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[FM17] The Hart Chronicles - Volume II: Adam Hart is 'Yes Man'!

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12th minute: Myung-Ho Kim with a throw in for City. He finds Touzon, passed onto Colic, Colic with a short pass to Bailey who is about 35 yards out... ohh and a quick low ball out wide to Myung-Ho Kim... the South Korean could get a cross in here if they don't stop him... AND IT'S MICKY VAN AART!!!! Ohhh he's fired it home! It's only taken just over 10 minutes for Manchester City to take the lead and this is a disastrous start for Sheffield Wednesday! MANCHESTER CITY 1-0 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

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15th minute: Sheffield Wednesday looking to get back into this. Clement Claude with a throw in by the halfway line. He finds Moalisson Brener who takes a nice touch and looks to start a run into the City half, but he's tackled by Bailey who wins it from him... passed forward to Van Aart who will run at the goal, Van Aart is still going someone's gonna need to put a tackle in as he goes into the box...ohh and Acuna comes sliding in, and it's Laprovitera who smashes it clear... but the linesman has flagged...OHHH AND IT'S A PENALTY!!! The referee has deemed that tackle by Acuna to have been unacceptable, it was hard to see in real time whether he got the ball or not, but the referee doesn't think he did and just minutes after going 1 down, Wednesday now have to face a penalty... 

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16th minute: Dvorak steps up to take this penalty. It's Lukas Brauer in the Sheffield goal, he has made some very big saves from the penalty spot, most famously that one in the 2nd leg Semi Final against Arsenal last year. They went on to get eliminated either way, but they could really do with him getting a save here... 

It's Dvorak... OHHHH AND HE WENT THE RIGHT WAY BUT IT WAS TOO POWERFUL TO KEEP OUT! A really good effort from Brauer there, but all the same, it's MANCHESTER CITY 2-0 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY with just 16 minutes on the clock!

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35th minute: Moalisson Brener with a corner for Wednesday. Can he help create a goal to get them back into this game... the ball's pumped into the middle and LAPROVITERA IS THERE.... OHHHHH AND IT'S OFF THE BAR AND PEAKE SMASHES IT AWAY!!! Dramatic scenes as Wednesday come oh so close to getting a goal back!

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46th minute: It's half-time in Turkey and Manchester City lead Sheffield Wednesday by two goals to nil. It's been a very positive start for the Citizens, a couple of Wednesday chances including that one from the corner, but overall you have to say City are good value for this lead so far. 

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47th minute: City back on the attack once more. They've started this half as they finished the last, much the better side, Colic with it now tearing down at The Owls' goal... he finds Van Aart who drops deep a bit to get it with his back to the goal... ohh and a nice incisive pass out wide to Myung-Ho Kim, he hits it into the middle...ohhhh and it comes off of Acuna towards his own keeper...Brauer bundles it but obviously can't catch it himself... AND SCOTT PEAKE IS THERE TO CAPITALISE ON A HUGE DEFENSIVE COCK UP!!! Terrible defending which you cannot do in a Champions League final...and it's now MANCHESTER CITY 3-0 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

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62nd minute: Things are looking quite bleak for Wednesday with just under half hour left in this one. 3 goals down, it would take something really really special for them to win this now. Moalisson Brener trying to make something happen on the left hand side, he's making some moves, he finds Claude in some space on the overlap... Claude with something of a ball into the box, Brener gets a touch to it and just about keeps it in to get a cross into the middle... ohhh and Ambassa is there! He volleys it home from the back post and Wednesday have a goal! They run to wrestle the ball back! MANCHESTER CITY 3-1 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

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69th minute: Clement Claude with a throw in for Wednesday. He finds Moalisson Brener, Brener back to Claude who has a bit of space out on the left... he finds Sandro who's run into the box now, he could have a crack here...ohhh and Celorio has taken him down..is that... YES!!! It's a penalty now for Sheffield!!! What a huge penalty this is, as if they score this with 20 minutes left, we could have a really really exciting ending!

