Season 7 Episode 23

Episode 315


Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 7th March 2004


Directed By

Rob MacGillivray


GS: Mr. Bartram (James Howard)  Donal O'Leary (Gareth O’Connor)  Owners’ Barrister (Keiran Flynn) 

Bank’s Barrister (Peter Hamilton Dyer)  Judge (Edward Lyon)  Paul Hankin (Leigh Cranston)


As they celebrate their win at Charlton, the team are served writs stating that Coopers are forbidding them to play under the Harchester United name, and are to be taken to court to prevent them from doing so in future. Dean vows that they will fight on and the next move is to get the gates of the Dragons Lair unlocked. Seeing Dean on TV being held as the club saviour, Pilar hatches a plan and goes to see Mr. Bartram at the club, offering evidence that would take the town's hatred away from Coopers and show the fans how the owners are the real villains. The team are all present at the court case where the barrister for Coopers uses Pilar’s ammunition: the rejection of the Sheik's £2M offer.



Because of this, the Judge finds in favour of Coopers and tells the team they will play no further fixtures under the name Harchester United. The crowd outside are hostile and Dean pleads if anyone can save Harchester he'll give them his shares for nothing. The team are forced to accept the club is gone. Pilar now steps in and tells them she's found someone who can save the club - the team themselves. If the team agree to play for free, she will ask the banks to annul the bankruptcy. Curtis tells her to count them all in. Pilar tells Dean the minimum cost for his shares will be £1. Donna says she'd gladly sell but wants two million like before and refuses the offer, until Clyde has a word with her. Marcel arrives in Ireland where he meets Abi's teenage brother Donal who takes him to an annoyed Abi. She’s disgusted at Stuart acting the hero and says she hasn't heard from Fletch. Marcel tells Abi he is going to Roma and says he wants her to come with him. She declines and wishes him luck.


The next day Abi says she can't understand why Marcel has come for her as, in her own words, she has been a bitch to him. Meanwhile Hankin arrives in Ireland looking for Marcel, and lets Abi know that Marcel knew of the Sheik’s deal with Pilar and was paid off by being offered the Roma deal. Abi is furious and says she's going to expose Stuart like Marcel should have done. Mr. Bartram tells Pilar he’s confident they could only sell four players; Clyde, Lee, Ryan and Marcel - the club's most valuable player, and without Marcel he refuses Pilar's scheme. Marcel and Abi arrive back in Harchester just as the team are again about to accept the club is lost. The team are so elated to see them that Abi is unable to say why they have returned. On the day the contracts are ready to sign, the team doubt whether they can now stay in the top four. Pilar realises she needs to convince them.


She goes to see Luke, telling him that the fact remains that he knew about his eye condition and never said anything when they paid nearly thirty million for him. She tells him that the way she feels is that Luke owes them by returning to the team. At the Grange, Viv makes Luke prove he's still got the LD inside him and outside, Luke kicks a ball from a distant angle which lands straight through Clyde's open window. The team sign the contracts and in revenge on Pilar, Marcel requests that they appoint their own Chief Exec, to which the team chooses Dean. Clyde sees Donna to her taxi where he hands her a cheque for £200,000 as an agreement between the pair for her to sell her shares. Dean addresses the cameras outside the club with the team and staff gathered behind him. He says the team have agreed to play for free until the end of the season and the bankruptcy order has been overturned. Dean unlocks the gates and the players and staff all walk through as Stuart turns and sees Pilar watching in the distance from her car.



                Last appearance of Donna Gibb/Connelly (Jo Goldie)


The Best: The team tearing up Coopers’ writs. Donna being chased down the street by angry Harchester fans. The Ireland scenes – Marcel’s game with Donal and the other boys, and faking an injury in order to see Abi again. Pilar’s line to Stuart about how she won’t be a failure and how he should understand that too. Hankin threatening an ‘Irish Lovenest’ exclusive on Marcel and Abi, and receiving a punch instead. Abi rediscovering her love for the team. The return of Luke and his passing of Viv’s test. Donna’s final scene with her two men - Clyde and Dean, and how she hides her cheque from Dean so he’d believe she was a better person for leaving with nothing.


·          Quotes: Donna (stands up in court and yells): “That Sheik was worth hundreds of millions, we should have got more!".  Curtis follows her lead when the judge finds in favour of Coopers: “That's bull!!".  "Get the bitch!" is also shouted at Donna by an irate bottle-wielding youth outside the court.  Hankin (as Abi and Marcel walk in together): "How sweet. You lovebirds going to Italy together?".  Abi, upon Hankin telling her the “Harchester Heroes” are making a comeback: “We’ll see about that!”.  Viv (to Luke): "Just kick the ball prettyboy!".  Dean: "Harchester United is back.”


Continuity: Curtis praises Stuart as a manager: "Where do you think we'd be if Matt Webster had won the club?".


·          Additional Info: The team have four more home fixtures this season. The scenes with Abi and Marcel in Ireland are believed to have been shot in County Wicklow, at around the time an assorted Harchester side played a charity match against Keith Duffy’s All Stars at Tolka Park, Dublin on 1st February 2004. Over half of the 19 Premiership chairmen signed Dean's petition requesting Harchester be allowed to play on. Coopers are on the verge of making £20M from the club's grounds and assets. They value Clyde at four million, Sully at half a million, Viv at 1.5 million, Ryan at four million (so soon after his break) and twelve million for Lee. Clyde drives a black TT since the demise of Berlin-Etta. Lee turns eighteen in two weeks time and will then sign his contract [317: Coming Of Age].


What’s The Deal?: Mr. Bartram says the contracts state that they (Coopers) will run the club on minimal staff (bye bye Grace next week) with no cars, no hotels and no perks with all profits going directly to them. They will retain their wages, and if they reach the Champions League they will be paid in full including a £200,000 bonus. If they fail they will reissue the bankruptcy and the club will close with the players receiving nothing and will be sold.


·          Soundtrack: Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel: “(Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile”,  Stevie Wonder: “Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours.”


Screencaps from 7.23’s original broadcast on Sky One on 07/03/04.

Can't keep a good team down

 Abi tracked down



Can Abi go back?

 Has L.D still got it?



Donna on her way

 Back in business



What now for Pilar?

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