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Cup Fever (1965)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Despite their success, Manchester Junior League football team Barton United have to make do with a rickety old shed for a clubhouse and a patch of waste ground for a pitch. When the team learn that Councillor Bates is to close their ground to make way for a car park. Barton captain 'Skipper' Davis suspects foul play: Bates' son captains Tooley Green, Barton's main rivals for the Junior League Cup and the associated award: a year's use of plush Park Ground (where Tooley currently play).

Evicted by the builders, Barton train by the canal, but a passing Councillor Bates complains to a young policeman. However, the team leave before Bates and PC 386 arrive. The next day, PC 386 chastises Barton for playing in the street and warns them not to let him catch them again. They manage to play on for a while, with Vicky as look-out.

The night before Barton's semi-final, Thumper Bates and co. gain access to the ground changing rooms, cutting the studs from Barton's boots. They start the game in gym shoes, while trainer Fatso runs off to get the boots repaired. Barton overcome a 1-0 half-time deficit to win 2-1, but Vicky is concerned to see the young policeman, off duty, watching the game. Following him to a phone box, she becomes convinced he is going to arrest Barton. In fact, he is phoning the other semi-final ground, and returns to tell Skipper that Tooley have won their tie.

Over the next few days Barton train wherever they can, Rocket and Skipper passing on the day's venue via notes delivered on their milk rounds. They outwit PC 386 thanks to Vicky's 'early warning system'. Eventually the policeman calls at the Davis home - to inform them that he has arranged for Barton to train with Manchester United at Old Trafford for an afternoon. He once had a trial for United, hence his connections. The team meet United manager Matt Busby and train with Best, Law and the rest.

Cup final day. Barton are disadvantaged when Thumper tampers with the notes informing the team where they should meet. A fleet of milkfloats is dispatched to round up the team just in time for kick-off. Barton's session with United pays off and they win the final - and a new ground for a year, evicting Tooley - by a resounding 3-0.