Season 7 Episode 3

Episode 295


Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 12th October 2003


Directed By

Tim Murrell


GS: Minister (Gordon CasePaul Hankin (Leigh Cranston)  Neil Warnock (as himself)  Gospel Singers (Tuff Sessions)  

Baby Louis (Max & Harrison WooleyGeorge Best (uncredited) (as himself)  Leilani Dowding (uncredited) (as herself) 

Dougie Anderson (uncredited) (as himself)  Jodie Marsh (uncredited) (as herself)


Luke’s arrival at Harchester has got the whole country talking, and the players are just as star-struck and desperate to impress during their first training session with him. Nikki is equally amazed when she comes face to face with Luke for the first time. On his debut, Luke scores a hat-trick, and after a run in with Donna in his hotel room, Nikki is put in charge of discussing alternative accommodation with him. At the Grange, she waits around outside his room all night, only to be disappointed when he returns and doesn’t invite her in.


The next day Sandra wrongly assumes that Nikki and Luke did get together, and Nikki, without wanting Sandra to know what she was really doing, doesn’t deny that anything happened. Sandra then spreads the story around by phoning various people and Nikki is shocked when Paul Hankin shows up offering her £50,000 for her “story”. When it’s printed, Pilar, feeling a little jealous that it might be true, makes Nikki give a press conference and tells Sandra she will take Nikki’s place as team co-ordinator for the game today, to Nikki’s disgust.

Curtis is struggling to keep his form, and Luke’s presence in the team isn’t helping. Having been taken off at half time during the seasons’ opening match, he gets drunk at the club in his anguish. He meets new receptionist Grace, who saves Curtis embarrassment from his team mates when he breaks down in front of her. Curtis then tells Pilar that he wants to leave Harchester, but after spending time with Grace at her local church, he begins to reconsider leaving. Neil Warnock from Sheffield United offers Curtis a place, but it is not until Pilar fires Grace whilst she is trying to help Abi, that Curtis makes his decision to stay, and gets Pilar to give Grace her job back.


Meanwhile Abi is struggling looking after Louis without Fletch, and when her babysitter lets her down she is up all night just before the first match of the season, and subsequently dozes off during the game. Things get worse when Pilar tells Abi she has to leave her home at the Barrons, so Luke can move in instead. She then has a confrontation with Luke as she is packing up at the house, and loses it, booking a flight to Saudi Arabia to be with Fletch. As she leaves for the airport, she tells Jeff what she’s doing, who in turn goes to the club to inform Grace. Marcel heads to the airport to stop Abi, and tells her that he will move into the house with her and help with Louis, to which she gratefully accepts.




·          First appearance of new regular character Grace Ikema (Louise Rose). Also making his debut for the recurring team characters is Mark  “Ammo” Hammond, played by real life footballer Mark Hammond.


Best Known For: Louise Rose was formally the lead singer of girlband Precious, who’s finest hour was representing the United Kingdom, and coming in 12th place at the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Say It Again.”


·          The Best: Dougie Anderson on Channel 4’s RI:SE talking about the arrival of Luke. Ditto George Best on Sky Sports. Paul Hankin reappearing and calling Pilar a “miserable cow.” Curtis jumping the bar and snatching booze after being taken off. Donna waiting in Luke’s room wearing just her bikini, and her public removal from the Grange afterwards. Luke calling Nikki “Vicki.” The team all lying down and making sleep noises when Abi arrives for training. Jeff telling Abi he’d let Luke know what he thought of him when he sees him, and then sucking up to Luke when he arrives in the same room seconds later.


Quotes: Abi reviews Stuart’s managing career so far: “That’s good, coming from a manager who couldn’t manage a piss-up in a brewery.”  Neil Warnock to Curtis: “Nice trousers son, what’s Rupert wearing today?”.


·          Additional Info: The public unveiling of Luke is the biggest for a player in England since Alan Shearer. This is the first football we see, three episodes into the new season. Luke now occupies Fletch’s old squad number in the team, number #11.


What Was The Score?: A hat-trick from L.D on his debut: Harchester United 3 – 0 Leeds United. Southampton result unknown but Luke scores again.


·          Soundtrack: British Sea Power: “Fear of Drowning”, Fat Boy Slim: “Right Here, Right Now”, Fragile State: “Everyday A Story”, Kosheen: “Coming Home”, Moby: “We Are All Made Of Stars”, My Bloody Valentine: “Soon”, New Order: “Everything’s Gone Green”, Planet Funk: “The Switch” and “The Waltz”, Rob Dougan: “Clubbed to Death”, Saliva: “Superstar.”


Screencaps from Season 7’s last repeat broadcast on Sky One in autumn 2006.

Abi makes the papers!

 Curtis gets to know Grace



Marcel comes through for Abi

 Oh Nikki!



Curtis is staying... and so is Grace



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