Southend-on-Sea Old Subbuteo Club Tournament 2022

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

Three days before the tournament we learned of the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

It was right therefore to consider the status of the tournament and reflect on whether it should go ahead. The situation appeared more poignant as several of the pitches used in the tournament feature Her Majesty as a 00-scale figure. Back in 1973, Subbuteo had designed HRH, as part of the VIP Presentation Set (C135), and this figure had inspired many creations in and around the Stadium of Fingers.

She can be seen presenting the FA Cup in the Stadium, standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Anglo-Italian Pitch, serving sandwiches in pitchside kiosks in Old Subbuteo Town and the Seaside Pitch and doing Crouch’s robot dance in Ken Corner. She also stands next to the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate the many years they were together.

Her Majesty is featured in a piece of stained glass in the window of the Cathedral of Fingers, holding the FA Cup.

In addition, a team of HRH figures had been adapted to fit into some LW bases, to form the team known as Queen’s Park Palace.

Queens Park Palace

So, the decision was made to hold the tournament out of respect, and out of celebration and remembrance for a life lived full of loyal service.

It was also agreed that Queen’s Park Palace would take part in the tournament, to be represented by several of the players.

Before the games kicked-off, the 22 players stood silently in the back garden, with nothing to be heard save the occasional chirp from a songbird. This peaceful and respectful silence was concluded with a hearty round of applause for our former Monarch - with us in spirit and in miniature, for the sixth Southend-on-Sea Old Subbuteo tournament.

Her Majesty presents the FA Cup to the Lone Subbuteo Figure, receiving it on behalf of all who dreamed one day to hold it aloft!
Her Majesty in stained glass in the Cathedral of Fingers
...serving sandwiches in the 'Lite Bite' sandwich bar in Old Subbuteo Town
...serving pies and general grub in the Stadium of Fingers
...serving baked brie with almonds and marinated mushrooms in Yuppie Corner
Her Majesty with the Duke of Edinburgh, celebrating life, loyalty and good humour.
The Union Jack on Buckingham Palace, lowered to half-mast.
Queens Park Palace lining up on the Anglo-Italian pitch

With 22 players turning up to take part in this year's event, the residents of the Mews had made some extra space available, with David hosting the Ewok Arena at Number 4, and Alex opening up her lounge to host the Subbuteo and the Beast pitch at Number 1. For the first time in SOS OSC history, four households had pooled their resources to welcome the Olds! ?

So it was game on, with all players starting their meandering journey towards one or other of the trophies or medals.

Subbuteo & The Beast and the Ewok Arena in new venues.
The silverware. The Melee trophy on display for the first time.

Group A

The players...

Kev 'The Cat' Dyson
Kyle 'Cobra Kai Kicks' Jamieson
Rich 'Rocket' Roper
'Howzat Dave' James
Jack 'Off Target'
Mark 'Westy' West

The games...

Westy got off to a creditable start by keeping The Cat goalless on the Anglo-Italian Pitch.

Plenty of action in any game involving Rocket, saw him joining The Cat and Westy in the Stadium of Fingers Cup. Off Target joined Howzat Dave and Cobra Kai Kicks in the Scoundrels Cup.

The action...

Cobra Kai getting ready for some kicks in the Ewok Arena. Howzat Dave doesn't suspect a thing!
The resulting formation after Off Target and Westy had been playing for a half!
The Cat and Off Target - Beauty and the Beast - Which one is which? ??
Westy attacking down the sunny side of the seaside pitch...
Off Target trying to work out what on earth to do now to fend off The Cat!
Rocket checking to see if it's time to start blocking Westy's attack...
Nice little move from Westy, who ends up on tippy-toes, reaching over the stand at its highest point to get a shot in!
Off Target, decidedly on target with this shot!
Love the way he asks Westy if he's ready! ?
...Westy duly shepherds the ball round the post.

Group B

The players...

