Belfast Telegraph

Will John Richardson get the film of his book finished?

Bangor man John Richardson
Bangor man John Richardson
Maxwell Caulfield
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

A successful book can often lead to an equally successful film.

But it hasn't worked out like that for Bangor man John Richardson. Not yet any way.

Amateur golfer John's book 'Dream On', about his mission impossible - shooting a par round of golf within a year of taking up the game - became a bestseller three years ago and a movie was commissioned almost immediately. But backers have now withdrawn their funding halfway though the shoot, leaving the entire project up in the air.

Fans of the book, however, will be well aware that 48-year-old John is no quitter.

He shot a one under par round within 362 days of setting himself a challenge pro golfers told him couldn't be achieved.

And his subsequent book Dream On: One Hacker's Challenge to Break Par in a Year was initially turned down by no fewer than 83 publishers and agents before becoming Britain's best selling golf book for a record 18 months.

Now John, who owns a multi-site garden centre business, has made the completion of the movie his priority - and, with his track record for succeeding in the face of adversity, few would back against him.

He has already turned to a group funding website to raise cash - and has revealed to the Belfast Telegraph that he'll also be asking Northern Ireland's trio of Major-winners - Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke - to get involved in the project.

"One of the backers went bankrupt and we found ourselves £1 million down, with half a film," he said.

"We've now managed to raise most of the shortfall but we need a further £400,000 to make it happen.

"Hopefully we'll be able to get what we need from crowdfunding to enable us to complete shooting by the end of the year. That would mean the film would be out next summer."

John - whose 17-year-old daughter Aimee played Princess Myreella in the first two seasons of the hit TV series Game of Thrones - said he hoped that World No.1 McIlroy will get on board.

"When I was undertaking my challenge nearly 10 years ago at the golf range Rory used to be there," the father-of-one said.

"He doesn't know me, but he is part of the story because, while I was hitting shots really badly, I used to watch him hitting the ball a country mile. That was the year he broke the course record (by hitting a 61) at Royal Portrush."

The film is billed on the indiegogo crowdfunding website as the "Rocky of Golf".

Dream On! stars Richard Coyle and Sienna Guillory as John and Lesley Richardson, along with Maxwell Caulfield, of Dynasty and The Colbys fame, who plays legendary American golfer Ben Hogan.

The site states that £400,000 is needed to get the film - which it likens to classic golf movies like Tin Cup, Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore - finished.

Its title was inspired by former Ryder Cup star Sam Torrance who said Richardson had no chance of achieving his goal and told him to "dream on".

The 62-year-old Scot makes a cameo appearance in the film.

Belfast Telegraph


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