On the eve of the 2019 SoS OSC tournament, the Old Sods check out the Stadium of Fingers, which is set up for some end of summer Subbuteo Cricket.
Ever open to inspiration and unable to avoid the temptation to play a 00-scale test match between England and Australia, the inaugural Old Sods Subbuteo cricket match commences...
This clip shows the first ever piece of footage of the event, featuring Spudski bowling to Ute Ubo, watched on by Puffin, JohnClu48 and Donald 'Fabio' Crowhurst'...
One close-up video clip was taken for a hat-trick ball...
Ute, was having a purple patch with the ball and had already dispatched two fine Old Sods back to the pavilion...First Puffin, and then Fabio...
The hat-trick ball was fended off by an Older and Wiser Sod (Rocket), playing a solid forward defensive shot.
Even so, the ball nearly found a way through...
Fingers, tries to nullify the devastating Ute Ubo bodyline bowling, by taking a long stride down the pitch.
The tactic fails miserably and Australia are all out, beaten by an innings and 25 runs!
The Old Sods then strolled back to the pavilion to watch highlights of their game.
Suffice to say there was some plentiful sledging of the umpire with some suggested visits to the opticians...
This is the story of the unfinished season...
One day in 1976, three brothers decided to play a Subbuteo league - the youngest not yet 10 years old...
They had 12 teams between them, who competed for the league championship and the FA Cup...
Southampton, Chelsea, QPR, Man Utd, Watford, Norwich City, West Ham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Spurs and Man City.
Then more teams appeared, so in 1977 a 2nd division was needed. The top 6 teams formed the new first division (apart from Watford, who seemed to be lost for a few years!? 🙄), where they were joined by Everton, Hibs and Plymouth.
Leeds Utd were added to the second division. This belonged to the three brothers' Dad, who decided it was time to join in...
The seasons continued until 1983, but this season remains unfinished - just 4 games were left needing to be played...
Subbuteo produced a limited range of trophies. This one is the rare intact 3-handled League Cup. One of the holy grail accessories for 21st century collectors. In mint condition it could be worth up to £200. "The rarist by far of all Subbuteo trophies" (Subbuteo Emporium) "The League Cup is now the most sought-after trophy on the planet." (Subbuteo Online).
As this one was used for the Division 3 Cup and has tippex on the base, it is devalued by approximately £199... 🙄
The foul rule played in these games, was if a figures hits another figure before hitting the ball it was judged a foul. Obviously a foul because the player smacked into an opponent before playing the ball - a clear foul!
Apparently, this is a 'back' in Subbuteo rules, but these three brothers and the Dad didn't know this rule at the time. They played the foul rule as it clearly should be played if the figures were real people. I mean can you imagine if a football player runs up to an opponent and kicks his legs away, and then the referee says "go back to where you were" and then waves play-on??? 😲
So, using this (more realistic) foul rule, there were plenty of fouls. If a player committed two fouls in a game they were booked, and a third foul meant they got sent off
The dirtiest player of the season? The 8th Southend's number 11 - Pete Osborne...
That was my thought as well Vik!! 😃
However, the old 3-tier stadium does make for interesting incidents. I was playing 90+ on Wednesday evening. We are still trying to finish off our 1983 seasons and we were playing a third division match between Cork Hibs and West Brom (my brother was West Brom, who were already relegated).
Cork Hibs were also playing their 9th and last game of the seasons and were destined for mid-table mediocrity, win lose or draw. So the game was played more for inspiration than points, and for the first time for probably 15 years we had reached half time 0-0 – not easy to do when you play 20 mins each way. There were loads of chances and close-shaves, but it seemed like the goals and goalkeepers were having a charmed existence.
For example, I was trying to pass back to my goalie from the edge of the defensive area, and because it’s too much hassle to walk round the table and lean over the 3 tiers, I leaned over from behind the goal turning my hand 180 degrees to play the ball back with my left hand holding the goalie’s rod.
This body position apart from looking ungainly and feeling uncomfortable, also lends itself to a certain lack of subtlety that such delicate flick demands. Essentially, I ended up blasting the ball back to my goalie who promptly punched the ball straight into the west stand for a thrown-in! 😲
Later I was attacking with the ball by the corner flag with my lone attacker on the goal line with 2 flicks left. 90+ was tying me down with defensive flicks, but to do these flicks he had to let go of his goalie in order to play them. As there really wasn’t anything on I went for the old ‘flick the player up the sideline whilst just glancing the ball, and then fire in a shot from 2 inches from the corner flag before my brother could take his defensive flick’ option.
I was astounded when this actually came off, but even more astounded when my brother’s unattended goalie pushed the shot round the post!! 😲😫
The match carried on in this general chaotic vein until 90+ scored what we thought at the time was the winner, in the 38th minute. It was one of those impossible to read shots where the player is 6 inches outside the shooting area and the ball 2 inches inside it. He was just able to lean over the 3 tiers to get right behind the player and caught the ball just right, slotting it inside my left-hand post.