Fabio 'Donald Crowhurst' Bertola
John 'JohnClu48' Ellis
Gerald 'Malts' Brightwell
Will 'The Badger' Target
Andy 'PIM or ACM' Moreton
Malc 'Braveheart' Jamieson

The games...

2 points for a win

Closely contested with all players getting at least a couple of results. PIM played out a bunch of goalless draws, and the goal he did score was controversial! ? (Check the clip below!)

He joined Donald Crowhurst (recovering from an early defeat to top the group) and Braveheart in the Stadium of Fingers Cup. Malts found his true calling in the Scoundrels Cup, where he was joined by JohnClu48 and The Badger.

The action...

Braveheart starting an attack, looking to spring a surprise from the shadowy side of the Seaside Pitch. PIM/ACM looks like he's got this covered though! ?
Malts on familiar territory in between the sticks on the Park Pitch. Braveheart weighs up his option after being expertly closed down... ?
JohnClu48 is politely enquiring how Malts has managed to get all the fog down his end. Gerald explains his sneaky use of Maltese fog magic. John is less than impressed! ?
The fog slowly disperses, but only after Malts has managed to get into prime position. John eventually sees through Malts' best attacking endeavours and defends resolutely. ?
PIM/ACM & Donald Crowhurst on the Anglo Italian pitch. It's a bit of a blurry pic, which helpfully hides creased face lines! ?
The magic of the Hogwarts Pitch reflected in JohnCLU48's expression. It looks like he's absorbed in trying to avoid flicking a figure onto the train train, to meet an untimely end under the Hogwarts Express!
Malts at play! Plenty of chatter; he offers PIM/ACM the use of his own kicking keeper, and helps him use it. Then he gives him a corner when it was clearly his own goal kick. Your Subbuteo experience is not complete until you have played Gerald! ?
PIM/ACM tries out the corner kicker on the Carpet Pitch. Great anticipation in the room, and equally great disappointment! ? Note the use of the corner kicker confuses Malts every time. This time, an attempt to use his right back as a kicking keeper! ?
PIM/ACM scores his one goal of his group B matches. It's controversial! You can decide... ?
The Badger gets straight into attack mode, but is foiled by needing to walk around the stadium to reach his attacker! ?
An action-packed Badger attack! First the goalie saves the ball and then the player. the centre forward then rebounds off the goalie, runs round to the ball, fires in a shot, where the goalie panics, smashes into the post and breaks both his legs! ?
Let's have a quick look again at that fast-thinking centre-forward! ? Remember that in the Stadium of Fingers, all figures are alive, with the ability to make decisions and moves, regardless of the decisions of the player flicking them! ?

Group C

The players...

Carlo 'The Iceman' Lanfredi
Kevin 'Bishop FPV' Golloghly
Tony 'Len Shackleton Jnr' Banks
Neil 'Neilberto Sparkos' Sparkes
Rudi 'Snake70' Peterschinigg

The games...

The Iceman and Bishop FPV progressed philosophically through the group, and then met each other in the final match in the Stadium of Fingers. Here they each won their first point! ??

Snake70, Len Shackelton Jr and Neilberto Sparkos took points from each other and all qualified for the Stadium of Fingers Cup.

The action...

