British comedian takes on Moldovan national football team… at tennis

The novel story that started as a bet in a pub and ended as the feature film ‘Playing the Moldovans at Tennis’ will be exclusively screened at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s headquarters in London. British writer and comedian Tony Hawks (in picture) made a bar room bet while watching England play Moldova in the football World Cup qualifiers that he could beat the entire Moldovan football team at tennis, one by one.

Hawks’ bet took him to Moldova, where he attempted to beat the team on the tennis court and win his wager. The forfeit, if he lost the bet, was to sing the Moldovan National Anthem outside a tube station in central London, stark naked. The adventure inspired the book ‘Playing the Moldovans at Tennis,’ as well as the film of the same name, which stars Tony Hawks as himself and Moldovan actor Anatol Durbala, as well as a number of well known faces from British comedy and Australian former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

Inspired by his experiences in Moldova, Tony Hawks founded the Tony Hawks Centre in the capital Chisinau, a non-governmental, non-profit organization for children with chronic conditions who come from socially vulnerable families. Profits from the film and any donations will go to the Tony Hawks Centre.

Does Tony Hawkes win the bet or does he end up singing naked in the rain? Watch the film to find out. The screening on Thursday 27 September at 18:00 at the EBRD headquarters in London is free of charge, but by registration only. Welcome drinks will be served at 17:00 and Tony Hawks, who also co-directed the film, will attend the event and take part in a question and answer session after the film.

To register for the event email [email protected].

Find more on Playing the Moldovans at Tennis.

Watch the trailer below.


Liam Lever, [email protected]


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