Ted Lasso features Nate Shelley, the former kit man turned assistant coach at AFC Richmond who aids the titular American coach in the sports dramedy series revolving around the fictional English football club, AFC Richmond.
Nate eventually leaves the club to become the Head Coach of West Ham under the new owner Rupert Mannion, the former owner of AFC Richmond and ex-husband to its current owner, Rebecca Welton.
Nate and Ted get along quite well thanks to Ted’s infectiously positive personality and Nate gradually showcases that he’s well-versed in football tactics and can prove to be an asset to Ted.
By the end of season 1, Nate is appointed as an assistant coach at the club. He impresses in the role, providing solid input when required and even gets his moment in the spotlight when Ted leaves the field during a game due to a panic attack.
Nate is branded a “wunderkind” for his decisions and becomes hugely popular but when his father tells him to remain grounded despite all the attention, Nate’s insecurities begin to worsen.
These insecurities first showed up when Roy Kent was added to the staff as Nate began to fear losing his standing. Following his father’s cutting words, Nate behaves more rudely towards the new kit man at the club as well as one of the players who used to bully him before.
As Nate gets more disgruntled about not receiving credit for his efforts and feels neglected by Ted, he decides to leak the truth about Ted’s panic attack to the press.
Trent Crimm lets Ted know that Nate was the source and when Ted confronts him about it, Nate lets Ted know how he feels. Nate feels so aggrieved that despite the team celebrating their promotion, he doesn’t join in.
Two months later, Nate is announced in his new position after he and Rupert were seen having a conversation at Rebecca’s father’s funeral where Rupert must have pounced on Nate’s insecurities.
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Ted Lasso’s football heritage
The series has featured several real-life members of the footballing community such as former footballer turned pundits Thierry Henry, Gary Lineker, Ian Wright, and Chris Kamara as well as well-known presenter Jeff Stelling among others.
Prominent premier league referee Mike Dean also makes an appearance, officiating the FA Cup semi-final between AFC Richmond and Manchester City.
In October 2021, Apple TV+ announced that they had reached a licensing deal with the Premier League worth as much as £500,000 (around $682,000) for the series to feature the league’s logos, kits, and trophy starting from the third season.
AFC Richmond’s home ground of Nelson Road is actually Selhurst Park, the real-life home stadium of premier league club Crystal Palace F.C. Wembley Stadium was used to portray the semi-final between AFC Richmond and Manchester City in season 2.
AFC Richmond and Nelson Road also appear in the video game FIFA 23 including appearances by Ted Lasso, Coach Beard, Roy Kent, Jamie Tartt, Sam Obisanya, and Dani Rojas as announced in September 2022.
The series has received several nominations, setting a record for the most nominations for a freshman comedy at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards with the second season bagging four awards the following year.