The 5th SoS OSC Tournament was held on 10th September 2019, with a meal the night before in the pie-serving Pipe of Port restaurant. A healthy turnout of 18 Olds created a fun-packed weekend, which included a pre-tournament game of Subbuteo cricket!

The players

Rocket: Last Christmas he experienced OldSubbuteo at the SoF, and has now brought the Old Sods with him!

Puffin: Genius creator - breathing 00-scale life into Harry Potter, and Star Wars figures!

JohnCLU48: A seasoned OldSubbuteo traveller - Always seeking authentic OldSubbuteoic experiences!

Down the Wing: Doesn't know he is called 'Down the Wing' yet, but when your surname is 'Heron', that was destined to happen!

Spudski: Spud, Spudder, Spudderman. making his long awaited visit to the SoF - so overdue and so anticipated by the thousands of 00-scale spectators!

The Cat: The legend of the Flats game - a genuine Old. A multi-national champion who is a true sport - happy to play with everyone on all of the impossible pitches at the SoS OSC events, year after year!

VecchiaGuardia1972: The 'Old Soldier' who returns to this corner of England most every year!

The Craftsman: Current holder of the Sportsmanship award on the English National Flats Championships - never not having fun with Subbuteo!

Barreteo: Has a surprising turn of pace when presented with a shooting opportunity. The thoughts of a bad back disappear as he sheds approximately 30 years in mind and body!

Ute Ubo: Always flickin' and always rockin' - For those about to flick - we salute Ute!

Malts: Always utterly surprised at what can happen in Subbuteo - most frequently used phrase: "I don't believe it! ?"

Gullseye: A mythical appearance at the SoF wearing glam-rock platform boots, to enhance reach!

Forfoxsake: Was there ever a person so OldSubbuteo as Forfoxsake. The benchmark of bonkersness and pure enjoyment...bringing his 00-figures alive in every game!

Ghigliotti09: So happy to play OldSubbuteo with anyone and everyone, and no-one ever gets hammered, despite the talent that flows from his finger-nail!

Youbutteo: Youbutteo - You beauty! - Quality enthusiast - no-one collects with more enthusiasm - no-one!

JLR: Will be making the trip after watching Canterbury City v Corinthian with the other 155 fanatical supporters!

Snake70: So disappointed when the Harry Potter train stopped working during his game on the Subbwarts pitch last year - this is exactly what we should get disappointed about in life! ...This year Rudi, this year!...

Donald Crowhurst: The legendary fabiobertola, always and forever 'Old'!

Before the tournament...

Subbuteo Cricket???

T'was the night before the tournament, when all thro' the house, not a creature was stirring...until the Old Sods turned up for a spot of Subbuteo Cricket!

As ever with the Old Sods, there was Much Ado about Banter. The various clips of the match highlights are shown here...

This clip captures the mood. A ball delivered by Ute Ubo, which Puffin may or may not have fended off. Plenty of (dodgy) opinions are given, and the game stops for a 'Review' as everyone goes downstairs to check the video replay...

A pairs game on the Star Wars pitch

Puffin's unique handcrafted teams of stormtroopers and rebel fighter pilots! ? John and Fingers play for the rebels and Puffin and Gullseye play on the dark side...
A corner is taken from high on a crag near the pod race arena.
Note, for the corner kicker to be used, an attacker needs to be taken off the pitch first.
The keeper has this one covered....
The stormtroopers had a clear shot on goal, but a sharp defensive flick by an alert rebel fighter pilot took the sting out of the shot. the keeper did the rest...
A controversial corner here. According to FingerFox Rules, this should be a penalty, on account of the keeper punching the attacker in the head. However, no attacker has been taken off the pitch to allow the use of the corner kicker. on...!?

Fuelling up...

A spot of grub...
Some nibbles to munch on

The tournament matches

In the Allotments of Don Bosco

Forfoxsake either admiring or fending of one of those 'all too frequent' attacks by Ghigliotti09!
An entertaining opening game between Spudski and Gullseye, peppered by quality and/or comical moments
JohnClu48 taking on the legend that is Youbuteo!
Spud getting into all sorts of bother with the women...
It's another of those pesky attacks by Marco!

On the Anglo-Italian pitch

John and vecchiaguardia find themselves somewhere between Rome and Florence.
Spudski leaning over Westminster Cathedral while Ute Ubo mounts an attack from the Vatican
A kickabout in St Peter's square
John tried a sneaky double-shot. It wasn't successful, but that's not the point...

The view from Big Ben and the Palace

The Green and Tan Stadium

The Green and Tan Stadium braces itself for the chaos that will undoubtedly come from Malts v Forfoxsake!
Rocket has a poke but it's well saved by Gullseye as they share the spoils in this encounter...
This corner needed re-taking, but Jim could've claimed a penalty for handball!
It's as if they're waiting for the miniature figures to play on their own...
Somewhere within the general banter, a game of Subbuteo is being played!

In Old Subbuteo Town

Barreteo sensibly keeps the ball in the middle of the park when playing Down the Wing
The Subbuteioc ritual of the positional flicks at a corner.
First Adam...then Adam...
Gullseye and Snake70 meet in the first round of the Stadium of Fingers Cup
After a tight 0-0 battle, it goes to sudden-death shots...
The fans sitting on the Old Subbuteo Shop enjoy the action...

In the Park

Barreteo v Youbuteo - an epic encounter in amongst the foliage!
JLR and Snake70... Jumpers on trees for goalposts! ?
A close-up of an attack being mounted
This clip needs to be watched a few times for full enjoyment! ?
The attack has caught the defence out!

At the Seaside

The Old Guard keeping a close eye on the antics of Barreteo...
Defence has been turned into attack, as the keeper saves!
Two Old Sods at the seaside!
The Snake and The Cat playing their semi-final...
Spud attacks the Beach Hut End

On the Star Wars pitch

Donald 'Fabio' Crowhurst, gets a rare shooting opportunity against The Cat during his commendable 1-1 draw with the multiple national flats champion!
An all action shot of Youbuteo and Down the Wing, in their epic Star Wars battle. Down the Wing is about to pounce on his keeper to make a dramatic last-minute save!

The clips below show an epic 'shoot-out' between Spud and Puffin, on the Star Wars pitch. They've decided to use the homemade free-kick taker, to chip the ball over the 4-man wall. Also, keep an eye on the missiles that are being pinged across the pitch to put off the player taking the shot... ?

The winning shot! Puffin appears to be distracted by the missile he was getting ready to fire to put Spud off his shot...!

At Subbwarts

An Italian invasion of the Subbwarts pitch, as Fabio and Rudi weave their magic...
Ute Ubo is casting a Subbwarts spell to make the Craftsman score an own goal!
Fabio takes a snapshot and hits the post, or whatever the right hand side of a half-loop is called!?! ?
The figure is lucky that the train loses power momentarily to give it time to get off the track!
The epic Gryffindor Subbuteo figures created by Puffin!
The Craftsman is through on goal against Ute Ubo, and times his shot perfectly, as the Hogwarts Express goes round the back of Ute's goal, obstructing his keeping hand!
Shame about the execution of the shot though! ?

In the Stadium of Fingers

Rocket keeps vigilant as Malts attempts the classic 'lean over the highest bit of terracing' flick... ?
Puffin is wondering how his Stormtrooper figure got sniped mid-flick. Little does he know that Ute can use the Force... ?
Spud and The Fox in the Stadium of Fingers in their Group B match...
Now it's Rocket's turn to try the standard Stadium of Fingers 'contortion flick'...
There's often a point mid-flick where one wonders how far one can lean...
A group of Olds, absorbed in the Stadium of Fingers experience...
Spudski with a useful shooting chance, dealt with nonchalantly by the player formerly (and currently) known as Forfoxsake
Spudski takes the corner, but it's not clear what has happened here...

The group matches results and tables

Group A

After some 30 goals have been scored, twice as many shots saved, and a few blunders and lucky flicks, the group table shows The Cat clear at the top.

With all players picking up points it was quite tight for the qualifying places for the Stadium of Fingers Cup, but the draw specialist Puffin edged the Craftsman for the final place.

Snake70 recovered well after a couple of early losses to end up 3rd in the table.

The Craftsman is duly entered into into the Tournament of Scoundrels ?

Group B

Ghigliotti09 makes it a clean sweep, leaving, a Fox, a Gull and a Spud fighting over runners-up spot, with the expansive free-flowing style of the Fox creating a healthy goal-average and winning through.

Gullseye showed a shrewd Old Subbuteo head on Old Subbuteo shoulders as he amassed 5 points despite only scoring 2 goals!

Rocket and Malts valiantly contested the bottom of the table, with Malts claiming the Southernmost spot on account of Rocket getting a draw with Gullseye.

