Earls Park striker, Ian Walmsley, is thrilled when he gets offered a place on the first team. Under normal circumstances, Ian's down-to-earth wife, Donna, would be in a blind panic at the prospect of finding a suitable outfit to wear on the terraces. Rather than puzzling over which shade of lip-gloss would best compliment her new togs, Donna's brain is preoccupied with the son she and Ian gave up for adoption nine years previously. Eaten up by curiosity, she's desperate to track him down. Ian however, isn't that keen. He's also a bit miffed with Donna for distracting him when he's got more important things to worry about.
Blonde bombshell Tanya Turner, long-suffering wife of Sparks' captain, Jason Turner, is a woman on the edge. The tabloids are speculating about rumours that Earls Park are on the verge of replacing her husband with Italian midfield star, Salvatore Biagi. Terrified that her status as captain's wife may be in jeopardy, she dresses in a microscopic mini-skirt and goes to flutter her eyelashes at Club Chairman, Frank Laslett. With his hand on her knee, Frank assures Tanya that the speculation about Biagi is nothing more than tabloid rumour. As a relieved Tanya returns home, she's unaware that Biagi is holed up in a nearby luxury hotel.
Donna's wild-child sister, Marie Minshull, arrives from Bolton, determined to score with the player she's had a crush on for years - Jason Turner. She sneaks into the changing rooms after training, rifles through her idol's locker and nicks one of his credit cards. Meanwhile, famous glamour model Chardonnay Lane and her fiance, Earls Park FC's resident heart-throb, Kyle Pascoe, are knee-deep in plans for their upcoming wedding. Kyle's doting mother, Jackie, observes the outlandish plans and spiralling costs with disgust. She deeply disapproves of Chardonnay's choice of career and knows that the marriage will end in heartbreak for her precious son.
Holding Jason's credit card in her eager little hand, Marie turns up at his favourite nightclub and passes herself off as his sister. Impressed by Marie's nerve and ingenuity, Jason plies her with champagne and then shags her in the men's loos. Meanwhile, a frustrated and angry Tanya comes to terms with the fact that her husband won't be home in time for dinner... again. When Jason does finally crawl home, he is horrified to discover his wife unconscious and surrounded by empty pill and whiskey bottles. As Jason panics, Tanya opens her eyes and laughs - gotcha! Strangely, Jason is not amused.
The Sparks' players gather at Stefan's house for the pre-season party. The Turners are still at each others throats, and, while Jason sneaks away to bonk Marie, Tanya consoles herself by snorting cocaine in the toilets. When Jason finally returns to the party, the smug, post-coital grin is wiped from his face when Frank announces the new of Earls Park's latest signing - Salvatore Biagi! After the party, Jason and Tanya confront Frank. Wound up into a fury by the fact that he lied to her, Tanya attacks him and, in the resulting melee, Frank's head collides with the side of his car. In a panic, the Turners manhandle Frank into his car, push it into a ditch and then flee the scene.
S1E2: Take Each Game As It Comes:
Club Chairman Frank Laslett lies in a coma and the Turners wonder what the future holds when they learn that he could recover. As Jason flies into a blind panic, Tanya forces herself to remain ice-cool - one of them has to put on a convincing performance when the police turn up on the doorstep.
Donna goes to visit her son, Daniel's adoptive mother, Nola Duncan. Assuring a suspicious Nola of her good intentions, she presents her with a wad of cash and an Earls Park shirt for Daniel. She is over the moon when Nola agrees to allow her to take Daniel out for a burger. During their time together, Donna is too excited to keep the truth from Daniel. He's made up by the news that his real father is a Sparks player, but at Donna's urging, he swears to keep it a secret.
Stefan is furious when he discovers that Kyle's best man, Jason has decided to schedule the stag party perilously close to the first match of the season. Like King Canute trying to stop the tide, he's on a hiding to nothing when he orders his players to limit themselves to two drinks and to be in bed by eleven. Jason doesn't receive points for originality when he takes the team to a lap-dancing club and urges them to enjoy themselves. Although Kyle balks at the thought of getting up close and personal with the dancers, Ian can't resist and is photographed enjoying himself rather too much.
Marie agrees to go on a date with the Sparks' new signing, Sal Biagi, but she has an ulterior motive. Despite Sal's reluctance, she drags him to the stag party and flaunts her presence in front of Jason. Maddened by the prospect of his nemesis getting into Marie's knickers, Jason disappears with her which of course, was her plan all along. Later, there's another dose of misery for Tanya when she catches Jason and Marie together.