Just before Bishop FPV's first ever game at an SOS SOC event. He's playing the defending champion Snake70! ? Who organised the fixtures?! ??
Len Shackleton Jr and Snake70 playing at The Valley in a right pea-souper! ?
Snake70 & The Iceman. Another one of those blurry pics that makes us look younger! ?
Bishop FPV enjoying at attack in between what was essentially a backs-to-the-wall encounter with Neilberto Sparkos. Sorry Neilberto - missed capturing any of your three goals! ?
In this clip you can see one of Len Shackleton Jr's attackers emerging from the thick fog in an offside position. This has to go down as one of the unluckiest offsides in Subbuteo history! ?
Neilberto Sparkos takes his first ever shot in the Stadium of Fingers. I think we can all agree that whilst the player missed the ball, it definitely had enough power to reach it! ?
Of Len Shackleton, one of his contemporaries remarked: "Once in possession, and few can match his dexterity at bringing the ball under control, the ball becomes his slave. All the skills of inside forward play – dribbling, feinting, correct positioning and accurate passing are his to command."
So has Len Shackleton Jr in this clip! ?
The decisive goal of the game.
Journalist Malcolm Hartley, wrote of Shackleton: "Apart from the adhesive ball control and breathtaking body swerve, Shack could hit a ball!"
So has Len Shackleton Jr in this clip! ?
Bishop FPV's first ever shot in the Stadium of Fingers. Nearly snuck in as well, after sending the keeper the wrong way!
Here's The Iceman's first ever shot in the Stadium of Fingers! Probably got a tad over-excited as the player leapt over the cross-bar and landed in the upper tier! ??
The Iceman hanging on to a 0-0 score-line by the skin of his teeth. Almost misses with the kicking keeper, and then coolly knocks the ball back with a defender! ?
It's all a bit too much for the nerves though, as he promptly boots the ball the length of the pitch ?

The final whistle has gone and the realisation dawns on The Iceman he has won the game 0-0!! ?
Very few players have an unbeaten record in the Stadium of Fingers. Bishop FVP and the Iceman are both in this distinguished club! ?

Group D

The players...

Marco 'Ghigliotti09'
Simon 'HP Lovecraft' Goodman
Stewie 'Youbutteo' Grant
Nigel 'The Hawk' Morgan
Queens Park Palace
Steve 'Fingers' Moreton (guesting)

The games...

A hotly contested group for the top spot, with Ghigliotti09 taking the honours. This was fitting as Marco offered to play against himself using Queens Park Palace, resulting in the likely loss of a point! The Hawk came out on top with our indefatigable Youbbuteo! They both head to the Scoundrels Cup! ?

The action...

Ghigliotti and The Hawk, working out where to plant trees!
In a venue far far away...
Keep it in the fog. The best tactic when playing Youbutteo! ?
HP Lovecraft's long shot, shown in the clip 'QPP 2', below
Ghigliotti09 and The Hawk enjoying a brief moment without the fog in The Valley...
Fingers and HP Lovecraft (blurrily) demonstrating it is just about possible to play over the terracing in the Stadium of Fingers ?

Queens Park Palace...

Her Majesties then played their debut in the Stadium of Fingers, with HP Lovecraft providing the opposition. The match was characterised by HP Lovecraft politely shooting wide of the target and Her Majesties not quite understanding that a blocking flick doesn’t allow one to play the ball!

HP Lovecraft's first shot in the Stadium of Fingers. Just wide though as it would be bad form to score against Queen's Park Palace, while Her Majesty is watching her team play from the Royal Box! ?
A long range effort - but once again, the ball passes the post in exactly the same spot!
Her Majesty has the knack of touching the ball after a long curly blocking flick. Sure a royal prerogative means this should be ruled as an interception? Apparently, the blocking rule is due to be repealed at the next sitting of Parliament…
The curved shooting line was called into action when the Linesman attempted to call Her Majesty offside, however VAR clearly shows she was not beyond the last defender. Interviewed after the game, her Majesty said “One was not goal-hanging. One was merely making good use of the curved shooting line.
Another skilful yet (currently) illegal block.
Her Majesty then appears to lose it and launched oneself into the crowd. A spokesperson for the Royal Household said “Her Majesty has always been a fan of Eric Cantona.” ?
One final attempt from HP Lovecraft. Getting closer, but still managing to avoid a stay in The Tower.

The next game was with Youbutteo in the fog. The first half saw a defensive error from The Lady in Waiting (Kicking Keeper), and Youbutteo was left with an open goal. Showing no concern that he might be about to enter a 'not-so-open' gaol, he slotted it home. The second half was a different matter entirely, with a Royal Hat-Trick in 4 minutes and 32 seconds!