Both Rocket and Malts however are destined for the Tournament of Scoundrels...

Group C

Both JLR and JohnClu48 achieved infinite goal average! ? ? To be fair, neither player was expecting this at the beginning of the day, but it happened, so they can both make a justified entry into their respective Subbuteo diaries...

JLR however, took the qualification spot for the Stadium of Fingers Cup on goals scored.

Youbuteo had success(!), after his more modest performances at the recent Christmas event, where he acknowledge publicly on his Youbuteo youtube channel that he "lost massively!"

Barreteo and Down the Wing both got off the mark with a draw when they met in Old Subbuteo Town.

The finals

The Stadium of Fingers Cup Final

At 1pm in the afternoon, Snake70 hadn't won a game! In contrast, Ghigliotti09 had won 4!

It appears Snake70's secret is to play other animals, as the afternoon saw an epic cup run, seeing off a Gull, a Fox and a Cat! ?

Ghigliotti remained the favourite though - the current holder of the Stadium of Fingers Cup and reigning national flats champion...

However, the Stadium of Fingers is no respecter of reputations and after a stunning 3-1 victory, the Year of the Snake came 2 years early! ?

The Old Subby Cup Final

The Old Subby Cup, contested by 2 Old Sods.

Which Old Sod would be the Oldest and Subbiest?

This was a tense, serious affair with a strong competitive edge to it - only broken by non-stop banter and incessant bonkerness!

It turns out it wasn't a tense, serious, competitive affair after all! ?

Ute was a true sport in his defeat, and congratulated Spudski on his victory by writing on the tournament sheet "won by a sneaky goal!"

The Tournament of Scoundrels Final

Both players had been here before...

JohnClu48 was here last year, when he lost a close game to Loscao 0-1.

The Craftsman reached the Scoundrels Cup Final in the very first tournament in 2015, where he lost out in a sudden-death shoot-out to Donald 'Fabio' Crowhurst.

For one it would be a glorious victory and for the other it would be a glorious defeat... ?

The Craftsman won through, scoring 2 goals. This was the main talking point during the evening meal, as The Craftsman acknowledges he doesn't score 2 goals in a game...

The S'fortunato Finger Cup Final

The stage: The traditional carpet pitch for the final of the tournament of the Unfortunate Finger.

The players: Vecchiaguardia - in his fourth SoS OSC tournament, and Rocket in his first. Neither player had experienced the carpet pitch before, so this would be a test of nimble knees, and which Old could reconnect with those muscles that used to play on the floor all those years ago.

As it turns out, Rocket tuned in to those formative years, when families were too poor to have a table they could dedicate to Subbuteo, and the living room carpet became the field of dreams!

First time the S'fortunato Finger final has been played outdoors
Standing room only for some of the spectators!
Old Guard is attacking the Patio End, and has the sun in his eyes...
Rocket defending stoutly...
Arguably not a very long clip of the final! ?
Rocket about to launch a counter-attack...

A picture tells a thousand words...

If you take part in an SoS OSC Tournament, and lose your group matches, you play in the Tournament of Scoundrels.

If you get knocked out of the Tournament of Scoundrels, you get to play in the Tournament of the Unfortunate Finger (S'fortunato Finger Cup).

If you lose the final, you win the trophy pictured, and then you take a picture of your trophy and put in on the Internet!

Bravissimo vecchiaguardia! ?

This is Old Subbuteo! ???

The Cup Matches

The Melee

The concept

After a few S-o-S OSC tournaments it 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.

The concept of the Melee was created, giving the opportunity for these players to play one last game.

With 18 Olds taking part in this year's tournament, this meant 10 players would be involved in the inaugural event!

All things considered, the event went fairly smoothly with all players slotting into their respective roles with a commendable degree of knowledge, skill and decorum (apart from mostly Gerald…!)

A five-a-side game duly commenced with players taking different roles within their team...

1st half: Team A and Team B each have:

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

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

Player 3 – All defending flicks

Player 4 – Goalkeeper, kicking goalie and goal-kicks

Player 5 – Free-kicks, throw-ins and corner-kicks

2nd half: All players change roles...

In the first half all players were involved apart from Jim (Forfoxsake) Westwood, who was desperately waiting for a throw-in, corner or free-kick to happen. Eventually however, with seconds remaining his team were awarded a throw-in! He lined up the thrower – took careful aim, and then the half-time whistle went! The taking of the throw-in was therefore judged null and void and duly wiped from the record as ever happening! ?

The second half saw our newbie Down the Wing playing an assured role as his team’s ‘Defending Attacker’ (enthusiastically advised by 4 teammates), and with one minute to go, a throw-in was awarded to his team, with Kev ‘The Cat’ Dyson using the mandatory throw-in figure.

After a practice throw-in which went sideways 1 inch and spun backwards off the pitch. Kev threw the ball 12 inches spinning in front of Jonathan ‘JLR’ Lopez-Real’s centre forward. Without missing a heartbeat JLR shot and scored! Four teammates roared their approval. Jonathan was somewhat taken aback at the racket he caused by scoring at Subbuteo, and estimated the noise to be louder than the combined efforts of the 98 fans that attended the Canterbury v Corinthian Isthmian League match the previous day!

A great event, and certainly to be repeated at future SoS OSC events! Naturally the rules will evolve as the number of players vary... For example, someone to do all positional flicks for all dead ball situations... Eventually we should be able to get a game of 11 v 11 with 3 subs!

A clip of some early action from the first half...
The Melee Winners!
Malts, Donald Crowhurst, The Cat, JLR and Down the Wing
The Melee Runners-Up!
Forfoxsake, Puffin, Barreteo, Gullseye and Youbutteo

The Melee Trophy

Inspired by the John Waddington Trophy, famously held by young Subbuteo prodigy Andrea Piccaluga from 1978-1982, the Melee Trophy celebrates the achievement of finding people to play Subbuteo with!

If you turn up to a SOS OSC event, and fail to make one of the finals, then you will play for the Melee Trophy, alongside all of the other 'Olds' who got knocked out of the tournaments. The inscription sums it al up: "It's not the winning or the losing, it's the finding someone to play..."

Here's David 'Down the Wing' Heron receiving the Trophy as honorary captain of the first ever Melee winners.

Action from the Stadium of Fingers

Puffin & Ute Ubo

The first match of the day, and the first members of the Old Sods OSC to play in the Stadium of Fingers.

Puffin and Ute Ubo have played many entertaining matches between them in Old Sods meets, and this may well have been their first game together on the road.

This was a Group A match, which somehow ended 0-0 ?

Rocket corrects the score for the start of the game. Puffin was ok with a 2-0 start...
An early chance for Puffin. Nearly 1-0 after 15 seconds. ?
From the throw-in. Ute intercepts, breaks away and shoots!
An overhead shot by Ute.
...taken by the camera! ?
Darth Vader appears in the stadium and takes a goal kick! ?
A Giggsy style run by a stormtrooper down the wing! ?
Puffin makes a defensive error, make a great save with his keeper, launches a counter attack and hits the post!
When these two play, Puffin allows Ute to flick the odd dodgy flick.
This one was pure skill! ?
Darth Vader hoofs a goal kick 'route 1' style to the Dark Side.
Ute uses the force to save.

Rocket & Malts

Rocket is back for more after his Christmas experiences, and faces Malts, who is trying out his flats team, after locating his goalkeeper that he left behind the last time he visited the Stadium of Fingers!

This is a Group B match. It ends goalless, but Rocket was pressing for the win...

In this clip a nice move ends up with a shot on the fly...

Here's some decidedly ropey defending from Malts, which he somehow gets away with! ?
A wonderful passing move by Malts, going round in circles. In the end his left half does a head stand! ?
Straight after this meandering move breaks down, Rocket does a 'no nonsense' attack!

JohnClu48 & JLR

These two Olds have played in almost all SoS OSC Tournaments. You'd have thought they would have played each other before, but this was in fact their first meeting.

This clip shows a wonderful 'ave-it' moment. John gets bored of his 3 players surrounding the ball, and hoofs it with his centre back, launching the ball and two of his own players down the pitch! All 3 of them go for a goal kick! ?

Then John says "Goal kick?", and JLR says "Yep", like everything was normal...?

Route 1 stuff from JRL. Sometimes the simpler tactics can yield the most reward.
JLR's defender skilfully intercepts a throw-in to start a counter attack. ?
The cameraman checking for offside in case VAR was needed! ?

Spudski & Forfoxsake

This has been a match a long time in the waiting!

Two of the Old Subbuteo legends, both of them scoundrels of the English and the Italian Old Subbuteo scenes, finally meeting for the first time in the Stadium of Fingers.

