Subbuteo

I started playing Subbuteo when I was about 11, along with some friends who watched Walthamstow Avenue with me. We formed and played in the PCABR league (Priory Court and Brettenham Road). We played for a few years before finding other interests.

Almost 20 years later, in 2003, I looked up Subbuteo on the internet and found a thriving community of players and some equipment still available. I bought some and started to get friends involved, starting up a statewide organisation called the Michigan Subbuteo Table Football Association (MiSTFA).

Subbuteo is a fun game based on association football (soccer). Teams of individual figures about an inch high on inch wide bases are flicked by the player's finger to propel the ball or to make defensive moves.

The teams can be hand-painted to match a specific team or the player's own custom design; or ready-painted teams are also available. Back in the 70s and 80s it would have been possible to purchase a replica of any major club or national team in any toy store in Western Europe. The team in the picture is a 1950s Walthamstow Avenue, at the peak of their prominence in England's amateur football history. The picture in the background is the ground's main stand.

MiSTFA organised tournaments on an international, national and local basis. Players from Austria, Germany, Denmark, Canada and England attended our tournaments, along with Americans from Minnesota, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

After around 15 years running the show I handed over the reins to Peter Alegi and Paul Pate.