Chardonnay and the other wives go for a meal at a swanky hotel to celebrate her hen night. Rather like their husbands, they decide to stick with tradition and spend the evening getting plastered on lethal cocktails and threatening each other with huge, buzzing vibrators. Also staying at the hotel are a couple of Chardonnay's more obnoxious fans. Drunk and aggressive, they quickly become a nuisance. Before long, tragedy strikes when an accident with a spilt drink and a candle sends the Hawaiian garland that Chardonnay is wearing up in flames. It looks like the fairytale wedding could be off!
S1E3: On The Ball
Kyle and Chardonnay decide to go ahead with the wedding of the year, complete with glossy magazine deal and its Snow White theme. As the stunned and somewhat amused guests look on, Chardonnay lies sleeping, wearing a pink dress and accompanied by seven small children who are all dressed as dwarves. Then the handsome prince - Kyle - arrives on his white steed and awakens her with a kiss. After the lavish ceremony, the bride and groom sit on matching thrones and answer questions from the press.
Nola Duncan, adoptive mother of Ian and Donna's son, Daniel, arrives at the wedding reception in a panic - Daniel is missing! Ian panics when the news of his secret son hits the headlines, but slowly begins to realise that he must spin the situation to his advantage. During a press conference, he becomes emotional as he expresses his desire to have his son returned to him. As if an imminent custody battle wasn't enough, Donna's horrified when their private life hits the papers once again - this time, its Ian's drug-fuelled exploits with a couple of lap-dancers at Kyle's stag night.
Tanya is having terrifying nightmares about Frank and gets little support from Jason who is more interested in his affair with Marie and his escalating feud with Sal. In an attempt to alleviate her overburdened conscience, Tanya begins to spend more and more time at Frank's hospital bedside, attracting the suspicious eye of intensive care nurse, Jeanette Dunkley in the process. Tanya manages to allay Dunkley's suspicions with outlandish flattery, praising her for her dedication. However, even Tanya would be horrified if she discovered the true extent of Nurse Dunkley's devotion to her patient.
Thanks to Jason's oafish behaviour, Sal is beginning to feel isolated from the rest of the team. Bored and lonely in a hotel room, he feels homesick for his family and Milan. Wisely, Stefan advises him to rise above Jason's behaviour and to concentrate on his game - once the fans and the rest of the team see results, they are sure to accept him.
Chardonnay's post-marital happiness is short-lived when she learns that the men who attacked her won't be charged. In an attempt to cheer her up, Kyle takes her out for dinner, but the atmosphere is quickly ruined by three men who shout insults through the restaurant window. Kyle loses his temper and the evening ends in a fist fight. Back at home, Kyle is appalled when he walks into the bathroom to find his wife hacking off her trademark long hair with a pair of scissors.
S1E4: A Funny Old Game
Chardonnay is still haunted by her attack and spends most of her time watching TV in a depressed daze while Kyle fusses around her. Mother-in-law Jackie is more in favour of the combative approach and orders Chardonnay to pull herself together before her bizarre behaviour sees her precious son become the laughing-stock of the terraces. Chardonnay responds by going to a salon and coming back with even shorter hair. Although he doesn't like his wife's new look, Kyle tries desperately not to show it, he just wants to know what happened to the Chardonnay he fell in love with.
Ian has already been thrown out of the marital home, but his day is set to get worse. Stefan is furious about his recent behaviour and warns him that his career with Earls Park could be on the line, especially if the fall-out from his shenanigans begins to affect his performance on the pitch. When Ian expresses regret, Stefan relents and organises for him to move into a hotel. Also staying at the hotel is Ian's Italian team-mate, Sal Biagi. Thrown into each other's company, the two men become friends.
Tanya catches Marie going down on Jason in the front seat of his car. Although he promises to end the affair, Jason has no intention of doing anything of the sort and continues to see Marie in secret. Tanya goes into orbit when she intercepts one of Marie's telephone calls, but her fury only succeeds in tipping Jason over the edge. He tells her that their marriage is over. Resourceful Tanya has other ideas and blackmails him into staying, threatening to go to the police with the truth about Frank's accident. Jason goes to a nightclub to release some of his tension. Running into his nemesis, Sal, he launches into a torrent of insults and receives a head-butt for his trouble. As far as Stefan's concerned, this latest incident is the final nail in Jason's coffin. At the next match, Jason is stunned when he is left on the bench in favour of Sal.
