Michael Dillon (Noah Huntley) 1999-2000

First Regular Appearance: 3.1 (#141)  Tuesday 21st September 1999

Last Regular Appearance: 3.39 (#179)  Tuesday 29th February 2000

Duration: EP: 141 - 179 ½ SE: 3.1 – 3.39

Squad Number/Position: #2 (Right/Centre Defence) (1999-2000)

Last Seen: Unable to stay at Harchester after Ann falls for Scott, Michael leaves for Charlton after they offer him another deal.

 

 

Michael was university material, those around him just knew he would finally undertake it once his playing career finished. In fact, he would have excelled in any intellectual role if his skills in defence hadn't been good enough at the right age. Thankfully, a footballing career being his passion, it was, but only just. He wasn't as talented as many of those he played with, or found it easy to make friends with most of them due to unfairly being viewed as a snob for being brainy, but he could inspire his team mates when a game was on its head, and was a strong leader.

Michael's first professional club was Bristol Rovers, where he began as an apprentice in the late 80's before gaining a contract with the first team. Michael was a great success at Bristol, a favourite with the fans and it was here in 1992 he met his long-term girlfriend Ann Patterson. Michael left Bristol shortly afterwards and Ann joined him as he moved to further Division 1 clubs over the following years, from Swindon to Wolverhampton Wanderers to finally, the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers. At the end of his first season at Blackburn, they were relegated from the Premiership but Michael's performances hadn't gone unnoticed by several of the League's managers. He and Blackburn opted for FA Cup holders Harchester United, and they paid £4million pounds for the now twenty-nine year old Michael in July 1999. Ann, who had built up her Football PR business through clients at Michael's previous clubs, was thrilled that she could continue to expand in the Premier League at Harchester.

Michael had big shoes to fill upon his arrival at the club. He had a fair and supportive manager and team mate in Luis Amor Rodriguez, the same age as him, and made Michael the club's new captain following the loss of previous stalwart John Black in the Wembley shootings. While Michael may have to tolerate loud-mouth Scott Lucas's attitude, he earned the respect of the younger players, especially Leon Richards who asks Michael's advice on proposing to his girlfriend Julie following their win over Ajax. Michael and Ann have befriended Leon and Julie and turn down a flight home on Biloo Kapur's private jet, so Leon and Julie can get home after announcing their engagement. The plane crashes, and Michael and Ann struggle with the guilt of how it could have been them for long after.

The tension doesn't escalate between Michael and Scott, so it is decided that one will have to go, Michael being the oldest was the obvious choice. Charlton were interested, and the sale would enable Harchester to bring in Luis and Ray's old team mate Didier Baptiste into Michael's position. Michael was strongly disappointed at being the one made to go, but accepted the offer which, to Harchester's surprise, fell through when Michael's medical discovered a form of arthritis. The club was now lumbered with Michael and Didier both vying for the same place in the team. Michael's bitterness at his treatment by the club during this time had put a strain on his relationship with Ann, who was spending more time with Scott, now a client of hers. She and Scott fall in love, but Ann tries to stop this as she feels guilty for how long she's been with Michael.

Knowing he couldn't compete with hot-property players like Scott and Didier, Michael takes his chance to get back into the team and plays right back, which gives his game a new lease of life. Now feeling a valued part of the team, Michael proposes to Ann on live TV after a game in which he is awarded Man of the Match. Ann feels pressured into accepting, and goes right up to the day of the wedding before she confesses she is in love with Scott and they want to make a go of things. Michael feels betrayed and embarrassed, to lose Ann to Scott of all people hurts him deeply. He knows he cannot stay in Harchester a day more, and Ray goes back to Charlton, returning with a reduced offer which Michael accepts.