Dean Upton was the obnoxious landlord of The Flying Horse who came into the Rovers on the August 2014 bank holiday at Steve McDonald's request and immediately got into a game of one-upmanship as to who had the more successful pub. Dean was contemptuous of the number of customers in the Rovers, claiming his was "heaving" and spoke of their food service, not being impressed by the famed hotpot of his competitor even though Steve was able to point to their two silver-fork rating from the Manchester Pub Grub Guide and the recommendation from Ross Pollock of Radio Weatherfield who spoke of the "warm smiles, behind and in front of the bar". Dean, in turn, cited their live bands, pool team and cricket team which Steve said was the reason he had asked him to call. He had seen the a flyer from Dean proposing a match between the two pubs and he accepted the challenge, citing his own skills on the pitch which caused some raised eyebrows from a listening Liz McDonald and Michelle Connor.
After some struggles, Steve got together an eclectic team of himself, Chesney Brown, Michael Rodwell, David Platt, Gary Windass, Rob Donovan, Dev Alahan, Luke & Steph Britton and Sharif, Kal, Zeedan and Alya Nazir, the latter being the team captain.
On the day of the match, Dean riled Steve almost from the off, trying to hit it off with an unimpressed Michelle. The entire team were annoyed by Bobby the Trumpet from the "Horse" who played an annoying fanfare at every opportunity and Dean and his players constantly laughed at their opponents. The contest however began badly for them as David caught out one of their players and Dean himself was bowled out when an unimpressive bat gave his generous frame little time to waddle between the wickets. During the tea break Dean claimed they were still in a commanding position and made a bet with Steve: Betty's hotpot recipe against Dean's beloved antique space invaders machine for the winner.
After the break Zeedan's concentration was spoiled when Leanne Tilsley turned up to be with his father, a relationship he hated. He walked off the pitch and was effectively bowled out. Kal was also bowled out but Leanne had mobile phone evidence that the bowler's foot was over the line, infuriating Dean. The Rovers needed four to win and it was the last ball of the last game. Dean tried to distract Rob with insults but he scored a winning six to take the match from The Flying Horse. Dean and a colleague wheeled the space invaders machine into the Rovers, demanding a rematch the following year but accepting a hotpot and a pint as recompense.