Holly and Daniel are missing Ian and, as much as she hates to admit it, Donna is too. Over a reconciliation dinner, Ian makes an effort to apologise properly for his behaviour. Realising that he is genuine, Donna finally agrees to allow him to return to the family home.
In order to keep tabs on Frank, Tanya perseveres in her attempt to befriend his intensive care nurse, Jeanette Dunkley. Much to Jason's disgust, she invites Nurse Dunkley to dinner and pumps her for information about Frank's chances of recovery. As Dunkley becomes suspicious, Tanya tells the mother of all whoppers - she and Frank were having an affair! Nurse Dunkley also has some very dubious motives of her own, as Tanya learns when she catches her red-handed - sexually molesting her patient!
S1E5: All To Play For
Jason cruelly rejects Marie at the training ground but luckily, Sal is there to help pick up the pieces. Incensed when he sees Marie and Sal drive off together, Jason decides to give chase. After nearly forcing Sal off the road, he is stopped by the police and taken into custody. Although Stefan persuades Sal to cover for his captain, it doesn't mean Jason is off the hook. After his release, Stefan fines him ?ú90,000 and makes it very clear that he's on his final warning.
Constant press attention is getting Chardonnay down. For the first time, she feels that she has no control over her life, something she decides to remedy by arranging to sell the story of her ordeal to a newspaper, hoping that to shame her attackers in the process. The resulting article is not what she expected - the reporter has twisted her words and has gleefully informed the world that the fairytale marriage is on the rocks. Kyle is furious - he was always against the idea of Chardonnay doing the interview in the first place and hearing his mother verbally recounting the detrimental effect that his wife's burns have had on their sex life is the final straw.
Jason and Big Ron take Kyle out for a drink in an attempt to jolt him out of his black mood. In a local pub he meets a very attractive junior doctor called Sheena who doesn't recognise him as the Earls Park heartthrob in residence. Kyle asks Sheena out for dinner, but chickens out at the last minute and comes clean about his marital status.
Jason tries to crawl his way back into Marie's affections, but she's wise to him now and decides to teach him a lesson. After arranging to meet him later that evening at a restaurant, she contacts Tanya and informs her of the planned liaison. Jason is stunned when, instead of Marie, Tanya stalks into the room like an avenging angel and throws a glass of champagne in his face.
Tanya can no longer bear to see Frank in such a vulnerable and undignified condition. She promises to keep schtum about Nurse Dunkley's sordid exploits, on condition that she persuades Frank's ex-wife, Marguerite, and son, Christopher, to agree to switch off his life support. But just when the plug is about to be pulled, Tanya receives the shock of her life when Frank moves his hand. Just like one of her nightmares, he opens his eyes and stares up at her.
S1E6: Winning The Double
Still shaking with terror, Tanya drowns herself in a bottle of Scotch. She tries to share her fears with Jason, but he's simply not interested. But still, all may not be lost - she still has Nurse Dunkley over a barrel and uses her knowledge of the nurse's naughty antics to blackmail her into getting rid of Frank. Facing a charge of sexual assault, Dunkley agrees to give her patient a fatal injection of potassium. However, just as she is about to do the evil deed, Frank wakes from his coma.
Sheena hangs around the Sparks' training ground, hoping to run into Kyle again. Luckily, Chardonnay arrives on the scene before he can get himself into trouble. She has discovered that Kyle has been relieving his frustration with the help of some of the photos taken during her modelling career and now understands why he's feeling so insecure. In an attempt to get their marriage back on track, she has arranged a romantic weekend getaway.
After he smashes up Sal's car with a baseball bat, Stefan has no choice but to drop Jason from the team. Jason loses his temper when Tanya confronts him about it, but just as he's on the verge of hitting her, he drops to his knees and begs her to forgive him. Jason may have realised that he can't live without Tanya, but it doesn't stop him getting up to his old tricks. Bored and restless after being dropped, he finds comfort in the arms of Jackie Pascoe and practises his potting skills with her on the top of her son's snooker table.
Marie realises that she's attracted to Sal and makes a not very subtle attempt to seduce him by climbing naked into his bed in the middle of the night. When he rejects her, she immediately assumes he's gay and relays her suspicions to her sister. Donna is sceptical - just because a man knows how to load a dishwasher, it doesn't make him a raving woofter.
Frank is making a slow but steady recovery but is suffering from short-term memory loss. Despite intense questioning from the police, he still has no idea how he ended up in a hospital bed in the first place, let alone who put him there. Eager to avoid a barrage of awkward questions from the police, Nurse Dunkley offers to disappear in exchange for a cash sum from Tanya. Before leaving the hospital, Dunkely 'reminds' Frank of the affair that Tanya invented and Tanya is left with no choice but to keep up the pretence.
