"He plays for the glory, he plays for the feeling inside."
Collins does a cut and paste job of every scandalous headline from the sports pages to create the George Best like Rod Turner (McShane) a washed up drunk of a footballer whose fall from grace has sent him plummeting to the depths of the lower divisions and their churned up mud splattered pitches on a season of harsh unforgiving wintry Saturdays. That is until rock star club chairman Clint Simon (Paul Nicholas, currently enjoying a resurgence as the latest villain in EastEnders yet here channeling Elton John and his ownership of Watford FC) offers him the opportunity to return to the big time.
Yesterday's Hero hasn't an ounce of credibility or authenticity in either its script or its performances - strange considering McShane's father was a footballer with Manchester United in the '40s and Nicholas was a pop star - with advisor Frank McLintock (Arsenal and Scotland international as well as Leicester's disastrous '77/'78 season manager) definitely scoring an own goal. Collins uses the sport merely as backdrop to explore her usual glossy adult melodrama mixed in with the even more simplistic Roy of the Rovers style storytelling.
And yet, any aficionado of British cinema and popular culture at the time will be drawn by the casting of Faith, Nicholas, Alan Lake, Glynis Barber and of course, Ian McShane - a man whom I have looks-envy for during this late '70s period. Even when playing constantly hungover, he looks great.