The Football Special is the fifth episode of the seventeenth season.

The Football Special
Season 17, Episode 5
Air date 27 June 2014 (original)

15 October 2018 (revised)

Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
The Three Little Engines Part 3
Rules and Regulations


It was the end of the Year on Sodor. The engines had enjoyed their Christmas and subsequent break.

"It was so cold in there. Nothing but a bunch of yelling and arguing about football," complained James. "I mean, what are the odds that Leicester will win the Premier League?"

"I believe 5000-1," chuckled David. "But look at us now - in second place."

"Huge improvement over last season any ways," continued James.

"There's still plenty of match days left too!"

David the J11 first worked at Leicester from when he was built in 1903 until the outbreak of the Second World War. It wasn't until Nationalisation in 1948 that he permanently moved away. Due to his past in Leicester, he developed a deep fondness for the city, especially the football team.

"Leicester City has done exceptionally well so far," David explained to Molly and Dodger.

"Even Manchester United was no problem," commented Dodger.

"You know," went on David, "my Driver has made a bet that if Leicester wins the League, he'll invite all the crews to have free pizza!"

"Pizza? Why?"

"Well, Leicester's coach rewarded the players with free pizza after keeping a clean sheet against Crystal Palace."

"That's a pretty good bargain," put in Molly. "I'm sure there's others who think otherwise."

"Of course!" replied David. "Liverpool, Arsenal even Tottenham supporters out there."

"You must have really enjoyed Leicester."

"Indeed! Probably my second favourite place in the UK."

"What's the first?"

"Sodor!" laughed David.

Then the three engines set back to work.

The months passed and David continued his normal routine but always keeping up to date with the matches.

It was soon May which meant a champion was soon to be crowned.

"If Leicester wins today, the title is all there's," explained David.

"I believe Manchester United begs to differ," inquired Gordon.

"They're a good team and Vardy is absent, isn't he?" asked Henry.

"Yes he's important but the defence has been solid."

The match was due to start about an hour before David's goods train.

As his crew got him ready, David was anxious to get over to the Station and ask the Stationmaster about the results so far.

Finally, the J11 steamed into the Big Station. Oliver was arranging his trucks.

"Well, here are your trucks. And apparently the Stationmaster has news for you."

"The score's level right now. One to one. Anybody's game," explained the Stationmaster.

"I guess a draw isn't that bad. Old Trafford is a tough field."

"Although it does mean Tottenham can catch up tomorrow," observed Oliver.

"Well, yes. With this score, if Tottenham didn't win, Leicester would be champion."

"Best to Leicester then," continued Oliver. "Nice to see a different team win. Donald and Douglas are always up and over about Celtic."

"Well they have the Scottish Premiership for the past couple years."

Then the Guard's whistle blew.

"See you later!"

When David reached Vicarstown, he found out that the game finished at a draw.

"Tomorrow's game won't be until night-time," said the Driver. "So we'll see if we can finish and watch the game live."

The following day was like any other and although his primary focus was work, the back of his mind kept thinking about Leicester.

David was keeping time and all seemed fine. Presently, he stopped at Killdane, waiting for some trucks from the Aluminium Works and slate from the Blue Mountain Quarry.

Paxton arrived in no time.

"Here are your trucks," he called cheerfully. "Now, I have get these to Arlesburgh."

"Thanks!" replied David as Paxton rattled away.

"Now, waiting on Andy, aren't we?"

"Yes," replied the Driver.

Then the Stationmaster came up to the footplate.

"Mark has failed at Kirk Machan. Andy cannot push him all the way here. You'll have to go and help him."

David shunted his train into the Yard and started to the rescue.

At Kirk Machan, everyone was making a racket!

"My word, I'd never seen such as frenzy since Patrick's derailment at Summit," thought Culdee, who had brought passengers for Mark.

But then they heard David's whistle so the Guard tactfully shooed everyone into the coaches.

"Sorry about this," began the Electric Engine.

"No need to apologise," soothed David. "I think the passengers are just glad that they're on their way again."

David brought the train down to Abbey and then back to Killdane. Not long after he had shunted Mark and his coaches out of the away, Andy arrived with the delivery. Finally, David sorted out his train and delivered the train to Barrow.

Night had settled when he arrived and the J11 was exhausted. His crew was too. He returned to Vicarstown to sleep . . .

The next morning . . .

"He had a tiring day, didn't he?" smirked Dodger.

"And he got so distracted he completely forgot about the match," added Molly.

David yawned. "What match? Fireman uses it to start the fire . . ."

"You know, the one that confirmed Leicester as champions," chuckled Dodger.

"Huh? Oh right! Goodness gracious. That trip to Kirk Machan made me forget all about it!"

"Relax, Tottenham drew with Chelsea so with two matches to go, Leicester is the new Premier League champion," said the Driver.

"Yes!" cheered David. "First time in 132 year too."

"Really?" asked Dodger.

"Indeed. The club was founded in 1884."

"Then go ahead and celebrate," smiled Molly.

"Best of all, we get free pizza," chuckled the Driver.

David was simply happy for his home football team and despite being away from Leicester he was very proud of them.




  • This is the first episode since the thirteenth season episode Bulgy that Oliver has a speaking role.
  • A revised version of this episode was released in 2018 and takes place from the last week of 2015 to May 2016. It covers one of the author's favourite moments in football as well as establishing David's Leicester background as covered in Real Engines.
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