Jerry Block (Michael Melia) 1998-2000

First Regular Appearance: 2.1 (#65)  Tuesday 1st September 1998

Last Regular Appearance: 3.50 (#190)  Thursday 6th April 2000

Duration: EP: 65 - 190 ½ SE: 2.1 – 3.50

Position: Harchester United Chairman (1998-2000)

Last Seen: On the airport escalator leaving for Brazil, after Lynda threatened to reveal his Wembley hitman secret.

 

Jerry was born in 1955, and worked his way to becoming a successful businessman over a number of years. By his thirties he had headed up several of his own companies which included Block Enterprises and BAJ, a building supplies company. He had married his first wife and had a son, but this marriage was over by the early 90's.

Always with one business meeting to fly out to and important deals to negotiate, Jerry spent a lot of his time on the move, and it was one such journey that brought Lynda Duxbury into his life. Lynda was a salesgirl at a department store in Manchester Airport, and seventeen years younger than Jerry, but they both had a shared interest in each other, and soon Jerry was making more visits to the store where Lynda unofficially became his personal shopper. Jerry offered Lynda security, and he was taken that a beautiful young woman wanted to be with him. The two got engaged and married in 1995, and the Block's had a comfortable first few years together.

In the spring of 1998, Jerry was on the lookout for a new investment, and Harchester United, a football club at the bottom end of the Premier League table seemed an attractive buy. The tired old stadium of Addison Road could be demolished and an attractive housing development put in its place, while the club could move to a newly built, bigger home ground. Stephanie Jacobs sells the club to Jerry for £25 million pounds, but Jerry has no experience in the football business. His only connection being his old friend Gordon Gallagher, who in his youth was a central defender in Scotland. He has Fraser, his hard-man assistant for guidance, and invites Biloo Kapur back into the club after he was fired by Stephanie.

When Jerry needs the backing of several councillors to obtain planning permission for the new stadium, he gets into dodgy dealings with Councillor Lal. This results in a bribe Biloo was supposed to be handling being accidentally passed to youth teamer Billy O'Neill instead. Lal offers a compromise to the bribe - that the youth team take in his son Hari, which Jerry forces upon an unenthusiastic Frank Patcham. When Hari is bullied out of the team for his lack of talent (and pushy father), Lal falls out with Jerry and accuses the club of racism. With his project plans in jeopardy, Jerry goes head to head with Lal and sets up his own local political party, The Dragon Party with Des Baker as it's main candidate. Lal is worried when the DP come only fifty votes behind him, and Jerry's warning that he will field an even better candidate the next time round convinces Lal to grant the planning permission.

Jerry's big star-signing is Argentinean striker Luis Amor Rodriguez, which again causes ructions this time with manager Ian Coates. It isn't Luis clashing in the dressing room that Jerry needs to worry about however, rather the attention Rodriguez has for Mrs Block! When Frank Patcham takes over managerial duties for the first team, he turns down Jerry's offer to stay permanently, so the chairman proudly appoints his star player to manage alongside his role on the pitch. Preoccupied with one club-related matter after another, Jerry becomes suspicious that Lynda has been seeing someone else. Unbeknown to them, Jerry sees Lynda and Luis together, and discovers she is planning to run away with Señor Rodriguez to Argentina. Determined not to lose his wife he meets with the sinister Mr. MacKinley, and Jerry arranges with him for Luis to be assassinated after the FA Cup Final at Wembley. Mackinley takes his aim from behind the stadium scoreboard, but as they join the players celebrating on the pitch Jerry can't intervene as Lynda gets in Luis' path, and she is grazed by the first bullet while John Black is killed by the second.

Lynda is in and out of hospital all summer, eventually suffering no more than memory loss, but it is enough to allow Jerry to turn her against Luis while seeing that she becomes ever more dependant on him. The club is now based in its new stadium, The Dragon's Lair, the building of which has left behind a huge debt. On top of all this, the club loses millions in insurance when four of the first team are killed in a plane crash on Biloo's private jet, which isn't seen as official club transport. In his stress, Jerry brings in two of his old contacts to easen his dire straights at the club, Marilyn Harwood as Chief Executive and Gordon as Director of Football, later caretaker manager.

As Jerry fights off D.I Dawson's suspicions that he knows more about the shooting, Wembley gunman MacKinley returns and demands his money owed, which Jerry hasn't paid since the job, as he sees it, wasn't done. Mackinley abducts Jerry, and threatens to kill Luis for real there and then unless he gets his money, which Jerry has to hand over. His paranoia and guilt over the incident continues to eat away at him however, especially when a leak at the club reveals confidential stories and Jerry fears his secret is going to come out. Jerry feels betrayed when it is learnt Gordon was behind the press breaches, and sends his old 'friend' on his way with a punch. Lynda becomes deeply suspicious that Jerry knows who shot her, and escapes the control of Jerry and her sister Maxine to reunite with Luis. Jerry has to accept he has lost Lynda, but he finds it easier to get by with the less classy Maxine by his side, ready to take Lynda's place.

Jerry realises it may not be just Lynda he loses, for when Councillor Lal's corruption trial sees him implicated, he requests Marilyn become the new figurehead. To improve prospects, Marilyn invites her old boyfriend, high-flying businessman Prashant Dattani to invest in the club, against Jerry's wishes. When this allows Prash to buy up as many shares as he likes, Jerry knows it will only take Lynda to sell her 15% (which she ultimately will do to spite him) to make Prash the new owner. Jerry harshly fires Marilyn, and sees to the end of another long-term friendship. Meanwhile, Lynda and Luis get the evidence they need to nail Jerry when Karl Fletcher hands them a video of the FA Cup final day, where Jerry is caught in the background paying MacKinley the first half of the money he was due to receive. It's still inconclusive, but Lynda makes a blackmail attempt that Jerry sign over the club and leave or she will take it to the police. Jerry knows he cannot risk it, and with a heavy heart, gives up the last of his empire. Jerry is last seen heading for a flight to Brazil at the airport, poignantly telling a Harchester fan he "used to be" Jerry Block.

Little was known of what happened to Jerry after that. In 2005, upon her release from prison, Lynda was re-employed at the club with an unknown, mysterious new owner. His secretive, yet over the top actions reminded Lynda so much of Jerry, and she became convinced he had rebought the club. Discovering a company called BlockMedia, she visited it's headquarters expecting to find Jerry there and back in England. In fact, she saw Jerry's son, Jonathan, who informed her Jerry had in fact died a year before and he set up this company with the money he was left by his dad. Jerry had died, at the age of 49, still apparently a wealthy man.