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71st minute: It's Sandro who will take this one.. he's scored 47 goals in all competitions this season, his side could really do with him bagging a 48th here....HE'S GOT IT!!!! HE FIRED IT HOME INTO THE TOP LEFT CORNER, KEEPER WENT THE RIGHT WAY, BUT HE COULD NOT STOP THAT FROM GOING IN! And it's now MANCHESTER CITY 3-2 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY...and it's GAME ON, just as it looks like Andy Kilday will come off the bench to join the action for Wednesday!!! 

Edited by PaulHartman71
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88th minute: Dale Lewis with the ball for Wednesday in the City half...he finds Romulo the substitute, Romulo goes past 1, looks to make a pass but there's nobody in the box... but he slips it in AND IT'S ANDY KILDAY STARING DOWN 1-ON-1 WITH THE GOALKEEPER...IT'S ANDY KILDAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY............ but the keeper makes a point blank save! It comes off of him and finds Celorio who hammers it upfield and Mario Sorsa has it now, City on the break, Musa just outside the box...finds ELSID BAILEYYYYYYYY!!! He's hammered it home! And just like that, surely now, the Champions League will be going home with Manchester City!! It's MANCHESTER CITY 4-2 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

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93rd minute: It's all over! AND MANCHESTER CITY HAVE WON TODAY!!! SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY GAVE A DECENT ACCOUNT OF THEMSELVES, BUT THEY COULDN'T QUITE DO IT IN THE END. Heartbreak for Adam Hart as he ends his last ever game in management with defeat in his only ever Champions League final, but what a fine career he has had in spite of that! His side came from 3-0 down and came a whisker away from making it 3-3 late on, but it's City's night! 





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Season     Club                 Division                               Position      Achievements/Other
2016/17    Ipswich Wanderers    Eastern Counties Premier League          8th         Eastern Counties League Cup winners
2017/18    Ipswich Wanderers    Eastern Counties Premier League         11th         Left in November
2017/18    Coventry Sphinx      Midland Football Premier League         13th         N/A
2018/19    Coventry Sphinx      Midland Football Premier League         10th         Left in December 
2018/19    Carlton Town         United Counties Premier League           8th         United Counties League Cup runners-up. Sacked. 
2019/20    Basildon United      Essex Senior League                      3rd         Gordan Brasted Memorial Trophy winners
2020/21    Basildon United      Essex Senior League                     17th         Left in November 
2020/21    Lincoln United       Northern Counties East Premier League   11th         N/A
2021/22    Lincoln United       Northern Counties East Premier League   17th         Left in December
2021/22    Swindon Supermarine  Southern League 1st Division S/W        13th         N/A
2022/23    Swindon Supermarine  Southern League 1st Division S/W        18th         Left in January
2022/23    Trafford FC          Northern Premier League 1st Division N   7th         N/A
2023/24    Trafford FC          Northern Premier League 1st Division N  11th         Sacked in November
2023/24    Hythe Town           Isthmian League 1st Division S          12th         Joined in January
2024/25    Hythe Town           Isthmian League 1st Division S           3rd         Left in March
2024/25    Canvey Island        Isthmian League Premier Division        23rd         Relegated 
2025/26    Canvey Island        Isthmian League 1st Division N          23rd         Sacked in November
2025/26    Farsley Celtic       Northern Premier League 1st Division N  11th         Joined in January
2026/27    Farsley Celtic       Northern Premier League 1st Division N   5th         Left in March
2026/27    Stourbridge          Northern League Premier Division        21st         Relegated
2027/28    Stourbridge          Southern League 1st Division C           5th         Promoted via Playoffs 
2028/29    Stourbridge          Southern League Premier Division        15th         Left in November
2028/29    Lancaster City       Northern League Premier Division        21st         Relegeted. Sacked. 
2029/30    Southport            Northern League Premier Division        14th         N/A
2030/31    Southport            Northern League Premier Division         5th         Left in April 
2030/31    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         3rd         Lost in Playoff Final
2031/32    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         2nd         Lost in Playoff Final
2032/33    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         6th         Left in January 
2032/33    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     8th         N/A
2033/34    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     3rd         Qualified for Europa League via Playoff
2034/35    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     5th         Welsh Cup winners
2035/36    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     2nd         Welsh League Cup winners
2036/37    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     1st         Welsh Premier League winners
2037/38    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     1st         Welsh Premier League & League Cup winners
2038/39    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     2nd         Left in December
2038/39    Yeovil Town          League 2                                22nd         Sacked in March. 
2039/40    Salford City         Conference                              14th         Joined in October. FA Trophy winners.
2040/41    Salford City         Conference                               4th         Promoted via Playoffs
2041/42    Salford City         League 2                                22nd         Left in November
2041/42    Blackpool            Conference                               1st         Promoted as Champions
2042/43    Blackpool            League 2                                 1st         Promoted as Champions
2043/44    Blackpool            League 1                                18th         N/A
2044/45    Blackpool            League 1                                 4th         Left in April
2044/45    Swindon Town         League 1                                 6th         Lost in Playoff Final
2045/46    Swindon Town         League 1                                17th         Sacked in September
2045/46    Gillingham           League 1                                 9th         Joined in December
2046/47    Gillingham           League 1                                 6th         EFL Trophy winners & Lost in Playoff Semi
2047/48    Gillingham           League 1                                 4th         Promoted via Playoffs & EFL Trophy winners
2048/49    Gillingham           Championship                            16th         Left in December
2048/49    Cardiff City         Championship                            21st         Joined in Decemember 
2049/50    Cardiff City         Championship                            17th         N/A
2050/51    Cardiff City         Championship                            11th         FA Cup Semi Finalists 
2051/52    Cardiff City         Championship                            19th         Left in December
2051/52    Sheffield Wednesday  Championship                            13th         N/A
2052/53    Sheffield Wednesday  Championship                             5th         Lost in Playoff Semi
2053/54    Sheffield Wednesday  Championship                             3rd         Promoted via Playoffs
2054/55    Sheffield Wednesday  Premier League                          10th         N/A
2055/56    Sheffield Wednesday  Premier League                          11th         N/A
2056/57    Sheffield Wednesday  Premier League                           9th         FA Cup winners
2057/58    Sheffield Wednesday  Premier League                           4th         FA Cup winners & Community Shield winners 
2058/59    Sheffield Wednesday  Premier League                           3rd         Community Shield winners
2059/60    Sheffield Wednesday  Premier League                           4th         Champions League runners up


