Playing for Real
A sixpart mini-series produced by BBC Scotland in 1988.
Billy Buchan, the manager of Real Falkirk Subbuteo Club has died.
In episode 1, the politics of succession take centre stage, as Sam Montgomery prepares himself to take over. But, he has reckoned without Billy's true heiress, Chrissie Buchan (Patricia Kerrigan).
Chrissie is determined to follow in the footsteps of her father, but new player-manager Sam Montgomery (Alec Heggie) is a dyed in the wool misogynist who will stop at nothing to stop Chrissie - even hiding Billy’s best player, Charlie Nicholas (identifiable by his earring), in an attempt to thwart Chrissie.
The reading of the will throws up a few surprises, and then the challenges of funding travel and subsistence for the away match with Cardiff Tornados appears to be compounded by the delay of a consignment of dog biscuits (cash on delivery).
Then a bit of needle before the games with the Welsh Team, followed by some table-top action (from 34:50).
Real Falkirk make Subbuteo history by fielding a woman in their team.
Another friendly Subbuteo match with Jarrow & Hebburn Dynamos, as summarised by the Dynamos captain Harry Milburn, after welcomed at the Real Falkiirk venue..."We are here for the killing - total annihilation!"
The deciding match (from 41:10) is between Milburn and Chrissie - making her debut...with that unforgettable penalty save! 😂
A potential transfer to Real falkirk's next opponents, Cosmopolitan Manchester beckons for Chrissie, and now Sam seems to want her to stay with real Falkirk after all, but maybe doesn't communicate it that well!
Cosmopolitan Manchester are a women's outfit with the motto "No Limits", and when Chrissie put in a good performance for Real, she blows her transfer chances...
More politics and in-fighting keep the back-stories bubbling over.
The game is a bit of a non-event though, as the Chelsea Challengers are a few players short - all but one out of the six has turned up, and that player is Owen from the Vicar of Dibley!
The Real Falkirk players and fans duly celebrate their walkover.
Who to make captain for the Cup Final? And what's going on with the property developer, who appeared in an earlier episode? A terrible accident, lots of tension, and seemingly unsurmountable challenges to fielding a team to play in the final against Ajax Ramsgate.
Don't worry though as the match is on (otherwise this would have been a really short final episode...) A kidnapping from a hospital bed, a miraculous recovery from a coma, and wheelchair and one available flicking finger...Game on!
Subbuteo sets an example for the involvement of disabled players into mainstream competition...