Football

Heroes Of Harchester: Ryan Naysmith

Welcome back to "Heroes Of Harchester", a short series we'll be running this week to celebrate Dream Team Week here on Balls.ie.

We'll be looking at the careers of some of the best players and biggest characters ever to play for or represent Harchester United Football Club.

Earlier on, we brought you the story of the great Luis Amor Rodriguez

The characters featured in this series are the ones who made us tune in every week. Most were involved in scandal, almost all of them perished at some point, but they will always live on in the hearts and minds of those who dedicated an hour of the week to arguably the most ridiculous television show of all time.

Today, we take a look at a troubled soul who was constantly knocked back right when he was about to make his big break, although almost every time it was his all his own fault.

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Ryan Naysmith

Ryan Naysmith arrived at Harchester United because of his father, Stuart Naysmith. Naysmith Sr. was the first team coach at The Dragons' Lair, and when Ryan moved to Harchester after being kicked out of Birmingham City for being arrested on suspicion of arson, his Dad convinced the club to let him train with the reserve side.

Sure enough, this was the kick in the behind that Ryan needed, as he quickly dazzled his coaches and was offered his first professional contract.

His first major problem at Harchester occurred when he left the club Christmas party with Tara Kane, who worked for the club's TV channel, after an altercation with his father due to a cheeky mistletoe kiss he had witnessed.

Ryan and Tara sped off in Ryan's car, and with Tara driving, they hit and killed a pedestrian. The quick thinking Naysmith decided that ditching the body and legging it would be a good idea.

Of course, a CCTV camera had captured the incident, and with Tara claiming that Ryan was driving, the Harchester star was deep in it. This situation was resolved when Ryan ended up in hospital for beating the shit out of a mirror in frustration, and Tara finally admitted her guilt for fear of Ryan's mental health.

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ryan naysmith

After making his return to the first team, Ryan Naysmith moved in with best-friend and team-mate Clyde Connelly, and finally he was playing his best stuff out on the pitch.

Unfortunately, this form would not last long.

While throwing a house warming party, Ryan received a complaint from a flamboyant French neighbour, and when he went down to discuss the problem, he was surprised to see French team-mate Marcel Sabatier in his neighbour's house. Ryan put two and two together to get five, and decided that Marcel was gay, and he chose the team dressing room to reveal his theory.

Sabatier responded by beating Naysmith to a pulp, leaving him in critical condition, thus ending his season. This was the last of Ryan's apparent homophobia we saw on the show, thankfully.

Next season Harchester United signed Luke Davenport for an extortionate amount of money from Barcelona.

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The star striker hit the ground running, largely thanks to Naysmith's multiple assists. Ryan's form caught the attention of the England set-up. Not only that, but Liverpool agreed an £11m deal to sign him.

When Davenport heard of the deal, he blocked it by threatening a mutiny if Ryan was sold, and thus the deal collapsed. When Naysmith heard about Davenport's intervention, he punched the striker in the eye, which happened to be the bad eye that he neglected to tell the Harchester doctors about during his medical. Davenport went blind and could no longer play.

ryan naysmith

Liverpool would feature again in Ryan Naysmith's next major problem at Harchester.

A Liverpool fan, who was also a ticket-tout, bought tickets from Ryan to sell on illegally and cut the Harchester player in on the deal. Ryan did not know what he got himself in for, and the tout attempted to blackmail Naysmith for more tickets and money.

Ryan's logical response was to kill the tout and hide the body. He got away with it too.

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Meanwhile, his father Stuart witnessed a murder and as a result had to be put in a witness protection programme, which meant Ryan could never see his dad again. A rough few episodes for the lad.

Ryan was all set to make his England debut at the start of the 04/05 season, but unfortunately he broke his leg in the warm-up.

An emotional wreck, Ryan started his rehab thanks to the help of team-mate (and complete nut-job) Viv Wright's wife. Before long, the two were doing the dirt, and when a training ground joke about Viv's wife by Clyde Connelly was met with anger by Naysmith, the players all knew.

Unfortunately, Clyde would take his own life soon after, and obviously Ryan was devastated. Naysmith had no time to mourn, however, as Wright soon went on a manhunt, which resulted in this intense scene:

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Yep, Ryan blamed the affair on his best friend who had killed himself.

After a long year of trying to overcome his demons and regain his form on the pitch, Ryan Naysmith found himself in the match-day squad for the FA Cup final in Cardiff's Millenium Stadium.

Viv, meanwhile, had found out that Ryan was indeed to blame for the affair with his wife, and when Ryan sees him in Cardiff he flees in former manager Don Barker's car, which just so happens to have Carl Fletcher's dead body in the boot (seriously!).

Arrested on suspicion of murder when the car is found, Ryan is forced to miss the cup final, but that turns out to be a blessing in disguise as Barker drove a car loaded with explosives into the Harchester team bus and killed everyone on board.

In his final season at Harchester, Ryan Naysmith would go on to have one more affair and break up one more marriage, as well as getting involved in a match fixing scandal and having his dog shot dead, before finally leaving the club.

In the end, his form on the pitch convinced Villarreal to take a punt on him. The Spanish club clearly hadn't watched Sky Sports News very much in the four years leading up to the deal.

And off he went, one of the few recurring characters that did not die as a Harchester player.

Adulterer, murderer, possible homophobe, match fixer, Ryan Naysmith was by no means a legend of a man, but in terms of a character in an utterly ridiculous Sky One drama, he's about as legendary as you can get.

See also: Heroes Of Harchester: Luis Amor Rodriguez

See also: 10 Utterly Ridiculous Storylines That Made Sky One’s ‘Dream Team’ So Great

Mikey Traynor

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