Adapted by David Storey from his own novel, This Sporting Life stars Richard Harris as Frank, an athletic coal miner who aspires to the greener pastures of professional rugby. Soon establishing himself as one of the most brutal and arrogant players in the business, Frank begins to amass a fortune. He also falls in love with his landlady, Mrs Hammond (Rachel Roberts), who initially resists his advances. When she finally gives in she finds herself incapable of becoming emotionally connected. At Frank's teammates wedding, Mrs Hammond unexpectedly lashes out at her lover and they split up. Frank, who until now has equated happiness with wealth, is unable to overcome the loss. In the end, with nothing else left, all of Frank's self-worth becomes contingent on his rugby performances, though Frank and the other players are exploited to such a degree that this also proves disastrous.