These clips show some great action, and some show no action at all, as it's the chat between them that features, sometimes more than the actual flicking of the figures! ?

Spud scores his first ever goal in the Stadium of Fingers...Left handed! ?

Spud makes a great tackle! Not legal (even by FingerFox standards), but still quality!.. and a lovely fox-like curl! ?
This clip shows Jim as a great sport. He has the eyes of an eagle, but the heart and mind of a cuddly fox!
The smooth transition between half-time banter and the second half. These two effortlessly show us the way! ?
"The older I've got, I've just got worse...I can have solo games finishing nil-nil...
But I do love it - I always will!"
Some actual flicking action in this clip!
A Spud-attack and resolute keeping from Forfoxsake...
"That was just like a religious experience...playing Forfoxsake in the Stadium of Fingers...and actually scoring. My life is complete."

Gullseye & Ghigliotti09

Gullseye first played in the Stadium of Fingers in 2015 and realised that it can be a challenge to reach over the terracing to flick the players. The next year he arrived at the tournament after digging out his old 1970s platform boots! This prompted the design of the ramped platform along the West Stand, and Gullseye's boots have been safely stored away back in the loft!

Ghigliotti wasn't using platform boots either in this game - he was using flats!...

Gulleye was playing with the Lionesses... ?

Gullseye defending stoutly, until a slight error allows the centre forward in...
Marco patiently working his way through to goal...
Chris having fun with some close-up camerawork - not easy!
Gullseye, gats some possession, attacks, forces a corner and more!
Ghigliotti09 back on the attack.
Unstoppable in this mood!
Chris now having fun with crowd close-ups, and Marco with a disallowed goal...

The Craftsman & Donald Crowhurst

The last time The Craftsman met Donald Crowhurst in a SoS OSC Tournament was the 2015 Scoundrels Cup Final. The score: The Craftsman 0 Donald Crowhurst 1

Finally, four years later there was a chance to address the balance....

The final score in this encounter had to be... The Craftsman 0 Donald Crowhurst 1.

Unlucky Adam! Maybe in the next game in 2023! ?

The deciding goal - early on in the game before Adam had got his defending sorted!
Adam was so disappointed with his players first half performance, he substituted the entire team! ?
Love the way Fabio allows the fourth flick, just so he can do peeping keeping! ?
Firm punch by The Craftsman's goalie!
A lovely little curl and a solid block
Another lovely curl, and a good save! ?

Barreteo & The Craftsman

After some entertaining group matches Barreteo and The Craftsman found themselves in the Tournament of Scoundrels... This was to be a needle match, not because if was their first competitive encounter, but because this was a match between Father-in-Law and Son-in-Law! ?

The Craftsman has been playing for several years and had encouraged his Father-in-Law to give it a go. So... Barreteo's first experience of an organised tournament... Bragging rights were at stake!

A nice early dig by the Son-in-Law, saved well by the Father-in-Law! ?
The Craftsman shoots from distance...
The Smith's Timer went as the ball hit the back of the net!
The Craftsman shoots from distance...
Just wide!
Nightmare defending lets Barreteo draw level at 1-1! ??
Close-up camerawork and a good shot well saved by Barreteo!
The Craftsman scrapes through on sudden-death shots! ?

Down the Wing & Rocket

Unfortunately, whoever was doing the recording forgot to press 'record' until the second half had started. As it turned out, Down the Wing was quite happy with this as he was 2-0 down by then, and was relieved to know that this would not be recorded for posterity!

Rocket on the other hand was slightly disappointed as this meant he would need to rely on his memory for his first ever goal scored in the Stadium of Fingers! ?

Sorry, Rocket!

Rocket's first ever (recorded) goal in the Stadium of Fingers! ?
A smooth run finished off by a rocket by Rocket!
Down the centre against Down the Wing, who saves well!
A last second chance saved well by Down the Wing. ?

Snake70 & Ghigliotti09

These two had met twice before in SoS OSC tournaments.

In 2015, they had played a Group D match on the Anglo-Italian pitch (fittingly!), where the match had finished all square 1-1.

Then in 2018 they had met at the Seaside, in the semi-final of the Stadium of Fingers Cup, where Ghigliotti won 2-1 on the way to his glorious tournament victory! ?

A technical problem with the recording means we just have the 2nd Half! ? We join the action with Snake70 1-0 up!

A chance for Snake70 to make it 2-0, but the keeper has it covered...
Rudi beats the offside trap - A lovely piece of camerawork in case VAR was needed! ?
Snake's piling on the pressure, but Marco's keeper is awake, and up to the task...
This was the decisive 50 seconds of action - Marco's comeback is emphatically snuffed out by Rudi!
Another good move by the Snake.
A well-deserved winner today! ?

Group pics

Funded by...

An application was made to to the National Lottery Awards for All programme, and we were fortunate to receive some funding to hold this event to run for 6 months from January to July 2019. The funding covered the use of equipment, venues and refreshments for the sessions. We would like to thank the National Lottery for their support and encouragement!

Match reports...

3rd Round Report – Session 1

fAABI is excited to announce the results of the first session of Subbuteo, which took place at fAABI’s Head Office in Cavendish Square from 6pm to 8pm. Some matches were nearly too close to call, others were clear victories- but all were exciting to watch nonetheless, providing a great atmosphere for fAABI beneficiaries to unwind and enjoy competing against each other.

The games kicked off with a tense match between the Bolton Wanderer’s (Alan) and Walsall (Ben). Despite Walsall giving their best effort, the match ended in Bolton’s favour- securing a 1-0 lead. Next was Millwall (Bharat) up against Hull City (Steve). After admirable efforts from the defences of both teams, the match ended in a draw at 0-0, which meant it was up to a penalty shootout to determine their fates. Hull City emerged victorious, scoring 2-1 against their worthy opponents. Gillingham (Alan) were up next, against Cardiff City (Bharat). A strong effort from Cardiff City, but Gillingham gave it their best and finished at 1-0. The match between Brentford (Ben) and Oxford United (Steve) kept everyone fascinated, but despite a spirited Brentwood fightback, ultimately Oxford United took home the victory, finishing at 2-1.

The final two games were played as ‘doubles matches’, where Sheffield Weds (Steve & Ben) suffered a disappointing defeat against Luton Town (Bharat & Alan), who called it at 1-0. Last but not least, a match that kept everyone on their toes, with the first appearance of a premier league team in the cup- Manchester United (Steve & Bharat) against Reading (Ben & Alan). Coming too close at times, the audience must have feared a draw- but ultimately Manchester United proved their capabilities and finished with a brilliant goal, leaving the match at 1-0.

3rd Round Report – Session 2

Results of the second session of Subbuteo are in! 

This week, Everton (Alan & Bharat) and Lincoln City (Steve & Jen) kicked us off. The fans witnessed a lot of back and forth, and the two teams ended the game tied at 1-1, leaving their fates down to a penalty shootout – Jen duly stepped up to the mark and delivered the win for Lincoln, emerging with a glorious cup upset! Next up was Tranmere Rovers against Tottenham Hotspur, and much to the delight of some audience members, Tottenham unfortunately lost 1-0. All players are anonymised to protect the guilty! A northern contest was up next, with Preston North End playing against fierce competitors Doncaster Rovers, who won 2-1 In was this match that saw the best goal of the night, with a smooth passing move between Jen and Bharat, finishing with a shot being blasted beyond the reach of Steve’s goalie. Unfortunately this was a consolation goal for Preston and two seconds later the final whistle blew, leaving Doncaster to progress to round 4. The final match was another northern affair between Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers. The pre-match interview with the Newcastle manager resulted in a quote “I would love it if we get to round 4”. Despite Newcastle’s admirable effort, Blackburn secured a 1-0 victory, resulting in a somewhat dejected Newcastle manager!

3rd Round Report – Session 3

fAABI is back with the results of the third session of weekly Subbuteo matches! 

Tensions were high and competitors were strong, but victories were clear…

Chelsea (Alan & Steve) and Nottingham Forest (Bharat & Jen) kicked us off this week. After a long match of back and forth, Nottingham Forest proved their supremacy, and stole the game at 2-1. Next up was Crystal Palace (Alan & Bharat), who suffered an unfortunate 3-2 defeat against Grimsby Town (Jen & Steve). Derby County played against Southampton next, and despite being fierce competitors, Derby County were unable to stand their ground against Southampton, who stood their ground at 1-0. Accrington Stanley and Ipswich Town played the last match of the third session, but our players weren’t to be underestimated… Accrington Stanley secured the last victory of the night, but cutting it close at 2-1.

Join us for Subbuteo next week, where our contestants will continue their efforts to emerge victorious and enter the draw for the 4th round of the FA Cup.

