Dream Team: the story of Harchester United that we all miss

When watching a TV drama you’re looking for a few things to get yourself a bit more invested – complex story lines, fascinating plot twists and intriguing characters. What some seem to forget, however, is that the most important trait of them all is seeing Karl Fletcher smash in a last-minute winner for Harchester United before cheating on his wife.

Of course, the common man may not know who we’re referring to, and if that’s the case then what the hell were you watching on Sunday nights before school? For those of you in the dark, Dream Team was a show based around the fictional football club of the aforementioned Harchester United, and boy oh boy did it take us on a rollercoaster ride.

From scandals within the club to match-fixing on the pitch, somehow the Midlands-based side managed to flounder between being demoted to the Championship whilst juggling a pretty impressive Champions League campaign.

It encompassed everything we love and hate about the sport, attempting to draw in casual viewers with stories that make you wonder why on god’s green earth anyone would ever sign for them.

From the psychopathic ‘keeper, Viv Wright, to the former alcoholic turned religious superstar Curtis Alexander, the string of characters involved always kept us guessing – and you could always rely on there being a wag or two to bring us back down to earth.

Bizarrely enough several of the show’s stars have managed to go on to greater pastures, with Dream Team actually being a big platform in which young actors can showcase themselves. That being said, we were much more interested in finding out what teams were being photoshopped into looking like they were playing in Harchester’s classic purple strip.

Yes it was silly and yes towards the end it seemed more like The Walking Dead given the sheer volume of people that were being killed off, but this was our alternative. Whilst our parents or siblings watched some other tosh on the tele, we could indulge in a show that appealed to the masses of football fans around the country.

We could follow the journey of Fletch throughout his career, from Harchester to Mallorca and back to the Dragon’s Lair where he was eventually impaled by his own manager in the dressing room. Wait, what?

No it wasn’t realistic and why it took so long for players to actively avoid going there is beyond me, but come on – they even managed to get Big Ron Atkinson to make an appearance.

Dream Team didn’t exactly touch upon the realms of realism but that’s not what it was there to do, and as the Dragons rode off into the sunset as Premier League champions we were left to wonder what we were going to do with our weekends moving forward.

Ten years on, we still miss it.

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