Friday, December 30, 2005


For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Subbuteo is easily the most popular, successful and enduring of all soccer related games (with the probable exception of actually getting out there with your mates and kicking a ball about in the street).

It's also a Bowles family favourite. As often as there are two or more Bowles men together and a couple of drinks have been had the cry goes up "Subbuteo tournament!"
Someone goes up to the spare room and gets the battered old cardboard box containing dozens of teams, the goals and balls and of course, the famous 'Chapel Lane' pitch.

This is a 25 year old subbuteo pitch sewn onto an old bedsheet, around the touchlines have been graffitied famous scores from the past, the first time i ever beat my Dad, the first time I beat my brother, that crazy day my brother beat my dad. In our family this pitch is Lords, Wembley and Shea Stadium all rolled into one.

When we were kids we would play non stop (ahh, the days before computer games)and I have to admit that I may well have done much better at University had it not been for the influence of my room mate and his subbuteo set.

The pitch has to be ironed and then spread out over the kitchen table. You play by flicking the plastic players to kick the ball. What follows is almost as great as the real thing, there's invariably running commentaries and outrageous punditry as well as real time arguments, criticism and praise.
Let the pictures explain the rest.

The Silver Fox looks for the 'Bowles Subbuteo Tournament' entry from the unoffical history of subbuteo.

Searching for that elusive 1981 Spurs team.

Tis the job of the youngest son to iron the holy field of battle.

The Silver Fox takes on the Custard King, Mondale provides commentary.

The teams warm up.

For the record my brother swept us both and the Silver Fox narrowly beat me.


Marc said...

Any chance you can get this over to my place on Jan. 1st for my board game party?

Mondale said...

Ah, if i'd only known!
Sadly (well, if being double booked is a sadness) we'll be in Jersey NYday. HAve a good'un.