody said that
the lads might be a little nervous because they are not used to
At the minute, 2-0 down. So, The Terriers go down with a whimper,
3-0. You can see what good luck I # I want to be a billionaire, so
Even billionaires need to get away from it all. Bob and his wife,
Mindy, are on a fly-fishing holiday in Hampshire. How has fishing been
this year? Fishing is a greatest escape, a chance to be alone on a
stream and really collect my thoughts. I like either being alone
or surrounded by a herd of friendly It is rodeo time. He took a...
Despite their tame performance, Bob has fallen for the Terriers, hook,
line and sinker. Beautiful. A nice brown trout. Now he plans to fly
the whole club up to his home town of Buffalo on an all-expenses paid
trip so they will never forget. think that the team is going to
have a trip of a lifetime. There is another purpose to this trip and I
think it's very important, too, it's to share knowledge so that the
people who are involved with the Bedlington Terriers football club
can come back and help build their business by building their fan base.
At the end of the day, that is going to be what determines the
ultimate success of this trip. It is how they are able to make their
team self-sustaining so they don't need a big brother or fairy
godfather, whatever I've been called. If you have eaten in a
McDonald's, you've eaten a Rich Food product. If you've eaten at
the Palm in New York, one of the great restaurants, and ordered the
cheesecake, you've also had a Rich Food product. He's pretty much
built a bomb-proof company. This is our 15 minutes, is it? That is the
bottom line. This is our opportunity to put Bedlington on
the map. The story splashed across the front page of the New York
Times and Hollywood comes calling. Negotiations start for the film
rights and a screenplay is under way. It is surreal that the New
York Times came over and they were interviewing a few of the lads. I'm
a little bit worried about the casting for some of the lads.
lads are picking characters for one another which has been good banter,
picking Shrek to play the centre forward and this one and that one.
It has been good. But there is no Hollywood ending to this season.
The Terriers limp in in ninth place. Work immediately starts on
improving the pitch. Bob Rich contributes �20,000 to the cost. A
vast scoreboard shipped from America is also being installed.
Bob picks up the �100,000 tab. He is also sponsoring next season's
strip at a cost of 10 grand. The club is buzzing about the trip to
Buffalo. But not everyone can go. Unfortunately, I'm out of work at
the moment. If I go, I lose a fortnight's benefits. Who knows how
I'm going to feel that the time? I won't know until it happens. It
will not be the first time in life that had not been able to do
something I really wanted to do and I don't suppose it will be the last.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, this is unique. I
don't think there is any non-League team at our level that has had a
level of interest from somebody so high a profile and of the status of
The Terriers are heading across the We have got the bar ready for you
guys. Hi, hi. After 24 hours of the road, the lads are ready for an
Can he get in with them on? There are a few of us who went out into
the town and the locals were fantastic. Welcome to Buffalo.
like you guys already. I think when you have one drink, it leads to two
and then three and then four and then five, six, seven. First night,
10 days to go. Happy days. Happy 22, 23... Keep going up to 50.
is not the best way to start the first training session on American
soil, with a raging hangover. terrible at the beginning, headache,
but a warm-up and once I got a sweat on, the beer is out of us now.
OK, what we said last night, let's put it in, all right. In just four
days, they play local soccer team FC Buffalo for the first ever Lord
Beddington Cup. It will be a high- profile match, a chance to impress
the American crowd and their sponsor, who has turned up to watch
them practice. Hey, buddy boy. How are you? The lad's become like a
son to me, tell the truth. I know, Dad, I know. But they haven't woken
When they visit the headquarters of Rich Products Limiteds, Bob's huge
factory on the outskirts of town, the penny finally drops. You guys
coming in or what? We just assumed it was a bog-standard facility.
It's like the Mediterranean village We walked through the building and
the roof just came down. Hundreds of people chanting, singing. It was
unbelievable. Wow! Bedlington! Bedlington! Bedlington! Emotionally,
I'm just saying, I've got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
Nobody'll ever believe that. This is our normal reception on a
Saturday, by the way. LAUGHTER.
We're used to this! Honestly, amazing! It's like Willy Wonka's
chocolate factory! Absolutely fantastic. I hope everybody comes
to the game. I hope you all come for a drink afterwards, because Bob
is buying! We are going to win the cup for you. I promise.
CHEERING. Take one last look at the Lord
Bedlington Cup. We will see it again when we award it to our
winner. Mr Brown. Sell! Buy! Buy!
Bob even lets the Terriers loose in his office, the hub of a multi-
I wanted these guys to see my office, so they could see where I'm
watching the games from. And I thought, "Bring the lads up here -
what's the worst that could happen?". I found out - they broke
my chair! I don't really know if there is such a thing as a normal
billionaire, but he is as close as I have seen. Most of these guys
don't really walk on the same earth that the rest of us walk on. The
rich really are different from you and I. He is not. He is a very
The Terriers are the talk of the town. Everywhere they go, the
players - floor layers, teachers and builders - are treated like
celebrities. Buffalo's getting a real kick out
of the Bedlington Terriers. From what I have heard, there is a
soccer team coming in from the Europe area. So, we are excited
they are coming here to publicise soccer in our area. We love soccer
here. I've just seen them! I'm so excited! There is somebody out
there who cares, and when there is somebody who cares about you, you
want to give them something back. Like Bedlington, Buffalo has seen
better days. Painful reminders of the steel-making heyday are there
for all to see. Obviously, one of the things we have chatted about is
the demise of the coal-mining industry in our country.