3rd Round Report – Session 4

Results for session 4 of Subbuteo, which took place on Monday 25th March, are out…

Bristol City were up first, against Huddersfield Town. After a tense match, Bristol City scored the winning goal.

Newport County and Leicester City were up next… Another tense match that was ultimately called by Newport.

Fulham were victorious in their match against Oldham Athletic, keeping the 1-0 gap throughout the game. Shrewsbury Town secured their triumph with an epic goal against Stoke City… who were courageous in spite of their defeat.

3rd Round Report – Session 5

fAABI is back with the results of the fifth session of weekly Subbuteo matches! Tensions were high and competitors were strong, but victories were clear…

Unfortunately there were no reporters this week, so all you get are the results!

3rd Round Report – Session 6

fAABI is back with the results of the sixth session of weekly Subbuteo matches!

Tensions were high and competitors were strong, but victories were clear…

This week, Sheffield United kicked us off against Barnet, and a quality move a shot from Jen sealed the win.

Next up was Norwich City against Portsmouth… Alan stood rooted to the spot as Jen saw Barnet through to round 4. Bharat and Ben went to penalties to decide the outcome. Bharat kept his nerve to edge the game, but not before Ben saved a penalty!

By popular demand Jonathan and Steve were asked to play an exhibition match… and came head to head as Fleetwood Town and AFC Wimbledon. Goals-a-plenty ensured with Jonathan staging a late comeback…but in vain!

A draw for West Bromich Albion against Wigan Athletic meant it was left to penalties again for Wigan to emerge victorious thanks to Alan…

Another draw this round for Middlesbrough and Petersbrough United! Just before the penalties, Jen asked what ‘sudden death’ penalties were. Ben duly informed her by winning 1-0!

Liverpool, much to their dismay, were dumped out of the cup with Jen and Alan defeating Ben and Bharat as the Wolverhampton Wanderers on penalties!

The last game was a triple-sided game, with Steve, Jen and Bharat as Aston Villa emerging gloriously victorious against their crest-fallen opponents Jonathan, Ben and Alan as Swansea City.

That completes the matches in the 3rd round of the Cup. The 4th round matches commence…

4th Round Report - Session 7

The fourth round of the cup got under way this week with 6 matches, with teams looking to progress to the last 16.

Steve and Alan representing Bolton Wanderers got taught a lesson in sudden death penalties by Hull City’s Jen and Bharat.

Jonathan’s Oxford United became a little disunited when Ben’s Gillingham scored the decisive goal.

A big upset here with Bharat and Steve (representing Man Utd), equalising late on against Ben and Jen playing for Luton Town, only to lose 2-1 on penalties. Man Utd go out…

A comprehensive victory for Alan and Lincoln City, with a bullet shot from distance finishing off Jonathan’s Tranmere Rovers.

When Jen is in this mood Ben and Jonathan were always going to be up against it. Despite Ben saving a penalty for Blackburn Rovers, Jen and Alan’s Doncaster triumphed 2-1

It’s certainly not grim in Grimsby, with Bharat going 2 goals up against Steve, representing Notts Forest.

A late consolation goal didn’t change the result and it’s Grimsby in the last 16!

4th Round Report – Session 8

The next 6 matches of the fourth round of the cup were played this week with some hard fought games and the odd cup upset.

The Saints went marching in first, with Southampton up against Accrington Stanley. After a goalless game, Alan scored the deciding penalty.

The minnows of Newport County captained by Jen had the edge against Ben’s Bristol City – Penalties did it for Jen, who is rapidly turning into the penalty queen.

A high quality game saw a spectacular goal by Ben’s Fulham cancelled out by some quality flicking by Bharat. Fulham were victorious in the sudden-death penalty shoot-out.

An epic penalty shoot-out saw Jen’s Man City trading blows with Alan’s Blackpool, and after 8 shots each Man City scraped through 5-4.

When Ben was offered West Ham as his team to play for, he politely declined(!) and chose to play instead with Brighton. Alan saw the Hammers through however, after the customary penalty shoot-out.

Steve (playing Burnley) was 1-0 up and comfortable, when in the last minute a foul gave Jen the chance to blast a free-kick passed 3 defenders into the back of the net.

That meant a penalty shoot-out, and that meant only one winner…(!) Watford duly progressed to the last 16.

4th Found Report - Session 9

FOURTH ROUND MATCHES – Remaining 4 games

Leeds Utd with their rich footballing heritage, were represented by Alan. Alan clearly felt at home close to his roots and navigated Leeds through Bharat’s Barnet to progress to the 5th round of the cup.

Jon took part in his first Subbuteo event and got off to a great start with a 1-0 win, representing Norwich City. Ben’s AFC Wimbledon still have to rely on past FA Cup glories.

The real test for any fAABI Subbuteo player a penalty shoot-out with Jen – the penalty shoot-out Queen! Jen’s Wigan prevailed 2-1 against Jon’s Peterborough. Henceforthwith ‘The Posh’ duly exited the cup whilst Wigan look set for a great run.

Here’s a clip of Jen’s controversial winning goal. The ref said “Saved – No goal!”, but VAR said “Hole in the net – Goal!”

The last two clubs from the midlands in this year’s cup played each other in this encounter. In the full size version of the game, it’s been a good season for Wolves, and this is being reflected in our miniature version of the game, with Ben and Jonathan seeing them through against Steve and Bharat’s Aston Villa.


Alan was again representing ‘The North’ when Hull played Gillingham. However he must have got those foreboding feelings when the game went to penalties and he was facing Jen… It was one of those epic shoot-outs, with each player taking 7 shots. Eventually, with the light fading and all small children soundly asleep in their beds, Jen scored the winning goal. Here’s a clip of Alan’s penalty being saved by Jen’s goalie and then the post!

The tale of this match was an ill-timed substitution. Bharat had to go at half time and Steve took his place. Therein lay the tale. After some cracking goals, Ben, Bharat and Steve’s Luton Town were 2-1 up against Jon and Jonathan. It should have been plain sailing but for Steve giving away a stonewall penalty (just to clarify folks, Steve writes all the match reports, so no-one is being vilified unfairly here!)… Anyway, long story short – Steve lets in the penalty and the games ends 2-2. Steve then misses his shot in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, and promptly fails to save against Jonathan. Come back Bharat – all is forgiven!!

So we now have our first 2 cup quarterfinalists, Gillingham v Lincoln City… Joins us at our next session on Monday 3rd June, where we will find who the other 6 quarter-finalists will be. The games to be played are:

5th Round Report - Session 10

FIFTH ROUND MATCHES – Remaining games

This week we discovered who would make the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup quarter-finals

Alan and Bharat played out this battle of the North, where stoic defences held firm, forcing a penalty shoot-out. Bharat emerged victorious, so it’s not too grim in Grimsby as they progress their legendary cup run!

Steve, determined to see his beloved Southampton win the cup once again, scored early on as a helpless Jonathan and Ben were left watching in wonder at the seer brilliance of play and the Saint went marking in! In a throw-back to the days of McCalliog, Channon. Stokes, Osgood and McMenemy, Southampton were unstoppable. Although Steve reminisced for too long and lost his concentration in the final minute as Ben took a sharp chance to equalised for Newport.

And so it came to pass the game went indeed to penalties, and with the sun shining on the righteous, the Saints finally went marching in to the quarter-finals!

A bad year for Fulham was compounded when they were knocked out by Manchester City, who keep their hopes of an extraordinary quadruple alive! Alan and Steve combined to create a guilt-edged chance which

Alan slotted past an observant (but not diving) goalkeeper held by Jonathan. Jonathan magnanimously acknowledged the quality finish, whilst also musing on his casual goalkeeping…

We offered Crystal Palace supporter Ben the opportunity to play for West Ham, which was an interesting discussion. Suffice to say that Ben chose Watford…

Bharat took West Ham and the game was decided by an entertaining shoot-out. It was also controversial as Bharat was sure he saved a spot kick. VAR was needed as it all happened too fast…

However, the slow-motion action replay revealed Bharat did in fact save the ball, but on the way out of the goal!

A great year for Norwich City was undermined when an own goal saw them lose against Leeds United. Alan offered his commiserations to Ben (whilst celebrating enthusiastically!), as Leeds added to the strong northern contingent progressing through to the quarter finals.

What a game to finish with! Bharat was unstoppable, latching onto lovely passes by Steve. Twice he found the bottom left corner of the goal as Jonathan’s keeper watched on, mesmerised…

With some amazing goalkeeping by Bharat against the ensuing onslaught by Jonathan the game should have been up, but with two minutes to go Jonathan scored what should have been a consolation goal…

And then, with the final kick of the game a Wolves forward hit a lucky shot, ricocheting against at least 2 defenders for the ball to sneak in past a confused Wigan keeper.