Trophy Cabinet


FA Cup                         x2 - 2056/57, 2057/58 (Sheffield Wednesday)
Community Shield               x2 - 2057/58, 2058/59 (Sheffield Wednesday)
League 2                       x1 - 2042/43 (Blackpool)
EFL Trophy                     x2 - 2046/47, 2047/48 (Gillingham)
Conference                     x1 - 2041/42 (Blackpool)
FA Trophy                      x1 - 2039/40 (Salford City)
Eastern Counties League Cup    x1 - 2016/17 (Ipswich Wanderers) 
Gordan Brasted Memorial Trophy x1 - 2019/20 (Basildon United) 

Welsh Premier League           x2 - 2036/37, 2037/38 (Port Talbot Town)
Welsh Cup                      x1 - 2034/35 (Port Talbot Town)
Welsh League Cup               x2 - 2035/36, 2037/38 (Port Talbot Town)


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23rd June 2060    /  The Hart Residence, Sheffield. 




Adam stared down at the scrunched up piece of paper…


The scribbled note was falling apart, perhaps unsurprisingly, as it had been in his possession for forty-four years now. He had written that life changing date down the very day he first travelled back in time. His old life and dying father both left behind for a fresh start – and it was a fresh start that he’d made the most of. Age had caught up with him. Adam was an old man himself now and he felt every one of those seventy-four years, in truth, he was actually more like one-hundred and twenty or so, as he’d taken some anti-aging pills his father gave him before travelling back.

The decision to retire had been an easy one. It had been almost a decade at Sheffield Wednesday and Hillsborough – he was proud of what he had achieved, as well as the legacy that he had created. A couple of FA Cups that would live on in Wednesday folk-lore for decades to come, as well as some glorious European nights, it had been a shame that he couldn’t win the Europa League or the Champions League, but his side had always been underdogs in both.