He then played 9-0-1 for the last 2 minutes and 50 seconds! 🙄This tactic appeared to have worked with 7 seconds to go. He had just taken a goal kick that ricocheted off one of my players, and the ball had ended up right in my defending left hand corner arc. We both applauded the realism of such quality time-wasting tactics and we mentally prepared to play out the game by faffing around the corner flag. 🙁
My left back then played a blinder. First he curled 25 yards (00-scale!) and just touched the ball with his head (the ball was still nearer the touchline than the player). Then he did one of those ‘180-degree-tight-curl-right-around-the-ball’ type of flicks 😎 and ended up in the corner right next to the ball, with only one option of passing to the goalie. He kicked it hard to make sure it reached, forcing the standing goalie to boot the ball up the pitch whilst it was on the move. At this point my brother’s spidey-sense made him turn and head for his goalie.
A midfield player played the ball on through a tight gap and the ball ended up in the shooting area, with his players all around it. My only player with sight of the ball was 5 inches from the half-way line and slightly on the other side of the pitch to where I was flicking. So, on the tippiest of my left toes and with my right root in the air, I had to lean as far over the 3 tiers and across the pitch as I could. My finger just reached, but it was total guesswork in aiming for the ball. From where I was learning over the West Stand I had a great side view of this player catching the ball perfectly and seeing the ball blast inside my brother’s hapless keeper inside his right-hand post. He was initially stunned, and then when the full-time whistle went one second later, he just fell to the ground in a state of dejected hysteria!! 🤪
I love the effect this stadium can have on what is otherwise an orderly pastime! 😂
Flick O’Rooney scores goal of the championship!
A fun-filled start to the fAABI Euro 2016 was had by Jon, Erica and Steve, with the moment of the evening being a sublime chip over the keeper from close range by the famous Northern Irish Subbuteo figure Flick O’Rooney. Erica (playing for Northern Ireland) was facing an impossible situation with the Ukrainian keeper (played by Jon) bearing down on her star striker who then fashioned remarkable chip over the despairing goalie, who was heard to mutter “Я не вірю в це!”. (“I don’t believe it!”)
All matches were hard fought, and yet humorous affairs, full of much mirth and some skill. Two potentially career-ending injuries were suffered by the players, with an over-enthusiastic shot by Jon resulting in the ball flying into Erica’s front teeth, whilst Jon suffered a groin injury as a Welsh player was flicked with a little too much vigour and hurtled off the table.
Romania (Erica) 0 – 0 Albania (Jon)
[Albania win 3-2 on penalties]
Slovakia (Jon) 0 – 0 Wales (Erica)
Ukraine (Jon) 1 – 1 Northern Ireland (Erica)
[Ukraine win 4-1 on penalties]
Many thanks for those who turned up to take part in the final week of the Euro 2016 Subbuteo event.
We saw Wales reaching the final, where they finally succumbed to Germany 3-2 on penalties!
Also many congrats to Erica for topping the players’ table (by quite some margin!)
We hope to flick again to celebrate the World Cup in 2018…!
In 2013, a few casual conversations around shared hobbies and interests resulted in the Friends of Attend Acquired Brain Injury (FAABI) exploring the idea of holding some Subbuteo events for its community of beneficiaries and carers.
A demo event was held with the ABI Job Club clients, and their thoughts were invited on whether a series of Subbuteo evenings would be welcomed by ABI survivors. The overall impression they offered was that it would be worth promoting as a pilot.
FAABI then approached Paul Lamond Games (distributors of Subbuteo in the UK), who kindly donated teams, goals and balls for the pilot sessions. The refreshments were covered by a donation by ITV, for the use of the Stadium of Fingers in the creation of their FA Cup video, shown on ITV before the FA Cup Final between Man City and Wigan.
The Subbuteo evenings are an opportunity for participants to spend some relaxed time with fellow table football enthusiasts, playing a few games 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!
Six consecutive Tuesday evenings, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm between 9th July 2013 to 13 Aug 1013.
"Before my accident, I was 18 and I had just qualified as a horse riding instructor. Two weeks after receiving my qualification, I was in a car accident and suffered a serious head injury.
I stayed in hospital and rehabilitation for nine months. I remember feeling absolutely devastated but I just knew I had to rebuild my life.
With lots of support I eventually got work in an office and then started to look for ways that I could socialise again.
I heard about Friends of Attend ABI (FAABI) and decided to give it a go, first by joining their discussion group. Then recently I came to FAABI’s Subbuteo evenings.
I had never played Subbuteo before, however having been to FAABI before I knew that it would be nothing but fun.
Initially I simply saw it as a social thing where I would just come in and chat to other people about the games. However, I started playing a few matches myself and found that I really got into it. I’ve always been a competitive person and Subbuteo bought that side right out of me! In the end, I ended up winning the entire competition and was very happy about this!
Overall, I think FAABI is fantastic. Because of FAABI, my confidence has grown and it has given me something to look forward to every week. My life now is very different to the life I had before but the most important thing is that I feel like I am living."