Wigan (Bharat and Steve) were clearly unsettled and promptly bottled the penalty shoot-out. Wolves emerged victorious as the only team from the Midlands to remain in the cup.

So we now have our quarterfinalists…

Joins us at our next session on Monday 10th June, where we these ties will be decided!

Manchester City v West Ham United

Leeds United v Wolverhampton wanderers 

Gillingham v Lincoln City

Grimsby Town v Southampton

Quarter Finals - Session 11

Eight teams battled it out in the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup quarter-finals this week. Four were victorious and four will have to wait for another chance to play in the semi-finals.

An opening doubles match-up saw Jen and Ben looking after the Saints with Bharat and Alan (mainly Alan!) getting close to their Northern roots, playing for Grimsby. It was a midfield sort of affair, with precious few clear cut chances, and the inevitable penalty shoot-out ensued. Jen and Ben emerged victorious and the Saint went marching in to the semi-finals.

Bharat, playing Lincoln city had two penalties after some over-enthusiastic defending by Ben’s Gillingham. Ben’s keeper came to the rescue on both occasions however as Gillingham maintained a miraculous clear sheet! Lincoln also needed to defend stoutly at corner kicks with some close shaves in their own goalmouth, and did so successfully. The penalty shoot-out didn’t bode well for Lincoln though, with the two previously saved attempts. Once more Ben’s goalie did some 00-scale heroics and for the first time in history, Gillingham reach an FA cup semi-final.

Jen enthusiastically offered to play for West Ham, and faced Alan’s Manchester City. One thing Alan needed to avoid was another penalty shootout with the shoot-out queen. He didn’t manage to avoid this however and so it came down to shots! It was controversial as ever with one of Alan’s shots needing to be referred to the Video Assistant Referee. The issue was did Alan shoot before the referee said “shoot!”? The Video Assistant Referee rules in Alan’s favour and the goal stood. The judgement was that he shot after the “Shh…”, but arguably before the ‘oot’…! However you can be your own judge by watching the clip yourself

This was all in vain however as Jen eventually emerged the winner 3-2. Manchester City exit the cup, and West Ham are still on track for re-living former glories!

Jonathan and Jen teamed up for Leeds, playing Alan and Ben representing Wolves. This proved to be a dream team set up for Leeds with some great passing and build up play. Eventually Jen split the defence with a what can only be described as a defence-splitting ball, and Jonathan berried the ball in the back of the Wolves net. This proved to be the winner and Leeds find themselves back in the big time!

So we now have our semi-finalists…

Joins us at our next session on Monday 24th June, where we both semi-finals and the final will be played.

Gillingham v Southampton

West Ham United v Leeds United

Semi-finals and Final - Session 12

The semi-finals of the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup saw some great action and a couple of stunning goals. The final was end-to-end with a late twist and penalty drama!

Semi-final 1

Gillingham 0 v 1 Southampton

The Mighty Gills of Kent took on the Saints of Hampshire. Steve and Alan (playing Southampton) were aptly pious and devout in the application to the task in hand, and a splendid through ball was converted ‘on-the fly’, leaving the hapless Gillingham goalie no chance. Jonathan and Ben tried in vain to recover, but to no avail, and it was A Wembley destiny for Southampton.

Semi-final 2

West Ham United 1 v 0 Leeds United

Ben, being a Crystal Palace fan requested he play for Leeds rather than West Ham, and joined Alan (our resident Northerner) seeking to relive the glory days of Lorimer, Bremner and Hunter. It transpired that the rumours ‘Norman Hunter bites yer legs’ were mostly unfounded in this match, and West Ham took their opportunity to progress to the final. Some opportune inter-passing between Jonathan and Steve culminated in a fine goal and despite some close attempts at the other end, the Hammers will be blowing their Bubbles down Wembley way!


Southampton 1 v 1 West Ham United (Southampton win 3-2 on penalties)

This time Ben played avoided playing for West ham by teaming up with Steve to represent Southampton. A fine goal saw the Saints off to a great start and by the time Jonathan and Alan had recovered it was nearly half-time. A really promising West Ham attack was developing, but Ben intercepted the ball in the penalty area and shepherded the ball out of play with some deftly placed flicks. The second half became become ever more open with four end-to-end moves happening within the space of 90 seconds. Eventually something had to give and it was Alan’s pinpoint ball to Jonathan’s striker that saw West Ham pull level. The final whistle blew, signifying the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup would be decided on penalties.

It was tense, with all players scoring their first shots, however it was Ben who broke the deadlock with a fine save, and then an unstoppable penalty kick to win the cup for Southampton! The Saints marched in and burst the West ham bubbles! The Southampton players celebrated early into the evening (but not late as we had to go home!)…

A special thanks to all who took part is the matches over the weeks, especially Jonathan, who volunteered whenever he could make it to referee, coach and play the ‘odd’ match when needed.

The final table of all the games played went down to the wire, with Jen pipping Alan on goal difference. Her prize is to look after the FA Cup trophy until the next time…

Funded by...

The National Lottery Awards for All programme kindly donated some funding to enable this event to run, which coincided with the timing of the 'other' World Cup. The funding covered the use of equipment, venues and refreshments for the sessions. We would like to thank the National Lottery for their support and encouragement!

The playoffs

Before the tournament proper, a few games were played to warm everyone up (it had been a couple years since fingers had been flicked, and no-one wanted a sprained flexor tendon!

5 games were played, over two legs, to see who would reach the finals...

The Group Stages

Now the scene was set for the start of the tournament proper, with the 32 teams arranged in 8 groups of 4. The results of these matches are set out below...

All in all this was an epic tournament, with plenty of goals and banter in equal measure.

The final table saw Alan coming out on top for the first time, narrowly pipping the ever-present Mike.

Ayesha showed much promise with a 100% record, but unfortunately other duties called her away before she could make her challenge.

Jen lost her crown but has vowed to regain it in 2022!

Tony keeping a close eye on Mike's tactics, and in the background a goal has clearly just been scored!

The 3rd SoS OSC Tournament was held on 10th September 2017, with the pre-tournament evening meal held in Don Amici’s restaurant. This year saw 12 Olds participating, with family members in attendance, traveling from as far a field as Venice [and Brentwood(!)].

The Players

Unfortunately, Adam couldn't make the event on the day, so Niefra moved to Group C, to make it 4 Olds in each group...

The meal the night before...

The games...

The group matches start...

...and Paulo and Niefra are ready to play…

Forza ragazzi!

Niefra stands on the raised platform to get easy reach over the 3 tiers of terracing - nessum problema!

Borto and JLR…

On the ‘Subbuteo and the Beast’ pitch it’s Borto on the attack, heading down the wing along the edge of Atlantica, towards Agrabah!

Gullseye and Sir Macci…

Always time for a quick chat when setting out your players in starting formation. In this instance Gullseye is asking Sir Macci if he will go easy on him. Sir Macci smiles and says yes of course...and then accidentally scores many goals!

The game gets under way…

Gullseye's defensive flick falls half an inch short... ?

That is all Sir Macci needs, and goes on the rampage. the camera was turned off at this point to avoid showing the grotesque carnage that ensued in Gullseye's defence about 3 and a half seconds later! ?'re welcome Gully ?

Maltz and Ivo28...

In the garden room on the Castle Ruins pitch.

At the beginning of the day Malts' concentration is 100% focused. He loses about 5% every hour due to showing far to much enjoyment and interest on everything else that is around, so Ivo28 has drawn the short straw in playing him first up...


Malts appears to have the ball under siege at this point!

Distracting a player...

Fabio ‘Donald Crowhurst’ Bertola unaware that Borto is distracting the player on the end of the fingers in this pic.

The player?

That player is Niefra!

JLR and The Cat…

JLR needing to concentrate playing with Kev ‘The Cat’ Dyson…or is The Cat playing with JLR…(!)

Resting between games...

An unholy trio of Mestre Olds taking time out to watch a game being played in the Stadium of Fingers

Ivo and Gullseye...

Ivo has clearly cracked a joke to distract Gullseye while he builds up his attack. Gullseye falls for it, but if there’s a laugh to be had that always takes priority!

Camera operations...

Niefra - renowned for focus and vigilance in his camerawork!

The view...

Here’s what he is focused on…

In the shed...

Here we discover Ghigliotti09 and Borto having a day out at the seaside.

Borto is working out how to break down the Ghigliotti 'Christmas Tree' defence... ?

Great goal by Marco!

Borto was unsuccessful. Marco, intercepts, breaks away and scores!

Time and tide waits for no Borto! ?

Group matches and tables

The cup matches...

A couple of Scoundrels...

The games on the seaside pitch are relentless!

