Go Now—The landmark drama about a footballer living with MS

Mark Reynolds 30 November -0001

Robert Carlyle stars in Jimmy McGovern and Michael Winterbottom’s gritty feature as a 30-something man with the world at his feet who is struck down by debilitating disease.

Nick Cameron (Carlyle) is a labourer and amateur footballer who enjoys a kickabout, a drink and banter with the lads after a hard week’s work.

When he hooks up and moves in with new girlfriend Karen (Juliet Aubrey), he has found a soulmate and life seems complete. But soon he is afflicted with strange episodes of double vision and numbness. At work, a heavy object falls from his grasp, nearly causing serious injury. He burns his hand on the stove and perilously loses control of his car.

Nick and Karen wedding

MS is diagnosed, and in a shockingly rapid demise, he loses his libido, suffers long spells of paralysis and can only walk with the aid of two canes. Weighed down by the disease, Nick’s days are crossed off in bitter anguish and furious rage.

Read more: Ex-Manchester United footballer talks about his experience with multiple sclerosis


"Carlyle is pitifully convincing in his
diminishing physicality and sheer rage,
while Aubrey depicts an astonishing

range of emotions with elegance and power"


Karen is brought low by the self-pity and anger that accompany Nick’s physical collapse. When he lashes out at her once too often, she seeks comfort in the arms of her boss. Deep down she wants to stay loyal, but sometimes the struggle is just too much, and she confides in her old flatmate Paula (Sophie Okonedo) that she’s close to giving up on him.

Nick’s mates from work and the football team (including a pre-Cold Feet James Nesbitt) also find it difficult to cope with his mood swings, either steering clear or trying too hard to indulge him to prove he’s still one of the lads.

Read more: What is multiple sclerosis and how is it treated?

Young James Nesbit in Go Now


Jimmy McGovern wrote the script together with real-life MS sufferer Paul Henry Powell, who draws deeply on his own experiences of depression and helplessness. The honesty of the script is matched by an unrelenting depiction of the realities of a failing nervous system as communications between the brain and body short-circuit.

Carlyle is pitifully convincing in his diminishing physicality and sheer rage, while Aubrey depicts an astonishing range of emotions with elegance and power. When, at his lowest ebb, Nick demands that she leave him and start a new life, the stakes for both are palpable.



First shown on BBC Two in 1995, the writers shared the Royal Television Society’s Best Writer award the following year (but lost out to the same channel’s more genteel Persuasion adaptation for the Best TV Drama BAFTA). This first-ever DVD release is accompanied by a moving interview with former footballer and MS sufferer Danny Wallace, who responds to the film and reflects on his own experiences before and after the diagnosis that cut short his career.

Buy Go Now in our shop featuring an exclusive interview with ex-footballer Danny Wallace

£1 from every sale is donated to the MS Society

For stories, tips and lots of laughs like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter