Total Football
March 1996

When Saturday Comes is a Grim 'Oop North production, overflowing with scenes of smoking chimneys, slagheaps and blokes smoking rollies in betting shops. But there's loads of footy plus Emily Lloyd, and Sean Bean. Apologies to the delectable Lloyd, but Beano is the best thing in it. And so he should be - the role of Jimmy Muir was tailor-made for him. Jimmy is a Sunday League footballer who works in a beer canning plant. Lloyd (displaying the queerest Irish accent you've ever heard) starts working there and Bean gets to be Lloyd's bonk! He gets another lucky break when her uncle signs him for a leading amateur side. He lands a trial with Sheffield United (hurray!) and impresses the Blades coaching staff, including Tony Currie. Jimmy gets a second trial, but gets pissed up and shags a stripper the night before, as you do, and gets booted out of Bramall Lane and Emily Lloyd's bed (decide yourself which is worse). But after a series of mishaps (including the death of his brother down t'pit), Jimmy begins a do- or-die struggle to win back his bird and professional footy career. I'll spare you the conclusion, suffice to say it ends with a crucial FA Cup tie between Sheffield United and Man United at Bramall Lane. Can the boy Jimmy save the day for The Blades?

There's lots of moody shots of south Yorkshire's industrial hinterland, Sunday League footy on the side of the slag heaps and other northern paraphernalia, and Bean looks in his element throughout. Somehow you just can't imagine Hugh Grant pulling it off with the same panache.

Verdict: Stirring footy action. ***
Alex Murphy

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