My brother and I had this in the 1980s. The players are exactly as I remember them but the box and packaging doesn’t look like the edition we had. Oh well, the mind plays tricks and it was a long time ago.

Actually, that would be right, as ours was the Palitoy edition.



I can remember the white plastic insert that held the players, and the plasticky velour 5-a-side pitch with side walls.


The diving goalkeepers were ace, and if you really twatted the player’s head with the flat of your hand (which made the player’s foot strike the ball in a pivot motion) you could boot the ball hard and fast, turning it into a offensive weapon against your opponent. This probably led to tales being told and my brother being sent to bed with the game being confiscated, as it was usually him that tried to inflict pain on me (being the youngest and less well-adjusted and “sporting” in his game-play as a result!).


Pretty sure that ours had the red team, probably Man Utd, and the black and whites, Newcastle Utd:


Early versions of the set contained:

  • 4 ‘Red’ players
  • 4 ‘Blue’ players
  • 2 Goalkeepers
  • Ball
  • 2 Goals
  • 2 Goal bases
  • Pitch
  • Pitch surround
  • 6 Metal brackets for pitch surround
  • Rules

Peter Upton’s page, where a lot of these images come from, describes the game:

The red box All Star Super Striker  is the set I owned as a child, and it was sold under the Palitoy logo. As mentioned on the previous page, this set had an rules sheet that gave instructions for both the diving goalkeeper and the old standing one. As the sets above show, this is because the “All Star” game was released in both “Striker” and Super Striker” forms, which was something I was not aware of as a child. So perhaps the Striker version didn’t have a long shelf life. The only difference between the two sets seems to be the goalkeepers, and although the complicated mechanism of the diving version would have been more expensive to produce, I can’t really see the reasons behind having two sets at this point.

 Either way, these Palitoy boxed games are a new deluxe version of the earlier sets, and various enhancements have been made to the standard playing pieces.

The pitch is the moulded version with fence surround from the Wembley Fast-Pitch edition, but this has now been covered with a felt-like playing surface. The box calls this a “Super Texture” pitch. This texture slows down the Wembley pitch, and is a big improvement. This is also a great pitch for five-a-side Subbuteo, although mine has been over-used and the surround is now badly cracked.

The big advance in this set is with the outfield players. At first glance they may look the same, but they are now bigger, have more detail and cute individual touches. They can be right or left-footed Their arms come in different poses, and can be glued at different angles. The shorts and shirts and legs are all separate pieces, and the kicking leg is now fully rounded (whereas the inside of the leg on the earlier figures is flat). The final artistic flourish is the head of the player, as this has a choice of facial expressions, and a variety of hairstyles (all rather 1970s) which come in brown or black. The eyes and eyebrows are hand-painted.

In addition to this, these outfield players are now produced in accurate club strips, including badges and trim. The two kits in the box set are Manchester United, and Newcastle United.

The game is fetching a lot of money online now, if you’re lucky enough to find an original 1970s/1980s example. Like most of my childhood things, our game is long-consigned to the bin or charity shop, along with Escape From Colditz, which is also worth a tidy sum.

My perfect cousin


My Perfect Cousin

Even at the age of ten
Cousin Kevin was a smart boy then
He always beat me at Subbuteo
Cos he flicked to kick
And I didn’t know

Oh my perfect cousin…

Huddersfield Subbuteo star Coen Townsend bidding for world cup glory


SUBBUTEO star Coen Townsend is well on his way to being the world’s best

March 2012: from the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, “Huddersfield Subbuteo star Coen Townsend bidding for world cup glory

“SUBBUTEO star Coen Townsend is well on his way to being the world’s best.

The 10-year-old table football addict has moved up the rankings and is now the world’s eleventh best player at Under 12 level – making him England’s highest ranked player in any category.

Dad Philip said Coen was now hoping for glory at the Subbuteo World Cup, to be held in Manchester this July.

He said: “He’s doing really well, he’s won four international ranking tournaments this season and it all bodes well for the World Cup.

“He’s the England captain for the under 12s and it’s going to be a massive event – there will be teams there from over the world.”

The Kirkburton Middle School pupil, who is also ranked number 13 in the world at Under 15 level, has been travelling across the country to take on his rivals and is now joint top of the leaderboard for most tournament wins, making him one of the favourites to win the World Cup title at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

Philip added: “Next season will be even bigger as we’ll be doing a lot more travelling to Europe and hopefully we’ll get him to world number one with any luck!””

Bill Shankly flicks to kick

Bill Shankly flicks to kick

Bill Shankly flicks to kick