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This Sporting Life was the fifth story of the sixth season of Big Finish Productions' Short Trips series. It was read by Peter Purves.

Publisher's summary[]

When the Doctor, Steven, and Dodo arrive in London in March 1966, World Cup fever is already underway. But disaster has struck: the trophy has been stolen, and the police are at a loss as to who could have taken it. When someone shoves part of the trophy into Steven's hands, the travellers become embroiled in the case..


The TARDIS materialises in the deserted streets of London in 1966 and the First Doctor, Steven Taylor and Dodo Chaplet are sent away by a policeman, the area having been cordoned off. From a poster, they learn that the Jules Rimet Cup has been stolen. A small man runs towards them and shoves a package into Steven's hands before running off, Dodo giving chase but losing him when he teleports away.

Steven opens the package and finds the base of the cup and a letter demanding £15,000 with the threat of the rest of the cup being destroyed. The Doctor finds that the package and its contents show high levels of Stein's radiation, meaning that they have been in contact with somebody who had been travelling through space. A device if the Doctor's leads them to a goldsmith's where they meet a little man with glasses who claims to have no knowledge of the cup's whereabouts and demands that they leave.

The Doctor and Dodo head back to the TARDIS with Steven remaining to watch and, if necessary, follow the goldsmith. Eventually, the goldsmith leaves the shop, looking shifty, and Steven follows him to dilapidated building, outside of which Steven is attacked by a short alien. The Doctor and Dodo save him and the goldsmith appears, telling them that he was helping the aliens. Inside the warehouse is a spaceship and four smaller aliens - the first explains that he was leaving his planet because of war and and landed on Earth for assistance with his ship. The cup could not provide enough gold for the ship and so the goldsmith had suggested the ransom note.

The Doctor has a look at the ship and begins work on it whilst the goldsmith tells Dodo that he would have melted the cup down without hesitation to save the aliens' lives. After Steven fetches some tools from the TARDIS, the Doctor completes his work on the ship and the aliens take off, after which the goldsmith gives the cup to the Doctor. The Doctor sends Dodo to get some newspaper and some sausages, sending a letter to New Scotland Yard.

The Doctor, Steven and Dodo sit in a park and watch as a dog finds the cup and sausages in a bush. The Doctor links arms with Dodo and, laughing, leads his companions back to the TARDIS.





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