Maxwell nobbled ref, claims play for 'victims'

Former Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell had at least one top-level football referee on the newspaper’s payroll in the 1980s while he was chairman of Oxford United.

This is one of the revelations in a new play about Maxwell, written and produced by former Daily Mirror industrial correspondent Terry Pattinson.

The play — titled Maxwell — is being performed in May and follows a successful run earlier this year for a new one-act play about Maxwell, Lies have been told.

Pattinson claims a scene in the play is based on a true incident involving a referee employed by Maxwell who officiated at a key Oxford United match.

Pattinson said the play, which has a 14-strong cast, "looks at life at the Daily Mirror through the eyes of the victims of Maxwell’s pension fraud, his sacked workers, the journalists, the unions, and his sexually harassed secretaries".

He added: "It illustrates his interference in the running of the paper at all levels, covers his interest in soccer, and how he sacked a news editor.

"The play offers some sympathy regarding his childhood poverty and family persecution at the hands of the Nazis, but portrays him as he really was for most of his life… a glutton, a bully, a fraudster, a liar, a megalomaniac, a money launderer and an egocentric buffoon.

"He had more than just a split personality… he had about 19 personalties to suit all occasions. He was, in effect, a con man."

Pattinson told Press Gazette he is convinced Maxwell, who drowned in 1991, was murdered either by Russian mafia or Mossad. And he said his play includes a twist that will appeal to conspiracy theorists.

Maxwell is being performed in Thorpe, Surrey, from 10 May to 13 May.

For reservations call 01932 565082.

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