The Pride And The Passion… of Subbuteo


You know it’s amazing these journeys I end up taking. This time it is with the original “flicker” :


It happened to me a while back when I was on the Scottish fitba themed series (which I’ve still got to go back to and finish) and upon the receipt of an email the other day I ended up wandering through the world of Subbuteo.

When I get these messages and before posting I do some researching to get a bit of a background or extra information on the subject. I could just post the music and be done with it, but if I can I like to tell a story too.

Today’s journey of discovery was started when Claire Bend emailed to tell me about a video she made for a local band (from Mossley, near Ashton under Lyne).

One day they stumbled upon the European Subbuteo Championships which was being held right down the road in Oldham. Claire filmed the tournament for the video which you can see below:

» Link to video

I like the tune. The name of the band is The Barrel and the song is called “Unreasonable” :

The Barrel » The Barrel – Unreasonable

I should have cleared it with them first, but ah screw it – I’m going to promote it and give them publicity if they like it or not. Go and tell your friends about them.

So that was the introduction and after a search I found a couple of articles about the beautiful (finger) game. One was about the son of the inventor (Peter Adolph ) of the game with his memories . Mark Adolph wrote a book about it: Growing Up with Subbuteo: My Dad Invented the World’s Greatest Football Game.

– The other article via the Guardian which again is about another book done on the subject of Subbuteo, but also interviews a couple of famous fans. One of them was Graham Turnip and the other was David Baddiel. In the piece he talks about playing the game with his brother:

David Baddiel…”The two of us would lay out the pitch in the room where the carpet was least rucked-up. That’s where our parents kept their music centre. We’d use it for playing a 45 record called “The Subbuteo Sound”. Sadly, I don’t still have it. If I remember rightly, the artist was listed as “Subbuteo” and side one consisted of a crowd chanting, “Suboo-tee-oh!” There were also general crowd noises. On side two there was a song about Subbuteo, but I can’t recall how that went. We used to listen to side one while we were playing. The crowd would make “oohs” and “ahs” at completely the wrong moments. I have a vague memory of the crowd noises being topped and tailed by a bit of commentary that covered all bases and didn’t quite make sense: something a long the lines of “It’s such a shame that one team had to lose – or draw.…” Since a good game of Subbuteo takes at least 20 minutes, we’d have to keep getting up and putting the record back on again…

» Full article

Well guess what David, I hope you Google yourself because I found the sounds.
I don’t know if his memory is faulty or if the originator of the mp3’s mislabeled them… because the stuff he talks about on Side 1 is on Side 2 and on Side 2 is…etc, etc. But he is accurate with the description:

» Subbuteo Sound Side 1

» Subbuteo Sound Side 2

Bonus Download: For anybody who still has the game or if you want to have a mess around I also found a flash-powered soundboard of Subbuteo match sound effects. Which includes crowd chanting, the ref’s whistle and everything else you need to recreate the atmosphere. You can d/load it in a .zipped file by right-clicking and Save Target/Link As…here.

Go on your own Subbuteo journey with the links below:

Extra Time – A bonus tune which features a Subbuteo player on the cover plus it gets a mention in the song:

The Undertones - My Perfect Cousin » The Undertones – My Perfect Cousin

Thank you again to Claire for the email which started all of this off.

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