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Dougie Durie was dead.


As Hamish, no longer furious, looked forlornly from the window of his new flat out onto the snow covered street below, he felt not only forlorn but also sad and guilty. Dougie Durie was not his best friend,  that was true and he had been a terrible boss, that was also true - but no-one deserved to die. And certainly no-one deserved to die by being run over by a sewage truck. Especially one of their own sewage trucks.


And, even though he had not been a good boss, it was through Dougie Durie that Hamish had started his footballing career, a career that had led him to Italy, Orkney, Gran Canaria. A career that had earned him a lot of money. 


Yet even as he sat here forlorn and sad, there was still a tinge of anger remaining from his meeting with Luis Amor Rodriguez. Before then, the two had never met, and now? Hamish wished they had never met. It was that meeting that had changed, once again, the destiny of Hamish MacDougalls life, this time forever. Probably. 


Hamish had been furious that the new manager of Las Palmas had stolen the players he was raising in his B side. The man had just swept in, cleared out some of the first teamers and replaced them with the high flyers from the B squad. Hamish was furious, and let Rodriguez know in no uncertain terms. They had had a clear the air meeting, which certainly cleared the air - and Hamish’s desk.


I am the manager here now Luis Amor and told him, I will use whatever players I need, and if you don’t like it, well you can leave.


And that was that. 


Hamish had left, his reputation in tatters, his pride battered and pockets full of money. After all, he still had a contract and the club needed to pay that off. Hamish was not too worried as he stormed out of his office and headed to the airport. He would easily get another job. 


And get another job he did. 


As he wiped the remnants of tears from his eyes, Hamish pulled himself together and made his way to his new office. This was a place he knew well, it was an office he had been in many times in his life. As he looked around, a feeling of satisfaction came over him. This was where he had always been destined to be. 


As his mother always said, and he could hear her voice ringing in his head now, sewage never let anyone down.

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The End

Hamish MacDougall was not a bitter man, he rarely held grudges. He went to Dougie Durie's funeral after all. Yet, as Las Palmas, on whom he had secretly been keeping tabs, finished 11th in Liga 2 whilst the team he had been sacked from gained promotion, he couldn't contain a little laugh to himself. He was not a bitter man, but he would like to see the man who sacked him crash and burn. That wasn't really all that nasty after all, was it?


When June came round, it was time for Euro 24 and Hamish was unsure if he wanted to watch it. What if Rodriguez led Luxembourg to sensational glory? In their final two warm up matches they had beaten Wales two nil and drew with Belgium after all. Things were looking reasonably decent for the tiny nations fortunes. Then Hamish remembered that Luxembourg had drawn Poland, France.... and England. They were going to get battered weren't they. Hamish wondered if it would be polite to send a condolence card...


Meanwhile, over in Germany, Luis Amor Rodriguez was not giving the thought of the former B team manager any consideration at all. His only thought right now was in his team doing the best they could at Euro 24. Oh sure, when he had taken this job on, it had only been a bit of fun, and a way to easily make a stupid amount of money. Now though? Now he had a chance to do something with his life, and he wasn't going to throw that away lightly. Sure they had Poland, sure they had France, and sure they had an England team that had battered them in the qualifiers. But had they really, he thought for a moment. Well yeah they had, but miracles happen in football, why not this time as well? 


The squad announcement saw few, if any surprises for Luxembourg. The only changes from the previously listed squad were the inclusion of 17 year old Borussia Moenchengladbach defender Dylan Joachim for squad fringe player Martin Marvins, whilst Dirk Carlson got the nod over Chris Philipps. The only other change was the inclusion of another teenager, in Wolfsburg midfielder Sven Agovic who replaced Florik Shala. There was minor surprise at these two inclusions, but building for the future was important to Luis Amor and his plan was to snap these players up now before Germany did. The fact is,  neither of these players would ever really be good enough to play for Germany, but just in case. After all the Germans couldn't be that good given they lost two of their group matches and only snuck into the knockout rounds as one of the 'best' 3rd placed teams. 


