Who are the real 80 for Brady? True story behind Tom Brady movie - did they make it to the Super Bowl

80 for Brady has a star-studded cast with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno and Sally Field
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

80 for Brady is an American football comedy which is inspired by real life events as a group of longtime friends travel across the United States to see their favourite player Tom Brady in action at the Super Bowl.

The film has garnered the interest of NFL fans around the world and it has even inspired a new song Gonna Be You featuring Dolly Parton, Gloria Estefan, Belinda Carlisle and Debbie Harry. 80 for Brady has a star-studded cast of award winning actresses including Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, Sally Field. It also stars the American Football icon himself Tom Brady.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But who are the real 80 for Brady fan club and what happened during the 2017 Super Bowl? Here is everything you need to know.

Who are the real 80 for Brady?

The new film 80 for Brady focuses on four main characters but the real fan group actually consisted of five dedicated fans. The 80 for Brady club consisted of Betty Pensaville, Elaine St.Martin, Anita Riccio, Pat Marx and Claire Boardman Pensaville, whose grandson Max originally pitched the idea of the movie.

Tom Brady guided the New England Patriots to glory in the Super Bowl in 2017. (Getty Images)Tom Brady guided the New England Patriots to glory in the Super Bowl in 2017. (Getty Images)
Tom Brady guided the New England Patriots to glory in the Super Bowl in 2017. (Getty Images)

Claire Boardman Pensaville told Time that the group originated when she and St.Martin began getting together for New England Patriots game days after their husbands passed away. The group then added further members over time. Pensaville said: “We had all known each other for years and we were all widows.”

Pensaville and St.Martin are 94 and 95 years old, respectively and have been friends for over 70 years. Boardman passed away in 2022 and Riccio and Marx now live in an assisted living facility.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pensaville reflects fondly on their experiences of watching games together she said: “We laughed and yelled a lot. We watched on my patio and I’m sure the neighbours heard us even though it’s enclosed. We had a lot of fun.”

The five friends regularly watched New England Patriots games together each Sunday and they grew to view Tom Brady as their hero as he guided the Patriots to victories in five Super Bowl’s during his 20 year career.

St Martin said: “I loved watching Tom from the beginning. Even when the Patriots were behind we never lost hope. We knew he could pull out a miracle as he did in many games, especially the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons.”

What happened in real life?

The film 80 for Brady focuses on the journey of four lifelong friends as they travel to the Super Bowl, but in real life the five friends never actually made it to the Super Bowl. However, that doesn’t matter so much to Pensaville and St Martin who claim they never expected to reach such notoriety at their age.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

St Martin said: “Though the movie is about four friends going to the Super Bowl, the main thing you need to take away from this is that having good friends is very precious. Life is short. Too short for arguments and holding grudges. Be kind to others and kindness will find you.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.