Today’s top football stars earn hundreds of thousands of pounds a week for their silky tricks and flicks.
But flicking of a different kind rose to the fore when a Subbuteo table football competition was held.
You might have thought Subbuteo was a thing of the past after disappearing from the shelves decades ago.
But everyone’s favourite ‘flick-to-kick’ table top football game is making a dramatic comeback across the globe.
And in the West Midlands, the Wolverhampton Subbuteo Football Club, WSFC, is launching itself almost 20 years after the Black Country and Wolverhampton Table Football Club called full-time in 1999.
On Saturday, 14 football flicking fanatics from as far as Sheffield met at the Pendeford Community Hub in Whitburn Close for the club’s first ever tournament and the first such event in Wolverhampton for more than five years. The first memorial Roy Holden Subbuteo Tournament is named in memory of the man who ran the original club until 1999, and died in 2011.
Among those to take part in the tournament was 13-year-old Joseph Kinrade, from Sheffield, who represents England at the game travelling across Europe to compete.
Justin Scott, from Pendeford, is the man behind the WSFC.
The 43 year old stopped playing in the late ‘90s but got back into the game after a nasty injury in the ‘real game’ meant he had to hang up his boots.
He said: “I used to play in the mid-80s and got to a good standard as Midland Youth number two and won a National team event in Leicester.
“In July last year, I saw a picture on Facebook of an old friend playing Subbuteo and ‘liked’ the post.
“Less than two minutes later, he’d got in contact and asked me over for a game.
“We’ve been playing at people’s houses since but things have grown quickly and we have formed the Wolverhampton Subbuteo Football Club.”
The competition started off as a league before the best teams battled it out in the knockout stages.
At the end of the tournament, its first winner was Robert Ramsey, of Brierley Hill, and runners up were Mike Bradbury, from Willenhall, and Stephen Davies in third, from Hednesford. Justin added: “Roy Holden was the organiser of the Black Country and Wolverhampton Table Football Club from 1965 to 1999.
“Roy was very passionate about Subbuteo and ran his club from a venue in Colliery Road in Eastfield which is where I began playing in the 80s.
“He was a very, very good player with a whole string of titles to his name. Roy was very well thought of in the Subbuteo community, so it seemed fitting to start off the new club by holding a tournament in his honour. I was very pleased that his daughters Samantha and Joanne were able to come along and present the trophies to the winner and runners up.”
The club doesn’t officially launch until Sunday where it will meet at The Poynings in Regis Road, Tettenhall, between 7pm and 9pm.
Justin wants both experienced and new players to join from across the Black Country, regardless of ability, gender, age or skill. And full training will be provided to turn beginners into potential professionals.
He added: The great thing about Subbuteo is that you can get a set for under £30, which is cheaper than your average computer game nowadays. It is very collectible too, with virtually any team worldwide represented in the iconic plastic figures.
“Everyone is welcome, we are happy to teach new players everything they need to know, from the rules of the game through to the advanced techniques.” Anyone interested can contact the club on Facebook @wolverhamptonsubbuteofootballclub or email firstname.lastname@example.orgSubscribe to our Newsletter