For Luis Amor though, the only thing that mattered was how Luxembourg did. Having drawn with Austria and Belgium in the warms ups in March & June, and having beaten Wales & Scotland, there was hope. A teeny tiny bit of hope, but hope nevertheless. And that hope lasted 44 minutes of the opening match with France, before Kylian Mbappe struck what would turn out to be the only goal of the match.

It had been a brave Luxembourg performance, which had gained plaudits around the world, but plaudits don't win trophies. And with Poland next, this surely had to be the chance for Luxembourg to snatch the win that might, just might, be enough to snatch a 3rd placed berth in the knockout round, and that in itself would surely be one of the most amazing achievements in football ever. 

Things were looking really good against Poland as the footballing gods seemed to smile sweetly on the tiny nation. A 20th minute penalty converted by Dany Mota sent them on their way, and when Poland's Arkadiusz Reca was red carded on 28 minutes, things were really looking good. The sending off though just seemed to inspire Poland and by half time the match was level again. The win though was still there for the taking, and on 63 minutes Claude Joubert pounced to score what would turn out to be the winning goal and all that remained between Luxembourg and a place in the last sixteen was... England. 






Edited by Peacemaker7
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The Real End

Hamish MacDougall was nervous. 

Of course it couldn't really happen. Yes they had played well against France, yes they had beaten Poland but now they had England, and no way were Luxembourg beating England. And yet...

England were already through. They didn't really need to try much. And, worst of all, a draw would be enough. A draw against an England side who had beaten them four one and two nil in the qualifiers. No, it couldn't happen, Hamish could relax. Rodriquez side were about to be humiliated, and Hamish was going to enjoy every minute of it.  Even if it did mean selling his soul to the devil, even if it did mean supporting England.

Come half time, the match was tied at nil all. Hamish was getting nervous again. To be fair, Luxembourg had played well but England had looked like a team going through the motions. This wasn't fair, not fair at all, but five minutes into the second half, Hamish MacDougall was celebrating like a madman, the first England goal he had ever celebrated in his life as Marcus Rashford finally sent them into the lead. Perhaps not a well deserved lead, but a lead nevertheless. 

Surely now, Luxembourg would get the hammering that Rodriguez truly deserved. Five minutes later though, Alessio Curci's 12th goal for his nation that made him the 2nd top all time Luxembourg goalscorer, levelled the scores and Hamish had to resist the temptation to throw his beer can through the TV screen. There was still time, there was no way this was going to end in anything but tears for the man he now hated the most in the whole world.

The game now seemed to be going in five minute bursts as on the hour Declan Rice sent England back in front and now this was surely the end of the line. The game went on, Luxembourg to be fair continued to battle away but as time ran out, so the tears were about to flow. Five minutes to go, an innocuous Curci cross into the box, Jordan Henderson tried to knock the ball behind for a corner, only to succeed in knocking the ball into his own net. Luxembourg were level, and were on their way to the last sixteen of Euro 24.

It was too much for Hamish to take. This time he did throw his nearly full beer can at the TV, it bounced off smashing into the mirror on the wall, which shattered into a thousand pieces. It was probably a million to one chance, as one of those pieces flew through the air, gouging deep into Hamish MacDougalls throat. 

As he lay bleeding to death, the final thoughts in his mind were those of his mother, 

I told you so son, football is evil, it killed your father and now it's killed you...



Edited by Peacemaker7
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  • 2 weeks later...



So really, this story ends here. As always the game of FM throws up scenarios you can never predict or expect, which is good. I felt that ending the actual story with the death of Hamish and his mothers last words was the best thing, and worked in really well. But there was one last twist of fate. For those of you who think the story ends with Hamish, do not read the spoiler below. But if you want to see the twist of fate that merely adds, imo to the comedic value, then read  on....




In the end, it would not be for Luxembourg or Luis Amor, as England struck a 96th minute winner. There was still possibilities for one of the four best third placed teams, but in the end the Germans, despite ending with the same goal difference, would advance having scored more goals. It was a cruel, horrible way for a tiny nation to lose out, but such is life. Sometimes, footballing miracles do happen. But not this time. 


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