It is mid-1914 and Europe totters on the brink of a devastating war. The British government needs millions of soldiers, and fit young men who play football are the first target. The starting point will be two matches between League Champions Blackburn Rovers and the famous amateur club, the Corinthians, even if these sons of the country’s ruling class are at first reluctant to take part.The Corinthians are under pressure from all sides, even from politicians like Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, who want to fix the matches for their own ends; and the fraudster, Horatio Bottomley, has huge bets riding on the games and will stop at nothing to obtain the results he wants.Nobody is in more trouble than James Clifton, a pillar of the Corinthians’ team. His life is in danger as he attempts to infiltrate a German spy-ring. He is also being framed for murder by the CID, and two of his team-mates are being blackmailed. It is time for him and his fellow-Corinthians to fight back and they do not hesitate to use their own brand of ‘dirty tricks’ in their battle for survival.

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