David Spears (Simon Merrells) 2001
First Regular Appearance: 5.1 (#229) Passports Out Sunday 16th September 2001
Last Regular Appearance: 5.12 (#240) It’s My Party Sunday 2nd December 2001
Duration: EP: 229 - 240 ½ SE: 5.1 – 5.12
Position: Assistant Manager / Manager (2001)
Last Seen: Driving away from the Dragons Lair, his relationship with Claudia exposed and after resigning to Sam Irving.
David was a promising player at the height of his career in the early 90’s, Alan Rothman’s protégé in much the same way Stevie Shaw would fill the role at Harchester. David married Dawn Daniels, a professional dancer and performer during this period, and the two were the showbiz couple of the moment, both gaining from the other’s social status. When David retired early from the game, Alan continued as his mentor, training David as part of his backroom staff as he moved across clubs, until David had risen to the role of Assistant Manager.
In July 2001, new Harchester United Chairman Sam Irving appoints Alan as manager, with David joining him at the Dragons Lair. While David is hard at work with the lads, Alan is continuing a secret affair with the career-dwindling Mrs Spears, while plotting his getaway from dreary Harchester in a big money-making move to AC Milan. When David discovers this, he takes revenge by seeing Alan is caught with a fake Milan representative, discussing the money he will pick up from a transfer deal and is subsequently fired from United.
Rothman’s sacking presents David with his biggest opportunity to date - management of the Dragons while they continue in the prestigious Champions League. However with Monday Bandele comes a battle for the role, and the Mallorca Second Leg spells almost UEFA disaster for the team when both men put forward their own, very different tactics.
David struggles with Dawn’s betrayal, and feeling their marriage is not what it used to be, his eye begins to wonder. In the most unexpected of places - the training ground showers - David finds a muddy Claudia Irving beckoning for the young manager’s attention. David and Claudia discover a lot in each other; he the young woman he originally fell for in Dawn, and Claudia a man who gives her the attention she lacks from her work-a-holic father.
Their affair is exposed at the Christmas party when Sam and Dawn walk in on the two, and a furious Mr Irving sacks David for corrupting his daughter! After a sweet scene where David reads Claudia a letter on how a woman she assumes to be Dawn makes him feel, only to then learn it is about her, David realises she doesn’t feel the same about him. When Sam backs down and offers David his job back, he turns down the chance to stay on, saying he can’t be near the Chairman's daughter because he loves her too much. David leaves, unaware Claudia is now the obsession of the vengeful Mrs Spears!