That league championship

My older brother was a football fanatic in a decade, the 1960s, that deserved some fanaticism. He introduced me to the game of Subbuteo, of which he was also a fanatic. He bagged Manchester United when giants such as Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles (we saw both in England’s 1966 World Cup win, of course), Denis Law, Pat Crerand and the incomparable George Best were playing. If I couldn’t have them, I thought, then I’d have their rivals, Manchester City, who had nice light blue shirts into the bargain. I suspect dominance in real life was matched by dominance on the Subbuteo pitch. Anyway, my brother still has all the boxes with the players (see picture). He’s now Isle of Skye-based but, thanks to mobile phones, we re-lived the old rivalry this afternoon. No scriptwriter could have invented the scenario, with the two teams joint top of the Premier League, separated only by Man City’s favourable goal difference, with just one game to go. Man Utd were playing against tough opponents (Sunderland), Man City against bottom of the table Queen’s Park Rangers. United went ahead and City went dramatically behind, and only two goals in five minutes of stoppage time finally gave City the league title after a forty-four year drought. The matches are summed up here. I stayed up for Match of the Day and the BBC very cleverly spliced the two matches together; great entertainment. There’s far too much money in the game these days, but such a suspenseful ending to the league did a power of good. My brother’s final text? ‘Deserved Champions. Great season.’ Ah…… Now English eyes turn to Chelsea’s forthcoming challenge…


  1. candida Jones

    Try Misfits next. Drey liked the Wire more than me but we both liked this one.

  2. Hugo Kijne

    I played lots of Subbuteo with my older brother in the sixties. Of course for us it was Ajax against Feyenoord.

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