S1E7: All Credit To The Lads
When a home pregnancy test comes out positive, Jackie goes to speak to the father - Jason. He is unsympathetic about her plight and even refuses to believe that he is the man responsible. It appears that Jackie isn't the only Pascoe in the family way. Chardonnay faints at the gym and subsequent blood tests reveal that she is pregnant. But then Jackie discovers that there's been a mix-up at the clinic and that the test results that Chardonnay received are those of another Mrs Pascoe. After announcing their happy news to the press, Kyle and Chardonnay are horrified to learn that they are not about to be become proud parents after all. However, all may not be lost because Jackie has a cunning plan - why don't they bring up her child as their own?
With Jason still out of the action, his captain's armband is passed on to Ian. Unfortunately, the status and responsibility goes right to his increasingly swollen head. Not only does his alienate the rest of the team with his constant power-trips, he humiliates himself in his first match as skipper by getting sent off. Fed up with Ian's obsession with his career, Donna finds herself in the midst of a passionate encounter with Sal on the kitchen worktop.
Once again, Kyle finds Sheena waiting for him at the training ground. Although she accuses him of leading her on, he firmly rebuffs her - he's a happily married man with a baby on the way and definitely not interested in having an affair.
Tanya is still being forced to maintain the illusion that she and Frank are having an affair. Still, at least there is one good thing to come out of the distasteful situation she has found herself in - it affords her the perfect opportunity to persuade Frank to reinstate Jason. Frank gives Tanya the name and number of a female sports agent, Hazel Bailey - she's the best in the business and guaranteed to knock Jason back into shape. Any concerns Jason may have had about putting his career in the hands of a woman are firmly put to rest when Hazel brokers him a brilliant deal with Earls Park.
Now that Jason is back on the team, Frank looks towards Tanya for repayment. With his ex-wife, Marguerite, safely back in Canada, there's nothing stopping her from spending the night with him. Unable to come up with a viable excuse, Tanya has no choice but to go to bed with him. However, during sex, Frank has terrifying flashbacks about Nurse Dunkley.
S1E8:They Think It's All Over
Jason is insanely jealous at the thought of Tanya spending time alone with Frank and threatens to kill the Club Chairman if he so much as lays a finger on her. Tanya is terrified of what might happen if Jason were to find out the truth about her relationship with Frank, but while there's still a chance that he might experience total recall, dumping him is just too risky. In response, Jason once again stumbles into bed with Marie and finds himself promising to leave Tanya.
A guilt-stricken Donna tells Sal that they must end their affair but Sal refuses to entertain the idea - he loves her and is much better for her than Ian could ever be. Donna is still confused about her feelings for Sal and, forced to endure Ian's constant histrionics about blowing his chances on the pitch, she begins to wonder if the grass could be greener on the other side after all. Meanwhile, Kyle is unnerved to find Sheena waiting for him at the training ground yet again. Her continuing refusal to take no for an answer is worrying in the extreme - has he got a stalker on his hands?
Jackie finally manages to persuade Kyle that it would be the best thing for everyone involved if he and Chardonnay were to adopt her unborn child and raise it as their own. Once the decision is made, all that remains for them to do is to make plans for Jackie to be out of the country and the media spotlight for the remainder of her pregnancy. Although she's excited about the prospect of impending motherhood, Chardonnay is not too keen about Kyle and Jackie's insistence that she put on weight in order to look pregnant. Unbeknown to them both, she begins to make herself sick after her meals.
Donna is frantic when a sheepish Marie goes to collect Holly and returns home empty-handed. Her panic turns to terror when she receives a demand of ?ú500,000 in exchange for her daughter - how are she and Ian going to raise such a large amount of cash? Kind-hearted Sal comes to the rescue and uses his transfer fee to pay the ransom. Later, Donna prepares to leave for the ransom drop. As she waits, the pool cleaner arrives and demands she hand over the cash - he's the kidnapper! Once in possession of the cash, he instructs Donna to leave immediately for a pre-arranged meeting point. Donna follows his instructions, but when she arrives, there's no sign of Holly.
Hazel cooks up a plan to get Tanya out of her 'affair' with Frank without jeopardising Jason's position with the team. She arranges for Jason to 'catch' Tanya and Frank together, but Jason loses his temper... which for Frank, brings back chilling memories of the night of his 'accident'.