British actor Ricky Tomlinson is fighting to clear his name more than 40 years after a criminal conviction landed him a stint behind bars.

The Mike Bassett: England Manager star was sentenced to two years in prison in 1973 on a charge of conspiracy to intimidate for his part in a building workers' dispute in Shrewsbury, England.

Documents relating to the case were due to be made public in January (13) but former U.K. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke extended the embargo.

Tomlinson, 73, has now revealed he plans to fight for the papers to be released, so the ageing men involved in the case will have the chance to read the contents and potentially clear their names.

He tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "The papers about the case should have been released in January but Kenneth Clarke, when he was Justice Secretary, increased the embargo by another 10 years.

"If we wait until then we'll all be dead - the oldest of us is 84. They'll wait until we're all dead and then they'll exonerate us. So, no, we will get to the bottom of it now."