Modern football was all about money – not a single non-traditional top 6 club had won the Premier League in the forty-four years he’d spent in this alternative timeline, although Leicester City had somehow won it the year before he arrived, he wondered if maybe his travelling back in time had caused it. A blip in the universe maybe.

But he’d taken Wednesday as far as they could go, the vultures were lurking and he knew that the likes of Dale Lewis and Moalisson Brener would likely leave in the summer for big money whether he stayed or left. It was the right time to retire. It felt right. He’d live out the rest of his days in a fairly low key manner, perhaps move to the Bahamas or something. He reached out for his phone to have a quick google of Caribbean properties he could purchase, when suddenly an email notification popped up…




Edited by PaulHartman71
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It's a funny one as I imagine you want to close this career and start on an Fm18 one at somepoint, i.e stop playing FM17.

Yet if you started at Chelsea (in some time travel based story) for FM18 it wouldn't be as fun as you're already at the top etc.


Hmmmmmmm cannot wait to see how this plays out!  It has to be Matt Heart, but I'm trying to think what words his Dad would have passed on to him..... 

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25th June      /   Unknown Location, West London.


The building that Adam had just entered look more like the home of a James Bond villain than a football club owner. It was a large medieval castle-like structure, with a lot of large sculptures of lions, just like the ones that had appeared in the various iterations of the Chelsea badge. As he walked through the main corridor he saw what at first glance looked and sounded like a busker playing and singing from a harp, but it soon became apparent by his fancy looking clothes that he was a hired musician. Adam did not know what song he was playing on his harp, but he thought it was quite nice and welcoming.

As he reached the end of the corridor, a young Eastern European assistant who had a slight American twang to his accent ushered him what appeared to be the main boardroom, where the directors and chairman were waiting. Tony Neville was not quite the same imposing and mysterious figure that his predecessor, Roman Abramovich was, but he was still a very rich man. Chelsea still had a hell of a lot of money to spend each transfer window and despite having struggled domestically in recent years, they had finished 2nd this season and won the Champions League just 2 years ago.  

“Mr Neville will you see now, sir” the assistant said. Adam walked into the main room and saw Tony Neville sitting at the head of the table, with 3 men and 1 women, all presumably directors of some description, sitting and watching him intently.

It was Tony Neville who spoke first.

“Come in, Adam, take a seat”

Adam sat down.

“It’s a very nice place here, isn’t it? A bit off the radar, no? It was actually Roman Abramovich who had this place built, we inherited it when we took over the club, this place and Chelsea being the few things that Putin didn’t get his hands on after…well we won’t talk about that here. We assume that given you have come here you are interested in the job?”

“I’m interested to hear what you have to say, for sure. This is by far the biggest job offer I’ve ever had, I did plan to retire, but well-“

“We did hear about your plans to retire in the press yes, but we know you gave an interview saying you’d have considered another season if you’d got the Arsenal job. Well we’re not Arsenal, but we think we can offer you even more money both in wages and in transfer budget for players than what you would’ve got at Arsenal. So we had to at least ask if you’d be interested”

“Arsenal would have been a sentimental job for me. My father was an Arsenal fan. It wasn’t particularly about the money or the transfer budget. But please, continue…”

“What you have done over the last few years at Sheffield Wednesday has been very impressive. You’ve taken them from a lumbering Championship side to a real contender for the Champions League, a Semi Final and a Final in the last 2 years, that is fantastic. A few FA Cups along the way. You’ve beaten us in the league, knocked us out of several competitions-

“Put 7 past you a few years back, I’ve never seen anything like what Andy Kilday did that day. It was bloody brilliant that!”

“Yes, well we did put the kids and the reserves out that day, but we were impressed of course. What you have done there in the long term is fantastic. But as I’m sure you’d admit, you are an old man now”

“Ancient. I’m a walking relic”

“Exactly. So here at Chelsea, it would of course be a short term appointment”

“I suppose that’s just as well, you guys don’t really do long term appointments anyway do you?”

Tony Neville didn’t let out even the slightest smirk, although the female director did let out a slight chuckle.

“Here at Chelsea Football Club we expect the absolute highest level of success from our managers. We only ever sack managers when it is absolutely necessary for the short and long term future of the club”

“You sacked Jesus Navarro last season after he’d won you the Champions League the year before!”