Here's the pick of the bunch, although you'll need the action replay to complete the picture!
OK artist's impression of the action replay...! ?
Action replay! Youbutteo's keeper saved the shot, but Her Majesty was not to be denied! ?

The Hawk was the next player to risk being locked in the Tower when he scored a goal with 'Lady in Waiting' out. To be fair though it was a nice finish so he promptly received a Royal Pardon. The regular royal comeback then ensued with Her Majesties sending themselves victorious! ?

The opener from The Hawk
The equaliser
The Hawk foiled by Great British defence (and as Simon pointed out, an offside player!) ?
Probably curl of the day on any pitch! Chapeau Your Majesty! ?


Stadium of Fingers Cup

Queens Park Palace were represented by Ghigliotti in the 1st Round and by Fingers in the epic QF shoot-out with Snake70

The action...

After a 1-1 draw, Neilberto Sparkos got through 2-1 on shots.
Both players were destined to meet again in the Melee! ?
The first encounter of the afternoon between these two Olds.
Donald Crowhurst keeps out Len Shackleton Jr to win 1-0.
In the shoot-out with Snake70, Her Majesty was majestic in goal! ?
Some shots however were just too good!
This was the closest shave Snake70 had all afternoon. One shot from elimination, but he held his nerve!
Snake70's winning goal in the SoF Cup Final came early!
The Cat foiled by the half-time Smiths Pinger! ??
Here's how to avoid a forced throw-in! ?
A great chance to put the result beyond doubt...
The Cat foiled by the full-time Smiths Pinger! ??
Although there wasn't a massive live on-line audience for this event, these six spectators were engrossed in the Final!

Stadium of Fingers Cup Presentations

Snake70 retains the Stadium of Fingers Cup.
He's now held this from 2019 to 2022! ?
Another award for The Cat.
He'll be needing a new 00-scale trophy cabinet soon! ?

Old Subby Cup

A cracking cup run from Rocket - All close games with goals galore!
Queen's Park Palace were represented by Braveheart in the semi-final.

The action...

The return match between these two Olds, with a different result!
Len Shackleton Jr playing a couple of one-twos with the Death Star! ?
Braveheart representing Queens Park Palace saves from Rocket's rocket!
Queens Park Palace come from behind again to win 2-1
More defending as we head to a shoot-out after a 1-1 draw...

After getting knocked out by Queens Park Palace, Braveheart played with them in the semi-final with Rocket.

The recording got corrupted, so an attempt was made to record the recording using a phone. The coverage below is the result...

The first 4 minutes...
The next 10 minutes...
The rest of the game & shoot-out

Old Subby Cup Presentations

In 2019 it was the S'Fortunato Finger Cup.
In 2022 it's the Old Subby Cup. A meteoric rise for Rocket! ?
Len Shackleton Jr's first event.
Hopefully many more to come!

Scoundrels Cup

Both emerging from goalless mornings, Malts and The Badger clearly perform better after a hog-roast! ?

The action...

A 270-degree curl from Bishop FVP creates a chance. Cobra Kai's keeper parries to the left back ?
Cobra Kai kicks, flicks and hits the post!
After the ball entered the net, the players discussed whether the ball was over the line. The agreed to do a VAR and play on as if a goal had been scored. After the game many interested folk crowded round the PC monitor. The Decision - 'Goal'!
Her Majesty decided to review the VAR decision.
It was a close call, but the temptation to shoot was too strong!
A goal was therefore awarded by Royal Decree! ?
The Iceman takes on The badger, with Off Target (from the badger family), watching on impartially!
After a 1-1 draw, a wing/paw-shake between The Hawk and The Badger, before going to a shoot-out
JohnClu48 was the next player to fall prey to The Badger, in The Valley.
If Howzat Dave has scored here, he would have made it to the Scoundrels Final. This is not easy to do when you are playing the Honorary President of The Scoundrels! ?
A Hawks-eye view of The Hawk, playing in the Stadium of Fingers (photo courtesy of the Goodyear Blimp)
Camera's were operated by Chris all day! Thanks Chris! ?
The Badger does a pitch-long move to open the scoring ?
The Hawk is a tad disappointed with his keeper. ?
The Hawk swoops over the terracing to equalise! ?
Malts pauses during the final. Although, he's not working out his next move - He's working out what he is going to say next! ?
The Badger plans his next attack, unaware that Malts is feeling very secure behind his favourite goalposts...

