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A sunny day in May at the Renishaw Old Subbuteo event

Updated: May 29, 2023

A journeyman’s tale…

22 players coming from all over the country. The furthest afield from Portsmouth. The Solent massive left at 4.30am (quality commitment!) and as soon as they arrived, sang their collective song and proceeding to sit where they wanted! That is until Adam Lundy politely indicated his stuff was there, at which point the chant changed to:

🎵 We move if we’re asked.

We move if we’re asked.

If you ask nicely,

We move if we’re asked! 🎵

Then Andrew Forster-Fake gathered everyone around and summarised over 70 pages of the traditional rules in 3 minutes. A couple of questions here are there and everyone appeared happy. The unsaid agreement appeared to be “Let’s get started and we’ll work out the rules as we go!” A pragmatic strategy, which worked well as the day progressed, mainly due to everyone playing nicely 😀.

First game was with Malcolm Jamieson. Maybe 0-0 was inevitable, but it didn’t do justice to the experience. First off, Malcom agreed to using corner kickers and throw-in figures! 👍 Player of the match was Brian Kinrade, for reffing two players who kept playing to other variations of the rules! 🙄

Next was spectating the 6-a-side competition. General bonkersness was the default here, Plymouth v Wolves (4-3) and Aston Villa v West Germany (2-3).

Malc sends a lovely little chip destined for the back of the Wolves net!

Luca's Villa are about to end up with his 5th player stuck down the left hand barrier...! Jason's West Germany have a perfect 6-a-side formation. "Vorsprung Durch Teckflick!" 😎

Here, Luca is foiled completing a last minute come-back by the final whistle! 😖

End to end action between Malc's Plymouth and Simon's Wolves, ending up in a smart finish by Bob Jack! Malcolm was particularly pleased Bob's goal was captured on camera 80 years after his death! 😎

The top moment though, was a potential GOTM from Derek Dougan! 😎

Check out the slow-mo action replay. You can clearly see Dougan does an Ardilles flick before nodding it in! 😅😎

Then a 3-way 6-a-side with Dave Rogers and Trevor Allen. Dave takes us to school, but Trevor nearly came back from 2-0 down. Here's some chaotic end-to-end action with a nice finish from Trevor. 🤪😎

A cup of coffee and a chat with Brian Kinrade veered towards Subbuteo and music. During lockdown a page had been created on the Friends of Old Subbuteo website for pieces of music where Subbuteo had featured in the lyrics. Brian said “What about Arctic Monkeys and the Subbuteo Cloak?" (see vid @01;36) Cheers Brian. Never heard of it. one more track to add to the page! 😀

A couple of more games - some quality curling flicks, some basic errors and playing two at the back should have resulted in a hatful of goals at each end. Games with Mark Weaver and Simon McMillon ended up with one goal at some point. For some reason the big ball was attracted to the keeper and the woodwork most of the time…

The group was tight. 1st and 2nd place was decided by a coin toss, and 3rd and 4th (3 players going through to the cup) needed a shootout. After 3 shots on sudden death, Mark went through. The key moment was stopping the shootout to check a VAR.

The ball hit one post, bounced off the back of the keeper’s hands and onto the other post, while the attaching figure was hurtling goalwards, sniffing for a poacher’s rebound! 🧐

A tight game with Graham Harwood in the cup ended up 1-1 at full time. The rules stipulated 10 mins extra time but with a golden goal. Something magical then happened with Graham’s flicking finger - it was like an episode of Billy’s Boots, where Billy Dane plays using the boots of ‘Dead Shot’ Kean, which had a mystic quality of making him run to anticipate moves, with the oft spoken line “It’s the boots. they appear to be making me run!” When Graham was interviewed after his winning goal, he said “I’ve no idea what happened there. Every curl came off. It’s as if the finger was making me flick!”


…Then, one afternoon, Billy s grandmother got him to clean out her attic and Billy finds a pair of old fashioned football boots that belonged to Dead-Shot Keen a famous centre forward who once played for England…


Anyway, back to the event, and where there was plenty of smiles and banter...

So the remainder of the afternoon was in spectator and reffing mode, including the 6-a-side competition, which meant some difficult decisons to make about clashing strips...

First, both teams with white shirts, red collar and red socks. Both players decided to play on with these. Shocking decision, making it impossible to ref!

Then Trevor Allen and Dave Rogers decide to play with these figures and then started complaining when the Referee said "Green ball" whenever possession was in dispute. 🙄

Then reffing the final between Colin Fletcher and Aaron Skinner.

This pic sums it all up... A great day's action, entertainment and friendship! last look at Derek Dougan's goal! 😀

For full results and pics check the full report on the Chesterfield Table Football Club page.

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