Escape From Victory

The annual “All-priests five-a-side Over-75’s Indoor Challenge Football Match” is coming up between teams from Craggy Island and Rugged Island. Ted is paranoid that the parochial house is being bugged by Father Dick Byrne trying to discover his secret tactics. Ted is not being paranoid and Dick Byrne is indeed eavesdropping from an ice-cream van parked outside.

Ted’s plans suffer a setback when Father Nick, Father Jack’s strike partner, dies. Not only that, but when Ted gets home he finds that Jack has drunk a whole bottle of Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy Snooze.

Matchday arrives and Dick Byrne goads Ted by introducing his new player, Father Romeo Sensini, a 75-year-old so fit that he only needs the assistance of one nun to get out of a chair. Jack still hasn’t woken up, so Ted must find a way to get out of the completely ludicrous situation they are in. Then he remembers Father Niall Haverty’s ridiculous set of impulse buys, namely, a remote control wheelchair and a pair of false arms.

Jack enters the gym in a remote control wheelchair and Ted uses the false arms to disguise the fact that he is controlling him by remote. Craggy Island wins the extremely slow game with Jack’s help 2-1 and Dick ( a notorious homophobe ) has to pay the forfeit of kissing Father Cyril on the cheek. Then the referee spots that Ted’s arms are fake and thus the Craggy Island team is disqualified.

Later, Ted gets his forfeit from Dick, he must kick Bishop Brennan up the arse.


Airdate: 10 April 1998


[Dougal putting Mrs Doyle right about football]:
Father Dougal: There’s nothing stupid about football! And there’s nothing at all stupid about the Annual All-Priests Five-a-Side over 75s Indoor Football Challenge Match, against Rugged Island.

[More bad news for Ted]:
Father Ted: More bad news, Dougal. I’ve just been speaking to Father Ned Fitzmorris. He tripped on a paving stone and one of his kneecaps fell off. There’s no way around it…I’m going to have to put him in goal.

[Mrs Doyle learning about how to enjoy football]:
Mrs Doyle: (hesitantly, while watching football and reading from the book “Understanding football for women”) Go on… my son.


Extra Stuff


  • Fourth and final appearance of Dick Byrne and Cyril MacDuff.
  • Dougal comes back from a school reunion and remarks that they were all dressed as firemen. Ted suggests that he must have gone to a firestation by mistake.
  • Ted gives Mrs Doyle a book Understanding Football for Women.
  • Dougal tells Ted that Jack once had a trial for Liverpool. Ted corrects him and tells him that Jack once was on trial in Liverpool.
  • Dougal’s job is downgraded from team physio to the pointless task of guarding the corner flags.



The title is a pun on the film Escape to Victory, which features a WWII football game between prisoners of war and their guards.


Guest Cast

Father Dick Byrne — Maurice O’Donoghue
Father Cyril MacDuff — Don Wycherley
Referee — Jason Byrne
Father Cullen — Birdy Sweeney
Father Niall Haverty — Stephen Brennan