Autumn 1977. Derek Springfield is an 18-year-old misfit, who 5 years earlier was plucked from his home in the industrial outskirts of Leeds to attend Public School on a scholarship. He has just returned home at the end of his studies to await his Oxbridge results that he's hoping will result in his permanent escape. Life at home is awkward for the brainy lad and embarrassing for his working class family who can't relate: his feckless dad, no-nonsense mum and two older brothers, one a football hopeful and the other a distinctly dodgy acquirer of flash consumer goods.
Derek kills time by walking a no hope greyhound, Slapper, and loving out-of-his league Chrissie from afar. But under Derek's loving care Slapper gets faster - so fast she's stolen for her racing potential. Derek despairs at being completely alone once more but Chrissie gets the local community to keep watch. Slapper eventually escapes from her furious captors at an illegal flapper track. Exhausted, she somehow finds her way back and is reunited with Derek who tries to nurse her back to health his bedroom without his family finding out.
Derek, Chrissie and Slapper disguise themselves to avoid the dognappers and try their luck at racing her at a proper dog track. The dognappers and all the Springfields converge on the stadium for the exciting climax.
Its also the day Derek's results are due...