“Yes, we did, but we finished 8th in the league last season. That is simply not good enough for Chelsea Football Club. As you know, we sacked him, got Rudi Fischer in and he got us to 2nd position in the league, a solid foundation for next season-

“Which he sadly won’t be able to continue, since he ditched you for the Bayern Munich job! I bet that was a hard one to take”

“We accepted his decision to leave and will now hire a better manager than him. You are not our long term target of course, but our short term plan would be for you to take over this season, use your influence and connections to sign two or three of Moalisson Brener, Dale Lewis, Sandro or even Andy Kilday, have a real crack at the domestic cups, the Champions League and keep us in the Top 4, which will give your replacement next season a real foundation for a title challenge. City look next level, we don’t think or expect you to be able to tactically out-wit them at your age, but we are willing to be patient for the title challenge after you leave. So, what do you say?”

“You don’t expect me to challenge for the title?”

“No, no, as we’ve said, help us sign 1 or 2 of those excellent young players at Wednesday, have a go in Europe, win an FA or League Cup, and like I said, that gives the next man a real good chance to go toe-to-toe with City next season”

“I may not appear to have been the most loyal man given my career choices, but I’ve spent years building that Sheffield Wednesday side. I know the vultures are lurking after Dale Lewis, Moalisson Brener, Sandro as well, they may very well all go for big money this summer, but I will take no part in taking them away from Sheffield. That would be no way for me to repay the trust and support their fans and the good people at the club have given me over the years.”

Tony Neville looked a bit disappointed and muttered something to the man next to him.

“Very well. But we’re aware of how little that Sheffield Wednesday have been able to pay you over the years, we believe your weekly wage hasn’t even hit £30,000 per week yet? We’d be willing to more than triple that, with massive bonuses for reaching at least the Champions League Semi Final, an FA Cup or League Cup win, as well as a big bonus for reaching 2nd or 3rd, a huge one if you somehow won the Premier League too. We’d be willing to offer you a huge wage budget, as well as £170M to spend on players, spend it as you wish, if you don’t want to sign guys like Dale Lewis and Moalisson Brener, then don’t, we trust your judgement with the young players you’ve brought through at Wednesday. If you want to buy out all of your old scouts from their old contracts, just say the word, remember, a lot of those guys make next to nothing, we’d be willing to more than triple their wages too, whoever you want, just say the words and we can make it happen”

It did all sound very tempting to Adam. It would be nice to help out a few of his mates in the scouting department, but in truth he just wasn’t very interested in the job. He’d saved up plenty of money from various secret offshore tax havens over the years, he’d even made a fortune from selling the Bugatti Veyron that had housed the original time machine that he’d disposed of. It was then that Adam did something that he’d never done before in his managerial career…

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity you’ve offered me here, but I’m afraid it’s just not for me. I’m ready retire now and I’m happy having gone out on the biggest stage of them all, even if we did lose to City. Thank you and all the best”

Tony Neville looked shocked and furious at this. The directors began talking to him as he furiously typed on his mobile phone.


Adam walked back through the hallways and after a few minutes he saw the lone harpist again. He was playing another song, but this time he was actually singing. The words echoing around the marble walls and the large lion sculptures.


And who are you, the proud lord said,

That I must bow so low?

Only a cat of a different coat,

That’s all the truth I know.

In a coat of gold or a coat of red,

A lion still has claws,

And mine are long and sharp, my lord,

As long and sharp as yours.


As Adam reached the end of the hallway and towards the entrance he saw an elderly man, older than him he thought, who was slowly walking towards him. He thought he might’ve been the house-keep, or perhaps a less important member of the board. He got closer to him when suddenly Adam realized he recognized that face. It was John Terry!

Adam smiled and nodded towards the former England captain and Gibraltar manager, as John stretched out a welcoming hand. Adam put out his hand and shook it and smiled. Terry’s grip tightened a little and a wry smile emerged on his face just before he spoke.

“Frank Lampard sends his regards”

Adam felt no pain as the knife pierced straight through his heart, plunging his world into darkness almost instantly.


