Spotting the ball

21 July 2010

What’s the difference between English football, and the end of Danny Boyle’s film Trainspotting? Not a lot it seems. Big spoiler alert, but if you’ve seen Trainspotting you’ll remember that at the end the mostly druggie pals find themselves with a bag with £16,000 in it and try to work out how to steal it from each other.

Here’s Wikipedia’s account:

As Begbie and Sick Boy leave to order another round of drinks, Renton suggests to Spud that they both steal the money. After a moment of hesitation, Sick Boy returns and notes that the two friends have not already run off with the money. Sick Boy then asks why they haven’t, indicating that he would have. … Begbie savagely attacks another customer over a spilled beer. As his friends try to stop this senseless attack, Begbie slices Spud’s hand open with a knife. This incident convinces Renton to go through with the plan of stealing the whole £16,000 from his friends.

And here’s Owen Gibson, in The Guardian, explaining why the Football Association and the Premiership haven’t been able to agree on a winter break for football, despite a general consensus that it is a good idea:

The FA would seek assurances that clubs would not arrange potentially lucrative overseas tours during the break and that players would be available for an England squad get-together. … Premier League clubs, meanwhile, would want binding assurances that the FA would not seek to fill the gap with a lucrative Wembley friendly.

In Trainspotting, of course, Renton, who’s cleaned his act up, gets most of the money, and gives some of it to Spud. Begbie gets arrested. It’s as happy an ending as could be contrived for such a bunch of characters. In the footballing sequel, none of the characters are as likeable.

The poster, designed by Paddy Dunne, is for Devious Theatre’s 2008 stage production of Trainspotting.

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