John joins Gullseye, who has recovered from the encounter with Sir Macci on the Don Bosco Allotments, and scores twice to advance to the final of the Scoundrels Cup.

Back to the Stadium of Fingers...

JLR seeing off an Ivo28 attack...

He moves down the pitch straight after this pic was taken and scores the only goal of the game to join Gullseye in the of the Scoundrels Cup final.

The camera team

Sir Macci and Borto organising the camerawork...

Unfortunately JLR attacked with a long ball, which was a bit too quick for the camera to rotate around ?‍♂️

If you watch the video of this game you do get to see Ivan pick the ball out of the net, after JLR has walloped it home! ?

Humble apologies JLR - a bitter-sweet moment...

No Man’s Land...

Paulo meets Malts playing over a dusting of snow.

Malts is on the way to having his most successful of days in Southend-on-Sea!

He scores the only goal of the game to progress to the Old Subby Cup final ?

Old School...Carpet Pitch

The final of the Tournament of the Unfortunate Finger (S'fortunato Finger Cup) is traditionally played on the Carpet Pitch.

John and Ivan battling it out...

Old Subby Cup Final

The final of the Old Subby Cup with Fabio ‘Donald Crowhurst’ Bertola and Gerald ‘Malts’ Brightwell meeting each other on the Anglo-Italian pitch.

Malts is applying pressure at a corner, where he slowly gains the upper hand in his glorious 1-0 victory! ?

The cup results...

The presentations...

The S'fortunato Finger Cup (John & Ivo28)

The Tournament of Scoundrels (Gullseye & JLR)

The Old Subby Cup (Malts & Fabio)

The Stadium of Fingers Cup (The Cat & Marco)

The  'OSC NO ZE UN ZOGO' faithful

A time to breathe after the event – the ‘Venerable Olds’ from the Mestre OldSubbuteo Club

The group photo...

Video footage

Sir Macci & Malts

Sir Macci goes 2 up against Malts. Malts appreciates the skills (more than Sir Macci's first goal!)

Marco & the Cat

Marco's best chance of the final!

The winning goal

The Cat scores to win the Stadium of Fingers Cup for the second time!

An Old Subbuteo experience...

After many years of thinking about it, and some more years of pitch-building, finally an invitation was circulated in the Old Subbuteo community to take part in an event in Southend-on-Sea, with its own unique flavour.

It was designed for those with a distinctly uncompetitive mind-set, as the pitches each had surrounding scenery that inhibits the players. Essentially, making it impossible to play properly…

It did however suit the more bonkers-natured individuals from the Old Subbuteo community – it offered an experience that encouraged participating players to regress to their childhood, and take a trip to Old Subbuteo Town.

The event was held in Southend-on-Sea, England, on Sunday 6th September 2015, with 17 participants - nine making the trip from Italy!

The Saturday evening saw an informal flats event and a game of Pitch Car, before an evening meal at the Flying Pasta Italian Restaurant on the seafront. Sunday morning started with bacon butties and pastries, and then it was kick-off time! ⚽

“Friends, Italians and Englishmen; lend me your ears;

We soon come to play OldSubbuteo.

And to praise OldSubbuteo;

The games we play will live after us.

The non-playing days will oft be interned with our bones.

So let it be with OldSubbuteo.”

Tournament Guide

Here is a summary of the tournament structure, and a guide to help enhance your experience of the land of Old Subbuteo that awaits you in Southend-on-Sea…

Kindly translated to Italian by Donald fabiobertola Crowhurst...

Playing figures

This is one of those tournaments where you can bring your own team to represent your hopes and dreams. Please do be inspired and bring your favourite team – regardless of whether you play well with them or not!
Either way, while genuine ‘old’ figures are preferred, repro figures are OK if you are worried about breaking your beloved originals…

Squadre ammesse

In questo torneo è possibile usare la tua squadra preferita, che rappresenti le tue speranze ed i tuoi sogni. Sarebbe bello che tu portassi la tua squadra del cuore, anche se non è quella con la quale giochi meglio!
Ad ogni modo, sarebbe preferibile l'uso delle squadre originali Subbuteo, ma se temi di rompere le tue amate originali, sono ammesse le repliche…

Number of players

We are aiming for 32 players, however contingencies are as follows:

  • If more than 32 players want to take part, some players will be combined to make a team of two. If this happens, then the two team members can adopt any one of the following arrangements (with players swapping roles at half-time).

(i) Player 1 plays outfield, and player 2 is the goalie
(ii) Player 1 plays outfield and player 2 is the goalie and also takes all throw-in’s corners and free-kicks.
(iii) Player 1 plays the 1st half, and player 2 plays the 2nd half. When not playing the respective team member is expected to generally give their team member a hard time.

  • If less than 32 players take part then the groups will be modified to give each player the optimum amount of games.
  • If only Jim (forfoxsake) and fabiobertola, turn up, they play on all the pitches until they drop…

Numero di giocatori

L'ideale sarebbe quello di avere 32 giocatori, diversamente saranno possibili le seguenti varianti:

Se saranno presenti più di 32 giocatori, alcuni di essi saranno accomunati nella stessa squadra. In questo caso i due membri della squadra possono giocare assieme in uno dei seguenti modi (scambiandosi all'intervallo):
(i) Giocatore 1 in campo e giocatore 2 in porta,
(ii) Giocatore 1 in campo e giocatore 2 in porta che batte anche le rimesse, i corner e le punizioni,
(iii) Giocatore 1 gioca il primo tempo e giocatore 2 il secondo, con la promessa che durante l'attesa chi guarda critichi duramente il compagno che gioca.

Se saranno presenti meno di 32 giocatori i gruppi verranno modificati per consentire ad ognuno un congruo numero numero di partite.

Se saranno presenti solo Jim (Forfoxsake) e Fabiobertola, essi giocheranno tutte le partite fino allo sfinimento….

Timings (including shoot-out sudden death)

To ensure the OSC Mestre travellers can catch their flight back to Venice, the finals are schedules to finish at 4pm. Therefore the schedule goes something like this.

  • Arrive anytime from 8am
  • First matches kick-off at 9am
  • Group stages completed by 12 noon
  • Early buffet lunch scheduled to 12.30pm
  • Knock-out matches start at 1pm
  • Presentations at 4pm

To keep the afternoon on schedule, any tied games will be decided by ‘sudden-death’ shoot-out (first to be ahead after an equal number of attempts wins).

Also, everyone gets at least 2 games in the afternoon session, as follows:

(i) The top two players in the groups go through to the main tournament (The ‘Stadium of Fingers Cup’).

  • Whoever wins these matches stays in the ‘Stadium of Fingers Cup’.
  • Whoever loses these matches goes into the ‘Old Subby Cup'.

(ii) The bottom two players in the groups go through to the ‘Tournament of Scoundrels’.

  • Whoever wins these matches stays in the ‘Tournament of Scoundrels’.
  • Whoever loses these matches goes into the ‘Tournament of the Unfortunate Finger’.

This means there will be four finals in the last session.

Presentations will follow and then hot grub will be available for those who can stay for a bit longer. Also, it’s an opportunity to play a game in the Stadium of Fingers if you haven’t done so during the day.

Tempi di gioco

Per assicurare ai membri del OSC Mestre di poter prendere il volo serale da Southend per Venezia, è previsto che le finali terminino entro le ore 16. Quindi il programma dovrebbe essere pressappoco il seguente:

  • Arrivo dopo le 8:00
  • Calcio d'inizio alle 9:00
  • Termine della fase a gruppi entro le 12:00
  • Pranzo a buffet alle 12:30
  • Inizio fase eliminatoria alle 13:00
  • Premiazioni alle 16:00

Per mantenere i tempi, le partite in parità si decideranno tramite sudden death shoot-out (chi prevale a parità di tentativi vince).

Ad ogni modo, nel pomeriggio ognuno giocherà almeno due match come segue:

(i) I primi due classificati di ogni girone saranno promossi al tabellone principale (‘The Stadium of Fingers Cup’.

  • Chi vincerà il primo turno rimane nella ‘Stadium of Fingers Cup’.
  • Chi perderà al primo turno finirà nel torneo dei ‘Old Subby Cup'.

(ii) Il terzo e quarto classificato di ogni girone finiranno nel tabellone dei cialtroni.

  • Chi vincerà il primo turno rimane nella ‘Cialtrons Cup’.
  • Chi perderà al primo turno finirà nel ‘Torneo Dello Sfortunato Finger.

Quindi ci saranno 4 finali.

Seguiranno le premiazioni e, per chi vuole rimanere, la possibilità di giocare delle amichevoli, compresa l'opportunità, per chi non lo avesse già fatto durante il torneo, di giocare nello Stadium of Fingers

Use of timer

Those of us old enough to be playing Subbuteo before the invention of the digital watch have fond memories of the ‘Pinger’ or the kitchen timer.

