This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life is a 1963 British kitchen sink drama film directed by Lindsay Anderson. Based on the 1960 novel of the same name by David Storey, which won the 1960 Macmillan Fiction Award, it recounts the story of a rugby league footballer, Frank Machin, in Wakefield, a mining city in Yorkshire, whose romantic life is not as successful as his sporting life. Storey, a former professional rugby league footballer, also wrote the screenplay.


Set in the fictional city of City, the film concerns Frank Machin (Harris) a bitter young coal miner from the West Riding of Yorkshire. The first part of the story is told through a series of flashbacks when Frank is unconscious under a full anaesthetic in a dentist’s chair, having had his front teeth broken in a rugby league match. The second part takes place after the dentist has extracted his broken teeth.