1 9 9 0 (UK)
1 x 48 minute episode
Billy Jarvis (Kevin O’Donohoe) is preparing to lead his gang of Millwall FC hooligans to the 1982 World Cup in Spain when Argentina invades the Falkland Islands. This transforms a routine expedition into an unofficial task force.
But behind the nationalist fervour lies a tragedy – Billy’s sailor brother, Bobby (Bryan Lawrence), is one of the first casualties of the Falklands War, which drives Billy to plan his own personal revenge.
Travelling to Bilbao with his violent, skull-cracking buddies, events take a tragic turn.
When he wasn’t practising his own brand of Stanley knife-inspired plastic surgery or taking care of drug dealers, Billy had been conducting an affair with Bobby’s girlfriend.
Airing on BBC2 on Wednesday, 3 January 1990, this powerful and disturbing film was a prelude to a new series of ScreenPlay Firsts which featured filmmakers new to television.
Millwall chairman Reg Burr hit out at the BBC drama, angered and offended that his club’s name had been dragged back to the gutter, and complaining that the film could seriously endanger England’s 1990 World Cup reputation in Italy. He advised people to withhold their TV licence fees in protest.
Written by Nick Perry and directed by Charles McDougall.