ITV Sunday Night Theatre: Season 4, Episode 12

Another Sunday and Sweet F.A (9 Jan. 1972)
"ITV Saturday Night Theatre" Another Sunday and Sweet F.A (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 30 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Mr. Armistead is the referee for an amateur league Sunday Football match. Disliked and abused by all the players he tries to play fair and ensure they follow the rules. By the end of the ... See full summary »

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Title: Another Sunday and Sweet F.A (09 Jan 1972)

Another Sunday and Sweet F.A (09 Jan 1972) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Swift ...
Mr. Armistead
Gordon McGrae ...
Parker Street Captain
Freddie Fletcher ...
Albion Captain
Fred Feast ...
Parker Street Coach
Joe Gladwin ...
Sam
Duggie Brown ...
Albion Coach
Bert King ...
Albion Linesman
...
Parker Street Goalie
Susan Littler ...
Jeannie
Anne Kirkbride ...
Player's Girlfriend
Clare Sutcliffe ...
Player's Girlfriend
Clare Kelly ...
Gwen
Lynne Carol ...
Woman with Dog
Michael De Frayne ...
Norman, Groundsman (as Michael De Freyne)
Alan Erasmus ...
Parker Street Player
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Storyline

Mr. Armistead is the referee for an amateur league Sunday Football match. Disliked and abused by all the players he tries to play fair and ensure they follow the rules. By the end of the match he's had enough and really uses his head to show them that he's not as useless as they all think. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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Drama

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9 January 1972 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a deliberate pun. The initials F.A. stand for Football Association (football's governing body in England). "Sweet F.A." is also UK slang for "Sweet Fuck All", meaning nothing of any value (it originally stood for "Sweet Fanny Adams", a reference to a young girl who was murdered and her body dismembered in 1867 - the story gained great notoriety and sailors at about the same time who were being issued with new rations of low grade tinned meat joked that they were being served "sweet Fanny Adams"). See more »

Quotes

[to two boys who are fighting in his gateway]
Mr. Armistead: All right lads - in your own gateway. Good lads. Can't you strangle each other at home? That's why your fathers pay rates.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits list only the names of the actors and not the names of the characters that they play. See more »

Connections

Featured in Deirdre & Me: 40 Years on Coronation Street (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A well-observed script makes it enjoyable without anything of great note actually happening
30 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sunday morning arrives in a small town in the north of England and the usual men pour out of their beds to take part in any number of amateur non-league football matches. At one such match Mr Armistead arrives to referee a match between two rival teams. Worrying that he will be throwing a ball on after 20 minutes, he immediately tries to impose himself on a game that could easily become a fight but gets the usual shouts and put downs from the crowd. As the match continues we eavesdrop on those around the game.

In the past few weeks I have been fortunate enough to be able to watch several of the work of writer Jack Rosenthal, the only downside of this chance was that it only came about due to his death earlier this year from cancer. I was aware Rosenthal had been a writer on Coronation Street back when it started but other than that I didn't know a great and never really watched any of his stuff at the time of release. Watching it now makes me realize just how badly one-off plays are treated nowadays – at best we have one-off cop thrillers with ex-soap stars but mostly the drive for ratings has seen 'ordinary' material been dropped in favour of stuff that can be made to look exciting and grabbing. Watching Rosenthal's work this week has been complimented by me digging out my Talking Heads collection and it has highlighted the lack of this type of stuff on the air but in fairness I suppose the BBC schedules are now too busy with Changing Rooms type shows to fit plays in!

Anyway, with the modern obsession with football it seems reasonable that this play would be able to draw an audience. It doesn't have much of a plot but it is nicely observed little play that has plenty of nice dialogue, side stories and realistic touches in both the characters and the match itself. It may not have a solid conclusion or a real underlying meaning to it but I don't think that's the point; instead it is like watching real people and getting to see more of their real lives while still at the match. The football match itself is refreshingly free of the solo runs and glory goals of film football and instead is a talentless grind where people are kicked as much as the ball! The cast do well with this, coming across as arsy as Sunday morning players will usually be (although not as out and out offensive as they are nowadays) but also delivering good lines rather than just being thugs.

Overall it is the writing that makes this film worth seeing because it is all so natural and, like real life, not a great deal actually happens but it carries you along anyway. An enjoyable piece of Sunday morning life that is worth seeing.


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