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FAME AND MISFORTUNE SYNOPSIS - BY JAN MOUNT
MURDER AND CORRUPTION IN SPORT. BROKEN RULES AND BROKEN HEARTS.
A compelling story of romance, passion and murder, against a background of skulduggery and bribery in modern day sport, particularly football's Premier League. Narrative explores the backgrounds, fates, fortunes and love interests, both romantic and explicit, of all characters, linking them intrinsically in the storyline and dramatic ending.
The world is shocked and saddened as news breaks about the unfathomable death of the much loved, handsome Max Rawlings: footballing legend, fashion icon, media phenomenon and hero of Premier League's Redthorn Rangers' FC. Max's grief-stricken wife, Kathie, vows to disprove the verdict of suicide. She has an ally in Bernard Cummings, a notorious sports journalist and TV pundit, who has long nurtured a burning ambition to expose corruption in the modern game.
Kathie, beautiful and talented, achieves personal success as an interior designer. Her teenage affair with Max, which claimed her virginity, ends in tears when she reads a kiss and tell story in a Sunday tabloid, citing Max. A few years later they have an emotional reunion and marry in the glare of publicity. They enjoy an excessively privileged lifestyle as famous 'glitterati' celebrities, but live in fear of their young daughter being kidnapped.
Chris Faraday, Max's best friend, had a hard upbringing with a dysfunctional single mother. Against all odds, Chris becomes a player for London's Premier League football club, Stampford United. His out-of-control life heads in a downward spiral of drink, drugs and gambling, exacerbated by personal tragedy and blackmail.
George Wallis, Rangers' manager, has a devious father, Billy, who has connections with London's criminal fraternity. They become extremely rich through crooked dealings within the higher echelons of sport and gambling. Years earlier Billy was behind a bungled attempt to kill a player who had brought George's footballing career to an end with a vicious tackle. An innocent young woman died and Bernard Cummings publicly voiced his suspicions, making a lifetime enemy of George.
Max overhears a conversation between George Wallis and Chris, which confirm his suspicions that George is involved in match fixing. He confronts Chris, who at rock bottom and fearful, confesses to Max that he has been drawn into George's web of corruption and is guilty of helping to fix the result of certain matches. He is aware that George's duplicity knows no bounds. Chris divulges that Saturday's crucial league match between Redthorn Rangers and Stampford must end as a win for Rangers, or the ramifications for him would be unthinkable. George had paid off a blackmailing gang who had photos of Chris having sex with an underaged girl in Belgium, and it's payback time!
At a meeting with George and his agent, Marcus Freemantle, Max reacts angrily to their proposition to transfer him to Italy and refuses point blank. He challenges them about their skulduggery and storms out, yelling that he is sacking Marcus, quitting football and intends to expose the whole stinking business to the world.
Kathie and Bernie are hampered by a crooked detective. Bernie is put in mortal danger. Chris comes to the rescue and is injured, ending his football career but he and actress wife Beverley have an unexpected chance at happiness, as does Bernie.