And so he spoke, and so he spoke,

That lord of Castamere,

But now the rain weeps o’er his hall,

With no one there to hear.

Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall,

And not a soul to hear.

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3 years later


23rd June 2063     / Toulouse, France.


The Southern French coast wind blew in the night. The immediate area was in pitch black darkness, when suddenly, for just a split second, it wasn’t. A light flashed and three figures, who had not been there just a second ago, found themselves flung out of thin air in front of a disused warehouse. They looked around at their surroundings.

A Female voice spoke first.

“It is as we thought then. The Paul Hart Arena is not here.”

One of the two males spoke next.

“It was unlikely we would go back to that timeline. Not impossible, but unlikely.”

“What timeline are we in then?”

“Hard to say. Hopefully we are in the timeline that his son went back to. Pull out your tablet. Can you get signal?”

“Yes. Thank goodness for the free WIFI!”

“Google his name. Adam Portman Hart. If he took some anti-aging pills, who knows how old he could be now. Who knows what he did with his life. If he was anything like his father, perhaps he too became a football manager”

“I’ve found his Wikipedia page! It says he’s most famous for managing Sheffield Wednesday”


“They are a Sheffield based team. He won a few FA Cups, Community Shields, ah it says he even reached a Europa League Final, Champions League Semi Final and his last match as a manager was in the Champions League Final!”

“He did well then! A good manager, just like his father, good, that’s good. The Hart bloodline runs thick. Our mission is saved after all! He is retired though? How old is he? Never mind, it doesn't matter, we have enough anti-aging pills with us to get him back to a toddler!”

“Err, well that’s just it. He’s not retired…he’s dead.”


“Dead. It says he died of a heart attack not long after he retired. He must’ve known the end was near.”

“Oh rats! What a pity. That man was our last hope.”

“No. There is another…”

Edited by PaulHartman71
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26th June, 2063    / St Pierre du Bois, Guernsey.  The Channel Islands.


The waves from the English Channel crashed against the seawall. An old style traditional lighthouse that had stood for over one hundred years shone out and lit up the night sky. You could see the light for miles. In a dreary little village lane, around a 20 minute drive from said lighthouse, one man could not see this light in the sky. His blinds were pulled, curtains closed, with just a gigantic TV for company.  



The screen flickered to show a picture of Andy Kilday banging in a goal for Sheffield Wednesday

Andy Kilday: “Adam Hart was everything for me like, man. Before I met him I was playing for Celtic, I never thought I’d leave Scotland or Glasgow, but he said aye come down to Sheffield and I’ll have ya scorin’ 40 a season. I laughed at him and told him to **** off like, but he signed me for a few million and yeah, I was bangin’ em in alright. He was a great guy and I was loyal to him, whenever some of the other lads would kick off about wanting more money and the like, he’d get me to have a few words with ‘em, more often than not they’d stop moanin’ for a few months! My career’s kinda gone to **** since he left, the new manager plays with 1 up front, and he don’t play me, I’m still on 100K a week mind, so it’s not all bad.”

The screen flashes out to show Dale Lewis lifting the Premier League trophy with Manchester City

Dale Lewis: “I owe my entire career to him. He took me as a young 18 year old lad from Wales and gave me some first team Premier League action. I wouldn’t have got that at any of the other big sides in England at the time. He nurtured me, helped developed me, by the time he retired I was ready to become one of the best players in the world. I felt bad leaving Sheffield Wednesday, I don’t know if I could have left if he was still in charge, but after he died I felt I had to leave, they got lots of money from City and I’ve won the Premier League with them. I’ve got no regrets about leaving, but I still owe everything to Adam.”

A Brazilian flag briefly appeared before showing Moalisson Brener lifting the Champions League in a Real Madrid shirt.

Moalisson Brener:He took me from Brazil when I was very little. I had high hopes, big plans, big ambition, but none of the big European clubs were interested. They said to me, Mo, Sheffield Wednesday wants to buy you, I said, who are Sheffield Wednesday? But my agent told me, this is good move for you, you play well, maybe you move to another big club, get Champions League football in a few years. But with my help, Sheffield Wednesday, we got into Champions League. I played my first Champions League Final with them. I’m really proud of what we achieved. When he died, I was very sad. I found out in the morning, I was very sad. But a few hours later, the Real Madrid manager phoned me up, he say, Mo, we want to give you a **** load of money and bring you to Real Madrid. It was the best day of my life!”


