Fairytale stories in sports tend to only come around every generation or so, and it is a rare treat to be able to experience the story behind the sensation from the people who lived it. “The Class of ‘92” is a detailed chronicle of how six young men, with working class backgrounds, came together to play for Manchester United and make soccer history. The film features firsthand interviews from David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, and Paul Scholes, along with supplementary interviews from former teammates, coaches, and other Manchester United staff.
The movie focuses on how the famous six came up through the Manchester United system, and uses their meteoric rise to explain and explicate the atmosphere of the British soccer system as they found it and how they would change it. Through a mix of chronological film clips and after-the-fact storytelling by the men themselves, “The Class of ‘92” offers an impressive step-by-step look at what they accomplished and why it was important. Beyond just on-the-field analysis, the film also offers a glance into the friendship between the men that they continue to share, as well as a recognition of the give and take they had with British culture.
It is obvious that this film was made with soccer fans in mind, in fact, more than once it is brought up by one of the six that when they were not playing they were fans first and resting footballers second, but this love letter to fans is both a blessing and a curse. “The Class of ‘92” is a definitive firsthand look at soccer history, but it assumes a lot about its viewership. This documentary is about a particular moment in British soccer history. It is not about British soccer, more generally. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people who view the film, but uninitiated audiences may not be able to follow certain elements of the story without a bit of extracurricular research into the British soccer world.
Longtime fans of British soccer will enjoy this in-depth look at a familiar piece of the sport’s history. Newby fans and other curious viewers will gain insight into an impressive story that any sports fan should appreciate. “The Class of ‘92” is a well-made, meticulous look at a fascinating moment in British soccer history.
In stores July 8.