We're fascinated with Sky One's ridiculous roller-coaster of scandal and death that surrounded an imaginary Premier League club, and the characters we saw on the show are the stuff of legend, so we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show first airing with Dream Team week on Balls.ie.
Unfortunately, most of the characters on the show passed away due to the insane amount of tragedy in the plot, be it via a bus crash on the M1 on the way to a UEFA Cup fixture, a team coach full of players exploding in the Millennium Stadium car park after it was suicide bombed by a former manager, or you know, just being murdered.
So we thought it would be fitting to give you some closure on the ones who did make it. Those rare heroes who pulled on the purple of Harchester United and lived to tell the tale, where are they now?
Club captain Liam Mackay was the first captain to raise the Premier League trophy after Harchester United sensationally won the league in the final episode of the show (we decided that's what happened since we never found out). Next season would prove to be more difficult for The Dragons, and Mackay, as injury forced him to miss the first six months of the season, and Harchester became the first ever team to go from winning the league one season to being relegated the next. A rapid descent down the divisions to non-league football followed, and Liam Mackay is incredibly still currently player/manager of the club in the Isthmian League North.
Luis Amor Rodriguez
After having his heart broken by Linda Block who couldn't elope to Argentina with him, Luis joined Boca Juniors where he played for three seasons before retiring to purchase a vineyard and produce his own range of fine wines. "Vino Amor" was awarded "Best New Wine" at the 2005 Argentinian Wine Awards, and has since gone on to become an established budget wine brand, particularly popular among students in the Buenos Aires area.
Davenport managed to avoid death by retiring from professional football following a clash with John Terry which left him blind for the second time (that was seriously the storyline in the show). After his own custom line of 'LD' football boots failed to make an impact on the market, Davenport retired to Spain where he opened a luxury restaurant and has set up a support group for fellow footballers with sight issues. Not being able to secure Edgar Davids as an ambassador has provided a difficult obstacle for all involved to overcome.
After helping Harchester United to their first ever Premier League title, Migel cashed in while his stock was still high and secured a move home to his boyhood club of Sevilla, where he sat on the bench as they defeated Middlesbrough 4-0 in the 2006 UEFA Cup final. He slowly descended the leagues in Spain before retiring in 2011. He was recently in the news after a sex tape with Spain's entrant into the 2009 Eurovision song contest surfaced online.
After becoming fed up with the constant madness at The Dragon's Lair, Bandele moved to Galatasaray where he finished as top scorer in his first season in Turkey en route to a league title. Bandele was then signed by CSKA Moscow in a mega money deal before finishing his career in the MLS with Columbus Crew. He retired in his homeland of Nigeria where he set up a school of excellence and is now a pundit for Nigeria's most popular football broadcaster.
Naysmith left Harchester United for Villarreal in 2005, and after two uninspiring seasons in Spain he retired to pursue a career in acting. Upon his return to the UK he was offered a minor role on Hollyoaks which developed into a recurring character, he also appeared briefly on NCIS before being offered a role in the Fast & Furious 7 movie, before going on to land a leading role in 'American Gods'.
Another who escaped the death trap of Harchester United, Scott Lucas joined Chelsea under Claudio Ranieri but quickly found himself frustrated with the "tinker-man" and his fondness of rotation at the time. Lucas almost rejoined Harchester United, but instead moved to Celtic where he helped filled the void left by Henrik Larsson. After a brief stint with Portsmouth before they plummeted down the divisions, Lucas had a spell in coaching before joining Sky Sports to be one of those pundits who watches the matches nobody cares about in the studio during the week, where he still works today, and his recent analysis of Fleetwood Town vs Chesterfield has come in for critical acclaim.
Stereotypical cheeky Scouser Billy O'Neill joined Harry Redknapp's West Ham in 2000, where he would stay until the club were relegated in 2004. O'Neill failed to flourish in the Championship, and when the Hammers were promoted he found himself offloaded to Tranmere Rovers. Back in Liverpool and back to old habits for Billy, who struggled with alcoholism before his contract was terminated when he became involved in a pub brawl with former West Ham defender Julian Dicks, and as the resulting injuries to his spine left him unable to walk temporarily, his football career was over. He is now believed to be a motivational speaker in the Merseyside area.
Responsible for the fire that saw Harchester United's stadium burned to the ground while the team played Chelsea to determine the Premier League champions in the final episode, Sullivan was caught and charged almost immediately. After successfully pleading insanity he was placed in a psychiatric hospital where he remains to this day.
Famous for never really having his own storyline and just hanging out in the background, Tyson collected a Premier League winner's medal and was then called up for the 2006 World Cup by Trinidad and Tobago after declaring eligibility via his grandmother. Tyson later moved to the MLS before retiring in Trinidad and opening a Premier League themed cafe in one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.
After being outed as a match-fixer and chased out of Harchester, Baptiste joined Marseille in Ligue 1 where he played for four months before being brought before a judge and convinced of match-fixing in France's premier division. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, of which he served four before being released and moving to Argentina, where former team-mate Luis Amor Rodriguez felt pity on him and gave him a position at his wine company, where he still works today.
Moliano left Harchester United under strange circumstances and joined Finnish side FC Jazz (again, this actually happened on the show). It emerged that he had settled down in Finland with a model wife and a few children, and after opening a chain of American-style diners across Finland, Eddie finds himself as one of Scandanavia's most successful restaurant chain owners.
The rags to riches success story that is Jason 'Tyre Boy' Porter will live on in the folklore of English football forever. After winning the league with Harchester, Porter went down with the ship. He stayed true to his boyhood club as they dropped from division to division, and is now Liam Mackay's assistant in the Isthmian League North. After being the first football fan to be played in a friendly purely for being annoying, and subsequently scoring, being offered a contract, and becoming a valuable player on a league winning team, the fame got to him, and he was more than happy to lower his profile by sticking with the sinking ship.
Big thanks to dtdiehard.net for the images.
We'll be here all week with lots of great Harchester content in the Dragons' Lair section of the site as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show with Dream Team week here on Balls.ie.