‘This is England’ film director Shane Meadows has said that he’d like to make a film of British cyclist Tom Simpson’s life.

Meadows’ interest in Simpson’s life comes from shared roots – both were originally from Nottinghamshire.

“He is a Nottingham guy and it is just one of those legendary stories that feels like a Hollywood movie script, though I would not treat it like that,” Meadows told the Press Association.

Simpson was a colourful character and the first British cyclist to make a mark on the continental racing scene, as popular off the bike as he was on it. He won the World Championship in 1965 and a host of other high-profile races such as Milan-San Remo (1964), Bordeaux-Paris (1963), Giro di Lombardia (1965), San Sebastian (1965), Paris-Nice (1967) and two stages of the 1967 Vuelta a Espana.

Simpson tragically died on Mont Ventoux whilst taking part in the 1967 Tour de France. A post mortem carried out on Simpson found that he had ingested alcohol and amphetamines. Meadows has said that he would not shy away from Simpson’s involvement with drugs in any film.

“He was very open about taking amphetamines and it was very different then,” said Meadows.

“I just think it is a great story. For example, the French loved him because after two weeks in France he was doing his interviews in French, broken French admittedly, but this was just an ordinary guy from Nottingham.”

Meadows stated that he has not sought the film rights to Simpson’s life, nor had he considered who would play the lead role in the film.

The critically-acclaimed This is England, released in 2006, was directed and written by Meadows and won the Best Film category at the 2006 British Independent Film Awards. Meadows also wrote and directed Dead Man’s Shoes and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands.

Related links

Tom Simpson: Britain’s first pro road champion

2007: 40th anniversary of Simpson’s death