Subbuteo marketed the Smiths Kitchen Timer as a way of timing games, and in memory of these great early days of Subbuteo every game will be timed using the ‘Pinger’ – Stopwatches are outlawed for this tournament!

The added value of the ‘Pinger’ is you don’t know exactly when it’s going to ‘Ping’. Just like a real-life referee – much more realistic! (Although it has to be said, real-life referees probably don’t tick as loudly…)

Uso del cronometro

Quelli più in là con gli anni che hanno giocato a Subbuteo prima dell'avvento dei cronometri digitali, ricordano il Pinger, il timer della cucina.

Subbuteo pubblicizzò i timer da cucina Smith come valido metodo per tenere il tempo di una partita, quindi in memoria dei bei vecchi tempi in questo torneo tutte le partite verranno cronometrate con il Pinger. È assolutamente proibito l'uso dei cronometri digitali

Il valore aggiunto del Pinger è che non è dato a sapere l'esatto momento in cui si udirà il Ping. Come un vero arbitro che non da preavviso su quando fischierà la fine! (Anche se nella realtà l'arbitro probabilmente non "ticchetta" così forte…

Playing pitches and tips

Every pitch has its own special theme, which makes for a unique playing experience. For example:

  • It’s difficult to reach over the terracing in the Stadium of Fingers.
  • The ‘No Man’s Land’ pitch has sharp ‘dead’ trees which jab into your wrist when taking throw-ins.
  • The Christmas Pitch has snow, which makes players jump over the ball unexpectedly, and the ball slows up in the deeper snow.
  • The ‘Don Bosco Allotments’ pitch is quite springy, and you can accidently flick your player over the cross-bar if you flick too hard when you shoot.
  • The ‘Park’ pitch doesn’t have goals. You have the choice of trees or ‘jumpers for goalposts’. Both players have to decide between them if a goal has been scored or not – just like those days in the school playground, or a kick-about in the local park.

Also, in the excitement of the game, damage to the scenery is inevitable, and no-one should feel too guilty if they accidentally break something (unless it’s Gerald again…)

However, to reduce the calamitous incidents the following tips and techniques are suggested and allowable:

  1. If you are playing in the Stadium of Fingers, or in the ‘Anglo-Italian’ pitch you’re allowed to place your non-flicking hand on the pitch, so you can reach to play an awkward flick.
  2. If your opponent is struggling to get back to use his goalie, and may decimate the scenery if he does this too quickly – give them time to get back in position…

Avvertenze sui campi di gioco

Ogni campo è a tema, e giocarci rimane un esperienza unica. Ad esempio:

È difficile allungarsi sopra le gradinate dello Stadium of Fingers.

  • Il "No Man's Land" ha le punte degli alberelli che si impigliano nei polsi quando si effettuano le rimesse laterali.
  • Il Christmas Pitch ha la neve che fa casualmente saltare i giocatori oltre la palla, che inoltre rallenta nella neve alta.
  • Gli "Orti di Don Bosco" ha un fondo piuttosto elastico, ed è facile far saltare il giocatore sopra la traversa se si flicca troppo forte.
  • Il "Parco" non ha le porte. Si possono usare gli alberi o i maglioni come pali. I giocatori devono accordarsi tra loro ogni volta che un tiro passa nelle vicinanze del palo, per decidere se è o non è goal, come ai tempi della scuola.

Inoltre, nell'euforia delle partite, è facile rompere qualche dettaglio degli scenari, ma nessuno deve sentirsi troppo in colpa se dovesse accadere (a meno che non capiti ancora a Gerald…)

Comunque, per ridurre il numero dei "disastri", si consigliano i seguenti suggerimenti:

  1. Giocando nello Stadium of Fingers, o nel campo "anglo-italiano", è permesso appoggiare una mano sul campo, in modi da raggiungere le posizioni più scomode.
  2. Se il tuo compagno di gioco è in ritardo nel tentativo di riprendere in mano l'asticciola del portiere, e rischia di decimare lo scenario, dagli tutto il tempo di poterlo fare con calma…

‘Finger/Fox’ rules option

In 2010 Jim Westwood (forfoxsake) played his first game with Steve Moreton (the finger). These games developed into their own legend, where both played with throw-in figures and corner-kickers.

The 6-yard rule was abolished, and if a figure nudges but doesn’t move an opposing figure during the positional flicks, that’s allowed (under the ‘jostling’ rule) in the pursuit of realistic football…Thus the ‘Finger-Fox rules were born!

The experience is the essence of childhood Subbuteo, and this tournament gives permission for players to agree to use any of the Finger-Fox rules into their game. The choice is yours

Regole opzionali Finger/Fox

Nel 2010, Jim Westwood (forfoxsake) giocò la sua prima partita con Steve Moreton (the finger). Le partite tra di loro sono diventate un classico, giocate con l'uso delle speciali miniature per le rimesse ed i calci d'angolo.

È inoltre abolito il divieto di stazionare nell'area piccola, ed è possibile toccare (non spostare!) le miniature avversarie negli spostamenti prima dei corner, imitando il vero calcio. Queste sono le Finger/Fox rules!

Sperimentare è l'essenza del Subbuteo della nostra infanzia, così in questo torneo è possibile giocare seguendo una o tutte le regole Finger/Fox, accordandosi con il compagno di gioco. A voi la scelta…

Southend-on-Sea Old Subbuteo Club Oath

“I hereby solemnly declare that I will flick to my best ability and enjoy every game I play against any opponent regardless. It will be an honour to win, an honour to draw and an honour to lose!”

"Giuro solennemente che fliccherò al meglio delle mie capacità e mi divertirò ad ogni partita giocata, indipendentemente da chi sarà il mio compagno. Sarà un onore vincere, un onore pareggiare ed un onore perdere!"

The Players

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

The Group Matches

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

The Cup Matches

Stadium of Fingers Cup
Old Subby Cup
Scoundrels Cup
S'fortunato Finger Cup

Pics and Clips

The game of Pitch Car (plus cakes!)_
Egregio taking a pic of himself and Gilanzal in the SoF
The Cat and Paulo in the Allotments of Don Bosco
Egregio and Gullseye in amongst the cabbages and tomatoes
The Castle Ruins with Gilanzal and The Photographer
Paola and Egregio in No Man's Land
Two Italians on the Anglo-Italian pitch
The Old Subby Cup final with Forfoxsake and The Photographer

Unfortunately there was a problem with the copying of the DVDs' of the matches played in the Stadium of Fingers - Alas! ?

However, some clips were recorded on phonecams, and here is The Photographer on the attack against Forfoxsake, whose keeper comes to the rescue in the Old Subby Cup Final...

OSC Mestre Olds on the carpet pitch
Italians playing Old Subbuteo Town
Back to the carpet pitch...
How it used to be, all those years ago...
A clip of of the S'fortunato Finger Cup Final between Borto72 and Niefra. They travelled all the way from Italy to England to play Subbuteo on the floor! ?
Gilanzal and Paolo19720 contesting a sudden death shoot-out on the Park Pitch. A chipped shot saved here ?
In this clip you will hear a referee who thinks "Non" means "Si", and then see a shot going over the lack of a crossbar!
The deciding moment, when Gilanzal blasts the ball into the roof of the lack of net. Maybe this was a goal? ?
Everybody gathered around the phonecam to see the action replay and the goal was given and Gilanzal was through to the final of the Stadium of Finger Cup! ?
The freezeframe of the ball as it cross the goal line...

The videoing of the matches played in the Stadium of Fingers met some snags, resulting in only the master copy of the various games being available to take home. This meant that the two players had to agree who would have the recording of their game for a keepsake. This also meant that there were no copies left to upload any clips to the website pages…until 5 years later, when it was discovered that Malts had left the DVD of his game with The Photographer behind!

So, here are a few clips that show the essence of the first  meeting between these two mythical ‘Cialtrone’, Malts (Gerald) and The Photographer (Oriano) in the Stadium of Fingers…

Somehow Malts manages to play almost the entire first half with no defence and keep a clean sheet!
This clip shows the first 2 or 3 minutes, and at the beginning Gerald has 5 defenders and a midfielder who has tracked back to join the defence. The video is paused whenever a defender is lost…
Oriano is clean through again, but his finger fails him as he leans over the terracing! Malts breaks away with a counter attack
Another gilt-edged chance, but Gerald’s keeper and the woodwork are playing a blinder! ?
He's through on goal again, but alas - it all appears to be getting too much for poor Oriano!... ?
Someone once said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” – these two manage to do both! ?
In the second half Malts decided to play with a proper defence. This ironically proved to be his undoing!
Gerald’s keeper is undeterred and comes to the rescue again!
And again! Check out the slow-motion replay to see the heroics. ?
At the end Gerald says "I can’t wait to see the video”, and then left it behind…! ?

