Son of Barrow golf hero Maurice Flitcroft praises Phantom of the Open

THE son of one of Barrow’s biggest stars is ‘thrilled’ about an upcoming biopic about his father’s life after attending an early screening of the film.

James Flitcroft was among a host of guests who enjoyed an early screening of The Phantom of the Open at The Roxy cinema in Ulverston on Wednesday evening.

James is the son of golfing hero Maurice Flitcroft, crane driver at Barrow Dockyard, who managed to enter the British Open Golf Championship in 1976 and then shot the worst round in Open history – becoming thus a popular hero.

A biopic, which stars Mark Rylance as Maurice, Sally Hawkins as his wife and Jonah Lees as his son James, is set to be released on Friday, March 18.

James helped Oscar winner Rylance prepare for the lead role after seeing Furness in September 2020.

“He was a real gentleman, just a lovely man,” James said.

“He was very nice and spent a lot of time here. I took him to the golf course and to the beach – he loved Barrow.

“He was very knowledgeable and I think he appreciated having someone enthusiastic about Barrow show him around.”

The film’s director Craig Roberts, alongside two of his producers, was on hand for the special viewing in Ulverston this week, with all proceeds from the night going to St Mary’s Hospice, Ulverston.

James had nothing but praise for the film – and praised the biopic’s portrayal of his late father, who died in 2007.

He said, “I thought the movie was great and really special for the city.

“I asked them if we could do a first screening at Ulverston before the official release because I thought it was important to bring it back to Furness.

“The screening at the Roxy was well attended – it was sold out.

“I’m proud of how they portrayed dad. The people who worked on the film are professionals and we had long discussions with them about what things really looked like and they really followed that.

“Of course there was some artistic license used, but that’s what you expect from a film.

“It’s a golf story ultimately and emphasizes the importance of family values.”

James said the film received a “huge round of applause” from viewers.

“There was a tremendous reception from everyone there,” he said.

“The director and the producers involved in the film really eat, sleep and breathe this story. And the audience got to see it, it was so well received.

“At the end of the film, we received a huge round of applause, which was incredible. People seemed to really appreciate that. »

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