It’s been 14 years since the final whistle blew on Footballers’ Wives.
The show – which centred on the colourful antics of the wives and girlfriends at the fictional Earl’s Park football club – was one of the most outrageous TV shows ever when it aired from 2002 to 2006.
With the show’s creator now working on a musical adaptation for the stage, here’s a look back at some of the wildest plots, ranked in order of just how shocking (and ridiculous) they were...
20. Harley and Shannon’s wedding goes awry
Harley and Shannon’s wedding was a lavish, star-studded affair, with a Hello! Magazine deal to boot.
But their big day took an unexpected turn, when after a hot air balloon ride, they somehow ended up in a lion enclosure, waking up the morning after looking into the jaws of a hungry 400-pound lion.
19. Jason gets Jackie pregnant
Jason wasn’t exactly famed for keeping it in his trousers, but he hit a new low when he bedded Jackie – the mother of his best friend and teammate Kyle (who also just happened to be EastEnders’ Kathy Beale).
Jackie ended up getting pregnant, but not wanting the affair to come out, and with Chardonnay and Kyle experiencing trouble having their own children, the pair adopted the baby to pass off as their own.
It wasn’t long before Jason uncovered the truth about Paddy’s real parentage and he fought to be a father to his son, even kidnapping him from the Pascoes’ home.
However, he later cut all ties from the baby when doctors discovered he had been born intersex.
18. Tanya and Jason stage Frank’s accident
In the very first episode, Jason and Tanya discovered Earls Park boss Frank was planning to replace him as captain with a new star signing.
Tanya attacked Frank in a fit of rage, causing him to fall and hit his head on the side of a car.
After finding out what his wife had done, Jason helped her push Frank’s car off the side of the road, making it look like a drunken accident.
17. Liberty’s affair
Liberty was a late entrant into the Footballers’ Wives universe when she joined the show in the final series, but her character was memorable nonetheless.
She had been enjoying an affair with her female PA Ursula behind Tremaine’s back, and their secret was rumbled when a long-lens photographer caught them in a passionate moment and the photo was splashed across the front pages.
Liberty managed to convince Tre that the photo had been digitally altered, and the pair even appeared on Richard & Judy to state that was the case.
However, the truth came spilling out on Liberty and Tre’s wedding day when he overheard his new wife arguing with Ursula about her sleeping with someone else.
16. Chardonnay’s boobs catch fire during her hen do
Chardonnay was gearing up for the showbiz wedding of the century as she celebrated her hen do back in series one.
But her wedding to sweetheart Kyle was nearly called off after her boobs caught fire during a accident involving a group of male fans who were harassing her at her hen do.
15. Tanya’s return
Tanya took a break from the show when Amber drove her out of the country, after the truth about her lies was uncovered.
However, with Amber later out of the way, Tanya returned during the fifth series in unmistakable fashion.
Seen checking in at an airport carrying an urn, it was revealed she’d married a man during her time in Brazil, only for him to now be dead.
Leaving the urn behind on the check-in desk, she added: “Tell you what, darling. You keep it. I won’t be needing that where I’m heading.”
14. Katie Price makes a cameo
With Katie Price being the biggest celebrity in the UK at the time the show was on air, it was only right that she popped up in the glamorous world of Footballers’ Wives.
Pricey was a guest at Shannon and Harley’s wedding, and even had a speaking role – although sadly, evidence of her Bafta-worthy performance does not appear to have made it as far as YouTube.
13. Bruno accidentally kills Conrad
After two seasons of drama, Conrad met a grisly end when Bruno accidentally shot him.
Bruno’s wife Lucy had planned to escape her abusive husband with a man she’d met off the internet, Dr Giles. But he later tried to kill Lucy and her daughter Angelica, believing he was re-creating the accident that killed his real fiancée the previous year.
With an armed Bruno in hot pursuit, he ended up shooting Conrad mistaking him for Giles, killing him instantly.
12. Tanya outs Noah with rent boy sex tape
With Tanya having finally won Conrad from Amber, she was furious when she discovered he had been playing away with closeted gay teammate, Noah.
After Conrad called off their affair, Tanya set Noah up with a rent boy and live-streamed the whole encounter at a party – and therefore outed him – to ensure he never went near Conrad again.
11. Tanya crosses over into Bad Girls
After Amber planted drugs on Tanya and called the police, Tanya was sentenced to five years in jail, finding herself banged up in Larkhall – the prison in sister ITV drama Bad Girls.
Tanya’s stint behind bars was just as dramatic as her life on the outside, as no sooner than she arrived than she was was the prime suspect in the mass poisoning that resulted in death of an inmate.
After clearing her name, Tanya cut a deal with the Wing Governor to frame a troublesome inmate for planting the drugs on her, getting her off the hook and out of jail.
10. The return of Jeanette Dunkley
While carrying out a community service sentence at an old people’s home, Tanya was horrified by the reappearance of Nurse Dunkley, who was the only person who knew the truth about Frank’s “accident”.
Jeanette blackmailed money out of Tanya, before it was revealed she was actually working for the club boss, who was looking to prove Tanya had nearly killed him.
Jeanette wore a wire to a meeting with Tanya, who soon realised what the naughty nurse was up to. She soon changed the conversation to how Jeanette had previously had sex with an unconscious Frank while he was in a coma, as the horrified Earls Park honcho listened in.
