John Charles - The Subbuteo Referee

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A true tale...

"I wasn't expecting this conversation at a Carol Concert this evening, organised by the local hospice...

One of the chaplains (Trevor Williams) was doing a light-hearted bit about Christmas, and David (the Chef for the Stadium of Fingers events) leant over and said he thought his wife mentioned Trevor had played Subbuteo in his younger days.

So afterwards, I wandered over to him, introduced myself and said "What's all this about Subbuteo in your younger days?"

He said that was quite a while ago, as he was old enough now to have had quite a few 'younger days', but he did chat about what is was like...

So this was back in the days when the earth was 'flat' and real men were made of cardboard. He was in quite a vibrant and sporty church group based in Leeds - vibrant enough to field 4 football teams in the local league.

They also had a Subbuteo league, which he once won. These plentiful sporting endeavours warranted an awards evening, where loads of trophies and prizes were given out. Trevor remembers the highlight of the evening was always a showcase Subbuteo match (just 5 minutes each way), where the winner of the league played the winner of the cup.

The time Trevor played in this match, watched by all the gathered ensemble, was the same year when John Charles had agreed to give out the various awards! (the Church Minister was well networked )

So it was quite natural for John Charles to also be asked to referee this showcase match, which he duly did, and Trevor suddenly found the "greatest all-round footballer ever to come from Wales" (wikipedia!) refereeing his Subbuteo match!!

...and to top this off, John Charles was card no. 3 of the Subbuteo card set.

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