The Fort, BBC Scotland

Viewing the matter subjectively, most football fans would consider their own team the worst in Britain. Employing the head rather than the heart, however, it would be hard for even the most blinkered of them to argue against the title being handed to Fort William FC. The Highland league team is winless in two years and, true to form, lost last Saturday’s league opener six nil. That much-vaunted Johnsonian optimism is in short supply around the team’s spectacularly-situated home ground of Claggan Park.

Or is it? This documentary following a year in the life of the club certainly found despair – it’s hard not to be down-hearted when you’ve shipped so many goals even the fans have lost count – but it was leavened by the gung-ho, never-say-die attitude of big characters such as board members Colin Wood and Willie Edwards, and indomitable kit man Albert Wardrop. The players, too, showed some of the same spirit and if the on-field displays became too depressing the camera could always pan upwards to the startlingly dramatic scenery. It had the sort of star power Fort William manager Russell could only dream of.

For the film-makers, then, it was a win-win scenario. If the team continued to lose, the narrative stayed constant. If it won, well at least the cameras would be there to record the moment. And interest in the club was already high – everybody loves a sporting hard luck story and Fort William FC have become a passion for many football fans beyond the Highlands, with letters of encouragement and (even more welcome) cash donations coming in from all over the country. The club’s black and yellow bobble hats and scarves have become must-have items among the UK’s football hipsters.

Despite the rich material and the simple chronological structure imposed on it by the nature of the subject, The Fort felt a little shapeless at times. Even so, it provided two important takeaways. The first was about the pure love of football. The wonderful Fort Ultras turned up in all weather to support their team and sing their songs but even their passion paled in comparison to the dedication of the players. Some came from Skye and Inverness and one drove to and from Edinburgh three times a week for training sessions and matches. When the team played Wick Academy it meant a 10 hour, 500 mile round trip. The second takeaway was about place, community, pride and responsibility, and the cultural glue that holds them together. A mid-table rather than a league title-winning documentary, but one with weight enough to raise a cheer.