Bob and Dave take a walk downtown. How you cope with that the loss of
the steel industry and what effect that has had on the city. This is
something that nobody ever saw coming. Nobody would ever have
believed to that the mines or, in our case, the mills would have
closed. So this was a total devastation for this area, and
people left with... In many cases, that is all they knew - steel
milling. They had to be retrained and that was a painful thing. A lot
of people left. This is my town, this is where I grew up, and so I
am in it for life. We made it clear. We get a lot of attractive offers
to leave Buffalo and move to another state for all kinds of
incentives, but this is about your home town.
Bob owns Buffalo's home-town baseball team, the Bisons, and two
other minor league clubs. He has rejuvenated the once-dying ball
parks and Dave is keen to learn how American razzmatazz could put bums
on seats back in Bedlington. Do you keep all the game money for the
games or do you share it? Dave wants to wring every last drop from
I am determined Bedlington Terriers are going to shake off the
stereotypical image of football at our level because there is no
future in that. That is how we are going to approach all of this. It
may be corny and it may annoy the traditionalists, but they are the
guys that are stuck in the Dark The whole atmosphere in the ground
tonight is poles apart from Bedlington Terriers. Just the buzz
and everybody enjoying it, and the amount of kids - that is the main
If we don't change, we are on the road to oblivion, so we must change.
It really is absolutely superb and wonderful entertainment. Exactly
what I am looking for. After days of hype, the day of the
big game is here. I hope the bus is still there. The pressure's on, but
There is a lot riding on this game. That is why we have come over here,
to beat these. Everyone is prepared, everyone is up for it. Everyone is
confident. A prize is involved and when you win a game, you celebrate
more. To win the game today, we will have a great night tonight.
am all right at the minute. Sweaty We are going to get it out on the
day, trust me. It is our time. FC Buffalo! To win would be nice but
the Terriers are pretty strong, so we are just hoping for something
that all the fans can enjoy and everybody can have a really good
time with. It is important that we start the way we finish. You can
see who I am rooting for! I will go for England today. We are going to
take the ball and pick the pieces up. First half, we are just trying
to get a bit of pace, trying to put a foot in. We are really trying to
get soccer going here, trying to get more people involved and get
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds
more people excited about it so a Let's go, Buffalo!
Another opportunity for FC Buffalo in blue. They are moving in! And
they score! They got sloppy. Bob Rich can fix most things, but
he can't fix the score. The Terriers are down 2-0 at half-time.
To be honest, we got a big shock because these guys were fit, were
strong, were well organised, and, you know, we were not really
mentally prepared. Just when things can't get any worse... They do.
Captain Stewart Elliot is sent off. I let everybody down. I let
Bob got my mobile number, phoned me and I apologised to him. I said, "I
apologise for getting sent off," and he said, "don't ever say sorry
to me again". Chrissy! Hey! Just calm it down. Don't get involved!
Here comes FC Buffalo again. Nice Very disappointed. They haven't
turned up. They haven't done themselves justice at all.
Terriers are played off the park. Final score 5-1 - hardly the fairy-
tale ending. Beaten by the Americans! I am just glad the game
is over. The drum was making me nuts. Just really disappointed. The
reception we had earlier on at Rich's was just unbelievable. It is
just a bit of a shame. It hurts. It hurts. But we will get over it and
we will get back to training and They done their best but it was not
good enough, but it certainly has not ruined the trip. We will be
fine and Bob has told us that that is the case - we have to keep our
chins up and just get on with it. They love you here in Buffalo. You
The defeat is overwhelming but with only a few days left in America, it
does not dampen their spirits for long.
# Happy birthday to you #. Hip, hip, hooray! Hooray!
Bob's determined the Terriers leave on a high, so he throws open his
lakeside summer home for a party they will never forget. Get in
there and have some fun. Get a good sunburn going. You Brits are all so
pasty looking! If you want to kick a ball around... There are two
swimming pools and there are a lot The whole Rich dynasty is on hand
to welcome the players. This is my dad's house, where, when
we were kids, this was where we lived. Come on in and we will take
a little walk inside. Show you the inner workings. This is the
executive chef. Randy is the head groundskeeper, who keeps everything
looking pretty around here. Into the living room, here. Three Bob
Richs. Here is a picture of him in a board meeting. What you see is
what you get. This is my dad's A few of the players - looks like
they are playing shirts and skins. He is Lord Bedlington, so his call
is final. You've got to be kidding! You can't be serious! It has been
like a fairy tale. I will never ever forget this. People will not
believe what we got up to and what we did. You can't write a book
about it, really, because nobody would believe it. If you ask any
player, honestly, does he want to leave... Who would want to leave
this? Back to training, down on Blyth beach! I am going to miss
these guys. They stay out a little later than I do at night. It has
definitely brought us together. I think that will show next season.
With Bob being involved in our club, I don't think you can put a limit
on what could happen. I really Back at Welfare Park, it is the
opening day of the new season. America seems a world away, but a
little bit of Buffalo is here to spur the Terriers on.
Well, greetings to you lads from Buffalo, New York, or as it is now
known, Bedlington West. A lot of us are missing you very much. We can't
wait to see how you do this season. We want to wish you all the best.
We will be watching those scores. Don't make me come over there and
When US billionaire Bob Rich's wife discovered an ancestral link to the Northumbrian town of Bedlington, few could have anticipated what would happen next.
Looking to find a way to connect with his English ancestors, one of America's richest men took on the challenge of transforming the local northern league football club, the Bedlington Terriers. For the team described as more mongrel than pedigree, what happens next is a fairytale. Bob offers his backing - and the chance of a trip of a lifetime - to see how he runs his baseball clubs in Buffalo. It turns out to be a trip the northern team will never forget - and the beginnings of a love affair between Bob Rich and the Terriers.
The film has exclusive access to the team and Bob as he introduces them to his business empire and his luxury home - and stages what proves to be a controversial soccer game in their honour.