Scoundrels Cup Presentations

Malts claiming what has probably always been his - The Scoundrels Cup!
The Badger wins silverware (mostly plastic!) in his first SOS OSC event!

S'Fortunato Finger Cup

Off Target was definitely On Target in the shoot-outs!

The action...

If these gents had known their day would conclude on their knees playing on the Carpet Pitch, would they have turned up? ?
It's not easy to play the final of the SFortunato Finger Cup on the grass, while keeping a straight face! ?

S'Fortunato Finger Cup Presentations

This trophy now stands proudly in Off Target's office.
You can imagine the conversations...
Colleague "Before we start, what's with that gleaming trophy?
Off Target: "Did you ever play Subbuteo as a kid?"
After a morning of challenging matches, The Hawk plays in the Scoundrels Cup, loses in a shoot-out in the Stadium of Fingers, and then finds himself in the S'Fortunato Finger Cup, winning the coveted Runners-Up Award!

The Melee

The Melee was first played in the 2019 event, when became clear that something else was needed to complement the 4 Finals, for the Olds that had the misfortune to get knocked out in the various cups, to play one last game.

This time it was a 6-a-side Melee, with all players slotting smoothly into their respective roles, albeit after a brief period of general bewilderment.

Player 1 – Attacker if the ball is in the attacking half

Player 2 – Attacker if the ball is in the defending half

Player 3 – Blocking if the ball is in the attacking half

Player 4 – Blocking if the ball is in the defending half

Player 5 – Goalkeeper, kicking goalie and goal-kicks

Player 6 – Special Teams (Free-kicks, throw-ins, corner-kicks and positional flicks)

Bishop FPV about to block a flick from Braveheart. PIM/ACM concentrates between the sticks and The Iceman waits patiently to fulfil his 'special teams' role...
JohnClu84 pointing out Ghigliotti09 should be doing something!
Ghigliotti09 promptly does something! ?

The teams were chosen with little controversy. It was easy to do as half were stood on one side of the table and the other half were stood on the other side. ?

The controversy was with the figures each team was given to play with.

Apparently, if you're life-long die-hard supporter of Plymouth Argyle, it is not OK to be asked to play against them!

Westy sums the situation up well in this clip. If you are averse to seeing PAFC tattoos, look away now! ?

Some glorious reactions to what would ordinarily be standard Subbuteo flicks.

First Neilbertos Sparkos does a quality curling block. Then Braveheart does a nice midfield curl followed by a clumsy flick. These are probably the most enthusiastic reactions to midfield play in a game of Subbuteo, since it first appeared in the Boys Own Magazine in 1946! ?

This is how to celebrate getting knocked out of all the cups! ?
The Melee Winners.
Left to right: Braveheart, Cobra Kai Kicks, Westy, Youbutteo, Neilberto Sparkos.
The Melee Runners-Up.
Left to right: JohnClu48, Howzat Dave, Bishop FPV, Ghigliotti09, The Iceman.
Melee Grinners!

90-Second Tour

A short clip that was promoted by the English Subbuteo Association

The Line-Up

No doubt soon to be immortalised as a model in the Stadium of Fingers.
...The Badger appears to be keeping a low profile ?

A Summary...

This pic sums up the day. This is the reaction to the wonder block-flick by Neilberto Sparkos.
...all of these players are from the other team! ?
Or maybe this pic sums up the day?
Or the epic dropping of the FA Cup lid? ?
Some folk are not that interested... ?
This is the pic.
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