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26th June, 2063    / St Pierre du Bois, Guernsey.  The Channel Islands.


There was a loud knock on Matt’s front door. Who was calling at this time of night? It was gone 10PM - nobody knocked on his door at this sort of time. Not even the nosiest of desperate tabloid journalists searching for the elusive tell-all exclusive interview about his dead father. He looked through the looker and saw 3 figures, two men, one woman. Jehovah’s witnesses perhaps? He waited a moment, then they knocked on the door once more.

“Who are you? What do you want?” he said loud enough for them to hear through the door.

“You are Mister Matthew Prydwen Hart, correct?”

“And who the **** are you then?

“Mister Hart, we have travelled a long way to be here with you tonight, if you would kindly welcome us into your home, we can have a long chat with you about a lot of things”

“I’m not letting any of you into my home until you tell me what your ****ing names are and what you want with me at this time of night”

“Very well, Mister Hart. My name is Zhao Ming, this is my assistant, his name is Li Yin, and this is our partner and translator, her name is Shi Zheng. We are here tonight to offer you a once in a lifetime business opportunity. We have travelled a very long way for a very long time all the way from China to treat with you and, if you will agree to it, we have a very important mission for you to take part in”

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“So let me get this straight? You want me travel back in time to the year 2017 and become a manager in China? Are you mental?”

“We understand this must be quite a lot to take in, Mister Hart. But yes, in simple terms, that is what we are asking.”

“But how? Why?”

“Did your father ever mention anything about a time machine to you? About his past? About your grandfather?”

“No. No he didn’t. Why? He told me his father died in a car crash. He said he was a simple plumber.”

“A simple plumber? No, no, Mister Hart, your grandfather was in-fact the greatest football manager who ever lived. He won it all. The World Cup. Champions Leagues. Premier Leagues. You name it, he won it. The great leaders in China were so impressed by him, he was earmarked for a great quest. A once in a lifetime mission. Perhaps the most important social mission in Chinese history. He was tasked with taking a time machine back in time, then to move to China, to become a manager for a local club, then use his skills and expertise to make this club the best team in China and Asia. In the process, developing Chinese football and footballers, so that eventually, China could become greatest football nation in the entire world.”

“But why? Why would that be such an important mission for the Chinese government and their people?”

“In China, the ultimate mission is to conquer the world using soft politics. Culture and sport. Look at the United States. They have Coca Coca. Disneyland. We tried to do it by dominating the Olympics, we did well and people took notice, but the biggest sport in the world - that is football. If China could become the biggest player in the football game, we believe that people would truly take China a lot more seriously. Once the players are developed, we could have Chinese players starring for the biggest teams in Europe. Little kids all across the world will idolise Chinese footballers. Chinese players will become household names. Next stop… world domination!”

“Wait what?”

“Forget that last part!”

“Okay but hold on. If my grandfather was earmarked for this mission, what happened to him? Why didn’t he do it?”

“Your grandfather was sadly killed by a group of rogue assassins. He was, err…fried. I believe. As you will be aware, your father, who was there at his death, somehow managed to survive and escape in your grandfather’s time machine, but it appears he was killed before he could tell him about the mission. But your father had a good career doing his own thing, we’ve analysed his performances over the years and his management was good. But his ability and determination to continue with an inane and seemingly pointless venture was very impressive and makes us believe you too can succeed in management. The blood line runs strong in the Hart family. We think you will make a fine manager Matthew Hart.”

 “I’m flattered. Truly, I am. But I’ve got so much going for me here. My football career is only just getting started. I’ve got at least 10 years left in me!”

“Forgive me for asking, Mister Hart, but what division are you in currently? Your team has been relegated this season, no? Is your contract not expiring this summer too?”

“Well, err-

“How many clubs have you had interested in you so far? Have you had many texts or calls from agents and club representatives?”

“Tell me more about this time machine”

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