Season 8 Episode 18

Episode 342


Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 20th February 2005


Directed By

Kate Robinson


GS: Eli Knox (Shane Lynch)  Nathan Woods (Ike Hamilton)  Dr. Malcolm Willis (Alan Parnaby)  William Marquess (Carl McCrystal) 

Keith Edwards (Robert Harrison)


After Harchester town council give a statement on how they expect resignations following the rioting, a furious Eli fires Dean and Don. Don speaks up and requests Eli, who caused all this by gambling away Tommy, give them one more game to show how they still have automatic qualification in sight. Eli agrees and reminds them that their next game is against Lazio, which Dean and Don hadn't banked upon with an already weakened squad. Don realises how they can win the game, and tells the team Ryan will be included in the squad. During training Ryan appears to be on fire, until he feels a twinge and has to be taken to the physio room where Holly is forced to give him a Quatazone injection.


When the club doctor questions Don on taking Ryan to Rome, Don persuades him into handing over Ryan's file which he places in his draw. Don then berates Holly for going outside her area of expertise (rubbing deep heat into players' thighs) and tells her the next time she will be out the door. Possibly unable to use Ryan, Dean and Don trawl the internet for proven ways of screwing up a match and getting the point awarded in their favour. They come across a game from that season where a missile was thrown at a referee causing the match to be abandoned, but Gina interrupts to remind Dean of the 'Football in the Community' project at the local primary school. When they are there, a boy asks Curtis what it's like when fans make racial abuse at him during games. Don takes Dean aside and says he thinks he's found a way to make this coin throwing thing work: UEFA would be unable to ignore something so political and would have to award them the game if it happened to one of their black players. Dean is vehemently against the idea, and Don says he wasn't planning on using Curtis, but Nathan, as he's young and desperate to get his contract. After a talk with Curtis on how sometimes you have to fight fire with fire in regards to racism, Dean goes to Don and says he'll do their plan, on one condition - that they only go through with it if they are losing. Don shows Dean CCTV footage tapes of the day of the riot and points out a couple of the rioters he will need to approach. Dean goes to the dead-end hangout of some of the rioters and speaks to their main man William Marquess. Dean informs him of his possession of the CCTV tapes and how if they do as he says they'll get free tickets to the Lazio game.


Barker invites Nathan to dinner at the Grange where he tells him he is prepared to offer him a professional contract before bringing him in on the plan. Nathan is shocked that Don wants him to cheat, but the way Don explains it shows Nathan he will be making a worthwhile sacrifice by pushing UEFA into doing something about racist chants in football. Nathan agrees and Don hands him an Italian euro which has a pointed edge, telling him this is what he will be using. The next day, Holly tells Don that Dr. Willis was in asking about Ryan. Don takes her outside and pins her against the wall asking if she is stupid. Holly timidly replies that Dr. Willis wanted to know about Ryan's visit to the hospital yesterday, and she didn't think Ryan had been. Don says he did, but Holly says she didn't know as she was in Studs all afternoon. Don accuses Holly of interrogating him and tells her she's fired, adding if she goes now she'll have a month's wages and a reference. Never mind the interrogating, he should have sacked her for spending all afternoon supposedly drinking in Studs! After the team leave, Holly sneaks into Don's office to search for the file containing Ryan's X-Ray's. She finds them and goes to the airport where she desperately explains to Curtis that Ryan is not fit enough to play but Barker doesn't care. She gives him the X-Ray's and hugs him before walking away. The team arrive in Rome, and at the hotel Curtis approaches Don and tells him about what Holly told him. Don then informs Curtis that he has sacked Holly after he caught her going through "a player's" wallet. Don tells Curtis that it transpired into a shouting match when he wouldn't give Holly a reference and she threatened she'd make him pay. Curtis, ever the Muppet, hands the files over to Don, who convinces him that they could be months old before sending him on his way.


Nathan comes to Don in his hotel room. He tells Don he can't go through with it as there'll be so many people watching and shows how his hands are shaking. Dean tells Don to let it go and walks out. Don then throws Ryan's medical records in the bin. Curtis sees Dean drinking at the hotel bar and Dean lets it slip that if they lose tomorrow he and Don will be sacked. Curtis realises what's going on with Ryan and takes him to the hospital with Gina to get him checked out. Gina translates for the doctor and tells Ryan that his leg is healing but hasn't fully recovered yet. Ryan is still adamant he wants to play. Barker arrives and sends Curtis and Gina away whilst he speaks with Ryan. Ryan asks him why he risked his career and Don tells him he's missing out on a great opportunity here. Ryan says he's sorry and walks away. Don blames Dean for the whole thing and says this will be the last night he spends as Chief Executive. At the game, Don lets a vomiting Nathan know that he's letting him go unless he plays the game. He tells Nathan to use the coin as soon as the first goal goes in. Harchester kick off against Lazio and the rioters are in place with the racist chanting. Dean is watching inside on the screen and Ryan comes over to tell him to do something. Lazio score and Don beckons at Nathan to use the coin. He eventually does and falls to the ground clutching his forehead. As Nathan rolls around on the turf Curtis equalises for Harchester putting them in the clear. However, the game is abandoned by the referee following Nathan's injury and flares being thrown onto the pitch. Dean is horrified that they have cheated in the worst possible way when they did not have to.




·          Last appearance of Holly Jones (Lamorna Watts).


Quotes: Don to Dean (on Holly): "That half-wit physio girl is spreading rumours about me!"


·          Continuity: Curtis mentions his mom, who we will see next season (despite him saying he didn’t have any family anymore in 307: Baptism Of Fire). Curtis asks Ryan to remember what his dad went through and what he might be about to throw away if he played the Lazio game.


Additional Info: The cost for repair following the riots is estimated at over £2M. Curtis says he was ten when he first signed for a team after being given a trial. Dean hints that he has worked in a chippie at some point. Most of the HCRC were arrested following the riot.


·          What Was The Score?: Harchester suffered a 2-0 defeat to Southampton in their 5th Round FA Cup game. Lazio game is abandoned at 1-1 each.


Soundtrack: Craig Armstrong: "Inhaler",  Deadly Avenger: "Outro",  The Hives: "Two-Timing Touch And Broken Bones",  The Zutons: "Don't Ever Think.”


·          Behind The Scenes: It was believed that the character of Holly was intended to be around a lot longer than she was. I’ve often thought the story given to Nicole Caskey in 347: The Sting onwards was planned originally with Holly in mind. Who knows?


Screencaps from 8.18’s original broadcast on Sky One on 20/02/05.

This can't be good for Naysmith

 Hired Goons!



Don fires Holly (for real this time!)

 Curtis and Gina concerned for




He's faking it!

 Curtis avoids the flares



All of this was for nothing!

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