Glipton Grasshoppers are a struggling boys’ football
team who are going nowhere fast – until one day a
Geordie ex-football pro called Jossy Blair comes into their lives and turns them into…Jossy’s Giants!
So begins Sid ”TV’s Mr Darts” Waddell’s classic kids footballing comedy, which ran for two series on BBC1 between 1986 and 87. Although there were only ten episodes of the programme ever made, Jossy’s Giants is still remembered fondly by people of a certain age all over the UK and beyond.
During the course of its run, the series featured stories ranging from Jossy’s fondness for gambling on the gee-gees, to his rivalry with arch nemesis Dave
Sharkey, manager of local rivals the Ecclestone Express, and, in series two, a major crisis which arises when the Giants all discover girls and suddenly
lose all interest in the beautiful game! The programme is also well remembered for its cameo appearances from the likes of Bobby Charlton and the notoriously wooden then-England captain Bryan Robson.
Filmed in and around the town of Stalybridge in the foothills of the Pennines, the producers of the show
scoured the pitches of the local Sunday league boys’ games to find appropriate acting talent for the show. Two of the kids who starred in Jossy’s Giants – Julian Walsh (goalkeeper Harvey) and Julie Foy (bucket carrier Tracey) later went on to land roles in Coronation Street, but most of the other young stars
of the show never went on to do more TV work.