The Flats Event

On the Saturday evening several Olds came round before the meal, and there was time to play a few games using the flat figures. 14 teams were involved with anyone playing any team.

It was a little ambitious to get all these games played, and one remaining quarter final (Everton v Man City), the semi-finals and final were actually played in September 2016, when Neifra and Paulo19720 returned to play in the following year's event! ?

The 14 teams were split into 3 groups of 4 and the British Troops and German Troops played a couple of games on the No Man's Land pitch - both progressing to the knock-out stage, as they finished in the top two places in their group! ??

The amazing adventures of Francesco in the temple of Subbuteo

VecchiaGuardia1972 left Southend-on-Sea to travel back to Italy. He must have spent the whole flight writing his reflections of his experience at the home of the Stadium of Fingers

It is an epic piece, which capture the essence of the Southend-on-Sea Old Subbuteo Tournament.

When you have a spare 10 minutes, have a read, using Google Translate. Although the detail in his tale will require a few 'copy and pastes'!

In the next section is a ('Google-Translated') sample of his blog...

"It is the room itself that is a show dedicated to Subbuteo with the mural of Theophilus, with his soul watching over the sleepless nights of the Subbuteists.

The windows in the Subbuteo theme and then, last but not least, the many cameras with the control room that record you while you are playing. I almost faint after seeing all this.

I think now I can say that I have seen almost everything, I could even take the first plane to Italy and go home. I would still be happy for the rest of my life."

A Memento

A nice surprise received by Borto72 after the tournament from the Mestre OSC Olds!

A wonderful reminder of the first ever SoS OSC Tournament! Grazie mille Borto and Grazie infinite OSC Mestre!! ?

The welcome

Welcome to the FAABI Subbuteo World Cup!

The Subbuteo World Cup evenings are your opportunity to spend some relaxed time with fellow table football enthusiasts, playing a the games of the FIFA World Cup and sharing a drink and nibbles. The evenings are open to all – those who have never played Subbuteo table football and want to ‘give it a go’, and those who used to play the game when they were younger. Standard of play is irrelevant, but a cheerful disposition is mandatory!

Where and when?  
The sessions will be held at Attend’s Head Office on Monday or Tuesday evenings in the ‘FAABI Room’ from 6:30pm to 08:30pm with drinks and refreshments provided.
Our first session will be on Monday 9th June 2014

If you are interested in joining, please contact us by email or on 0207 307 2570 to book a place.

The sessions

Subbuteo World Cup Report – Week 1

Brazil are out!

The hosts have been sensationally knocked out by Croatia. Monty in his first ever game of Subbuteo, played Mike (also in his first ever game!). The game looked like it was heading for a classic 0-0 World Cup opener, when Monty surprised Mike (and also himself!) by slotting the ball past the keeper with 5 minutes to go…

So Brazil have to go back home…to Brazil(!)

England are out!

Italy played by Tony Palluto (who else) have taken great joy in defeating England 1-0. Tony played typical Azzurri Blue tactics – cagey defense, slow build-ups and clinical finishing (in the last minute!). Monty (playing England) was naturally devastated, but pragmatic. Singing “we’re going home, going home, football’s going home” etc etc.

Subbuteo World Cup Report – Week 2

Germany (Eric) 1 – 0 Portugal (Monty)

So when Germany entered the field (in their all white strip), we were all expecting a 4-0 trouncing, to reflect the real life score – particularly as Eric was playing for Germany. However, it appears that Eric was a tad put off by the England 3-lions motif, which appeared to be on the German shirts (a problem of only having 8 teams to choose from to play all 32 World Cup teams!)

Nevertheless, Eric played in an efficient manner using technically correct flicks, and gradually wore down the opposition. Monty played valiantly throughout and was unlucky to end up on the losing side. Naturally, at the final whistle, there was a rousing rendition of “Steh auf, wenn du für Deutschland bist ("Get up if you're supporting Germany"), sung to the melody of "Go West" by the Pet Shop Boys.

“Vorsprung durch eric” as they say in Germany…

Epic encounter!

Cameroon (Ben) 4 – 4 Mexico (Steve) [Cameroon wins 3-2 on penalties]

Cameroon (Ben) shared an 8-goal epic with Mexico (Steve). Going behind on 3 occasions, Cameroon came back to equalise in the last minute to make the full-time score 4-4. Steve scored 2 of his 5 of his penalty shots, but Ben blasted 3 of his past Steve’s hapless goalie, into the roof of the net.

Subbuteo World Cup Report - Week 3

USA (Tony) 0 – 0 Belgium (Ben) [USA wins 5-0 on penalties]. Tony helped the USA in the first of the Round of 16, progress to the quarter finals.

A special edition Subbuteo team, painted in Attend’s colours and with figures based on Attend’s staff guested for USA in this match.

Subbuteo World Cup Report – Week 4

Jen is back!

Greece (Jen) 0 – 0 Italy (Tony) [Greece wins 2-1 on penalties]

So, after a few weeks of absence, the reigning FAABI Subbuteo Champion returns!

…and it was Tony, playing his beloved Italia, who suffered as a result! Both keepers played blinders as a hard fought game resulted 0-0, but it was Jen’s experience, cool head and sure flicking in the penalty shoot-out, which undone the passionate and expressive Tony, who duly remonstrated in true Italiano fashion…to the referee, other players and spectators alike. S’fortunato Tony…

Tony, philosophical as ever, agreed that “If you love football, you have to accept football…the joy and the sadness.”

Ben chalks one up!

Croatia (Ben) 1 – 0 Chile (Mike)

Ben got into the groove to take the game to Chile. Mike (playing Chile), duly commentated on the game in perfect ‘spanglish’, and entertainment was had by all. From nowhere, Ben has now moved up the league table to be a point behind current leader Mike.

Current players’ table:

This makes fascinating reading, with Mike (top) and Steve (bottom) having inverse goal-differences…

Also, note Jen’s foreboding move up the table…

Subbuteo World Cup Report – Week 5

Helen made her debut in guest appearances, first with a win for Greece over Croatia, and then making a string of penalty saves to see Bosnia-Herzegovina overcome the USA to reach the semi-finals...

Germany won on penalties(!) to defeat Ecuador, but there was no doubt about Tony's win with Uruguay - with Mike's Cameroon falling at this stage.

The Final Session

Greece win the World Cup!

Semi-Final 1

Greece (Tony) 0 v 0 Germany (Jen) [Greece win 6-5 on penalties]

With Eric in Paris, Germany were always going to be vulnerable! Jen took on the mantle, and found Tony in determined mood. Jen’s keeper frustrated the Greek attackers and the inevitable penalty shoot-out looked ominous for Tony. The shots went to sudden-death, and after 11 penalties each Greece caused a major upset by knocking out the favourites!

"Franz Beckenbauer! Hugo Boss! Beethoven! Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker! Angela Merkel! Can you hear me? Angela Merkel... Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating! " (Bjørge Lillelien)

Semi-Final 2

Uruguay (Mike) 0 v 0 Bosnia Herzegovina (Ben) [Uruguay win 2-1 on penalties]

The overwhelming underdogs, Bosnia Herzegovina, nearly progressed to the final after a sterling display against Uruguay. Again, Mike’s latin commentary appeared to give Suarez and company the bit between their teeth in the penalty shoot-out(!), and Uruguay progressed to the World Cup final.

Third/fourth Place Play-Off

Bosnia Herzegovina (Ben/Tony) 0 v 0 Germany (Mike/Steve) [Germany win 3-2 on penalties]

The third/fourth place play-off was a doubles affair, with Ben and Tony narrowly losing to Mike and Steve in the penalty shoot-out. So Germany had to settle for 3rd place – Alas!


So after 31 games it came down to Greece versus Uruguay in the World Cup Final!

Jen, who took the picture below, played with Tony (both representing Greece) against Mike and Ben, representing Uruguay.

There were two key moments that defined the final – 2 great through balls by Tony, both clinically finished off by Jen. Here’s a link to the 2nd goal… (Put link here if Jen is OK with it)

This was too good to Mike and Ben, who philosophically recognised that Suarez and company had finally bitten off more than they could chew(!)

The final whistle saw the Uruguayans desolate, and the Greeks jubilant, as they gathered around their somewhat ginormous trophy!

Congratulations to Tony who has won this year’s tournament! And thank you to everyone who made this possible. Those responsible for crowd control, half time pep talks, fantastic sports journalism… the list goes on! See you all next time!

Before the final...
The 2nd and winning goal...
Greece celebrate with the World Cup Trophy!
Tony tops the table!
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