Isabelle MacKay (Emma Campbell-Jones)

Appeared: Dream Team 80’s Episodes 1 - 3 (Sunday 21st May – Sunday 4th June 2006)

 

 

Isabelle was from Scotland. In the early 70's she met Glasgow Rangers journeyman Al Mackay, as he was approaching the end of his playing career. Al was a red-blooded Scottish defender, who patriotically had returned from a long stint in the English Football League to finish his days playing in his home country. The two married in 1974, and when Al retired Isabelle was hopeful he would now have more time to spend with her, as his career had always come first. But the replacement for Al was the world of coaching, not his wife. In 1979 Al accepts his biggest post-playing job to date, when he takes the position of youth team manager of Harchester United. Isabelle is uprooted to the English Midlands, where she knows nobody and finds herself with no life outside of the house and being Al's wife.

 

 

Now more lonely and disillusioned with her life, Isabelle is on the lookout for excitement, and it arrives in a completely unexpected form. One of Al's boys in the team is Kevin Nelson, who becomes (or is treated as) his unofficial maintenance man and through this meets Isabelle one day at the house. Isabelle and Kevin find they have very much in common; both feel very far away from where they call home and are grateful to have met someone who understands. Isabelle attends the Midlands Youth Cup game against Oxford, following which Al asks Kevin to drive her home as he has further work commitments. In the car Isabelle begs Kevin to take her out to a bar for just an hour, as she'll go mad if she has to go home and be alone. Kevin is apprehensive in case Al, his boss, finds out, but can see how fed up Isabelle is. They find a cocktail bar, and Isabelle is shocked to discover Kevin is only seventeen. Embarrassed at wanting to go drinking with a teenager, Isabelle asks to go home, and after agreeing they won't tell Al, Isabelle and Kevin kiss for the first time.

 

At first Isabelle is uneasy about seeing Kevin again, worried that he is fulfilling a teenage boy's fantasy of being with an older woman. Kevin assures Isabelle he is serious about her and they go one step further by sleeping together. Isabelle and Kevin continue their secret affair for more than a year, until early in 1982 when, at the opening of Studs nightclub, Isabelle hears Al remark to Kevin that he should dance with girls his own age rather than asking Isabelle. And seeing Kevin with these girls is a stark reminder to Isabelle that Kevin and she can not be together properly. She makes a discreet goodbye to Al, and thanks Kevin for "saving her life" before leaving. The next day Kevin is shocked to find Al drunk at home, and Isabelle has packed all of her things and left.

 

In the following years, Al's alcoholism worsens until he can not hold onto his job at the club, and ironically is often looked after by Kevin. When Kevin can take no more, Al quits his job and Kevin does not hear about him again until 1986, when Al has died from his drinking. Kevin visits Al's grave after the funeral, and sights a women making a hurried getaway. It is Isabelle, and she is carrying a young child with her - who looks remarkably like Kevin! When the boy calls Isabelle "Mummy" Kevin realises that the kid, Archie, is his! Kevin wants to be a part of Archie's life, but Isabelle is settled with a new husband, who Archie believes is his dad. Isabelle asks him to not get involved and reluctantly, Kevin respects her wishes.