The two women then united, with Tanya protecting Jeanette from Frank by disguising her as a resident of the old people’s home she worked at.
9. Chadonnay kills Jason with a champagne bottle
By the end of the second series, Jason didn’t have a single ally left, with everyone having a reason to want him dead.
At his and Tanya’s vow renewal, she discovered he had cheated on her once again, calling off the wedding the middle of the ceremony.
As he headed up to the roof to drown his sorrows, a drunken Jason fell and was left clinging to a ledge by his fingertips. But someone was determined to ensure the job was done and hit his hand with a champagne bottle (camp), sending him falling to his death.
When the show returned for its third series, it was revealed Chardonnay was the mystery assailant – but she had not been able to cope with her guilt and had developed an eating disorder, subsequently dying off screen.
8. Amber gaslights Bruno as revenge for Conrad’s death
With Bruno responsible for Conrad’s death, a grieving Amber was out for revenge during the fourth series – but she wasn’t about to let him know that.
After getting close to him, she moved in with him so that she could gaslight him into believing he was losing his mind.
With the plot not going quite to plan, she then tried to poison him before attempting to shoot him in a dramatic showdown.
But in scenes that echoed Conrad’s death, she ended up shooting the wrong person, blinding Roger when she accidentally pulled the trigger on him.
Amber was then sectioned and taken away, never to be seen again.
7. Garry guides a blind Roger down a lift shaft to his death
After new Earls Park boss Garry tried to rape Jackie, a blind Roger had a confrontation with him, threatening to expose his recent mistreatment of a player.
Realising it was time for drastic action, Garry guided Roger over to an out-of-order lift shaft, sending the former club boss plummeting to his death.
This storyline later took centre stage in the final moments of the series, as after Tanya discovered Garry was responsible for Roger’s demise, she had tried to bribe him.
Arriving at a meeting to exchange the money, Garry had prepared two lines of cocaine for them – only for it to be revealed he had laced Tanya’s with rat poison.
Tanya’s fate was then left unclear as the credits rolled for the final time on the show.
6. Frank’s revenge from beyond the grave
Frank might have been dead and buried, but he managed to get one over on his wife Tanya from beyond the grave.
In his final act of revenge, a pregnant Tanya received a tape with a video message from Frank, in which revealed he had been putting holes in the condoms they had been using during their ‘arrangement’.
Believing the child she was carrying was that of lover Conrad, Tanya was aghast when she ran water through the leaky condoms, realising there was a chance she’d be having Frank’s baby.
5. Nurse Dunkley tries to have sex with a comatose Frank
With Tanya and Jason worried that Frank would wake up from his coma and remember they were the reason why he was in it, they were thrown a lifeline when Tanya caught unhinged nurse Jeanette Dunkley trying to have sex with a comatose Frank.
Tanya agreed to keep silent but used Jeanette to try and persuade Frank’s ex-wife and son to turn off his life support machine.
But just as everyone had gathered to say goodbye, Frank woke from his coma.
4. Tanya shags Frank to death
If there’s only one thing every Footballers’ Wives fan remembers, its Tanya bumping off husband Frank by shagging him to death.
The pair had married as part of a business arrangement after she was left in crippling debt by ex Jason’s death. But having begun an affair with Conrad, Tanya decided to see off her husband to free herself from their deal.
She concocted a lethal combination of Viagra, alcohol and cocaine before having sex with him, knowing his dodgy ticker wouldn’t hold up under the strain of it all.
Sure enough, it didn’t, resulting in one of the most famous on-screen deaths ever.
3. Paulo is revealed to be Eva’s son
Even incest wasn’t off limits in Footballers’ Wives, when in series five, it was revealed that new Earls Park player Paulo was Eva’s (aka actual Joan Collins’) son, as well as her lover.
After becoming suspicious about their relationship, Tanya – who’d been having an affair with Paulo – discovered Eva had adopted Paulo as a child from another country.
Viewers had also seen how Eva had been using bad memories of his childhood in order to control him.
After Paulo later moved in with Tanya having finally escaped Eva, Tanya was sickened when after a fight at a party, Paulo begged her to punish him in front of all the guests.
He was subsequently taken off to a psychiatric unit.
2. Tanya’s baby swap
Long before EastEnders’ baby swap storyline, Footballers’ Wives was courting controversy with a similar plot.
Conrad had got wife Amber and mistress Tanya pregnant, but little did he know Tanya was living in fear that the baby was her late husband Frank’s.
Not wanting the truth to come out, Tanya enlisted the help of Nurse Dunkley to swap the babies, so that if Amber’s accused Tanya of having a child with someone else, a paternity test would show that the baby had Conrad’s DNA.
To make the swap convincing, Tanya was seen covering the baby in fake tan to look more like Amber.
1. Tanya’s baby is smothered to death by Amber’s dog
In somewhat shocking scenes that we’re not sure would make it to air now, Amber was horrified when she discovered her pet dog Krishna sat on the face of her son Pundarik (who, unknown to her, was actually Tanya’s biological baby).
With the baby smothered to death, a police investigation was subsequently launched, which inadvertently exposed Tanya’s baby lie when it was found Pundarik was wearing fake tan at the time of his death.
Twigging what Tanya had been up to, Amber ambushed the christening of Tanya’s ‘son’ Troy and reclaimed her biological son.