Danny Rawsthorne (Scott Taylor) 2000-2002
First Regular Appearance: 4.5 (#207) Sunday 29th October 2000
Last Regular Appearance: 5.32 (#260) Forsaking All Others Sunday 5th May 2002
Duration: EP: 207 - 260 ½ SE: 4.5 – 5.32
Squad Number/Position: #15 / #16 (Attacking Midfield/Striker) (2000-2002)
Last Seen: Fighting back at Hankin before taking his seat bound for the UEFA Cup Final. Dies in the coach crash.
Danny grew up in Stockport, in an Irish-heritage family with several brothers and sisters. After leaving school, he was accepted by Harchester United as an apprentice, and showed such promise that by the time he turned 18 in 2000, Danny had made the first team.
After an impressive debut against Bradford City, Danny is introduced to Rachel, the new club receptionist. However, Rachel was previously involved in an affair with club captain Matt Conlon before either came to Harchester, and this immediately creates a wedge between she and Danny. The two sleep together for the first time that Christmas, and Matt, despite living with his wife and kids, is so angry he gets into a fight with Danny. Rachel decides to leave after this and Danny is gutted to lose her.
Shortly after, gold-digging duo Maria and Donna arrive on the scene, sinking their claws into Danny’s housemates Campbell and Eddie. At a house party, the girls spike Danny’s drink and he has a bad reaction, with Eddie fetching an ambulance. With Campbell, Danny tries to show Eddie that his new love Maria is only after his money. Rounding off his impressive debut season, Danny scores the winning goal that achieves Harchester a third place position, and Champions League qualification.
Harchester’s UEFA Cup Tie takes them to Dublin to face Shelbourne, and Danny meets Lisa who has brought her young son Charlie to the game. Danny and Lisa hit it off, but plans to meet up after the match fall through when Danny tests positive for a random drugs test. This is down to Danny and most of the team sharing Andrei Belanov’s dietary supplements, and after doing a runner to Lisa’s house to gain her advice, he takes a second test which clears him. Lisa doesn’t adjust to life in the public eye as a footballer’s girlfriend, and with the team taking the mick of Danny’s mum-like girlfriend, the two split up. When his good friend Peggsy is injured after taking drugs with some girls he and Danny hook up with, Danny tracks down Lisa and persuades her that they can still make it work.
When Danny gets the call-up to the England Under-21’s team, money-grabbing agent Taylor Doyle tries to convince him to play for Ireland, who have an upcoming friendly against Finland Danny is eligible for. With the World Cup just around the corner, Danny goes for Ireland, scoring on his debut. His status at Harchester goes up when he temporarily replaces Stevie as captain, but his run of good luck changes with the return of his drunken gambler of a “father” Joe Rawsthorne. Joe brings the revelation that he is not Danny’s real father, so the link to his Irish-born grandmother which Danny was using to play for Ireland is now gone. Danny is affected badly by the news, and learns from his mother Kath that he was the result of an affair while Joe was away working on the oil rigs.
In the heat of the revelation, Danny criticises Sven-Goren Eriksson on Sky Sports, ending any chance he had of playing for England. Taylor uses Danny’s dilemma to his own advantage, paying Joe to record a secret tape with he and Danny discussing how he no longer has the link to Ireland, and using it to force Danny into taking a transfer to Atletico Madrid. While Danny feels he has no choice in order to keep his playing standards high, Lisa won’t leave as Charlie’s dad would never allow him to be taken that far. Danny confides in Tash about the tape Taylor has, and while she breaks into Taylor’s room to retrieve it, Paul Hankin learns of Danny’s parentage, and Joe sells the recording to him.
As the team are about to leave for the UEFA Cup Final, Hankin shows Danny what will be the cover of his newspaper tomorrow - the scandal regarding his heritage and International future. Danny hits back with, eerily, how Hankin won’t be able to hurt him again, and boards the coach. While on the M1, the coach comes off the road and plunges down an embankment. Danny, along with Stevie, Linton Alexander and Claudia Irving are all killed.