Vintage ad: The dark days of Subbuteo hooliganism

3 July 2009

Hello. My name is Andy Dawson and I’m almost 37. In three weeks time I am getting married. Possibly as a direct result of these two facts, I have recently begun feverishly collecting old Roy Of The Rovers comics from the early 1980s. It’s obvious what this is all about – I want to be nine years old again. That’s okay, it’ll pass. I hope.

One of the finest things I’ve found in the comics is a vintage Subbuteo ad from 1981. In case you’re not familiar with the classic flick-to-kick table football game, some of its more hardcore players were obsessed with attention to detail, splashing out vast amounts on teams in different kits, dugouts, stadium parts and floodlights. Then there's this...

Yes, it's a hooliganism-flavoured set of accessories. You could enhance your table-top Subbuteo ground with policemen, ambulancemen and advertising hoardings. Spookily, there’s even the crowd barriers that most real-life supporters had to peer through in order to watch the beautiful game for most of the 1980s. And a battered fan being whisked away on a stranger, presumably following a terrace skirmish.

Tiny plastic Millwall must have been in town that day.


  • John
    'And a battered fan being whisked away on a stranger' Surely this is stretchering the truth?
  • Lumoruk
    I thought the area around the pitch needed to be clear so you could whack the bastards at the ball?
  • GARY F.
    I played subbuteo 1980-1998... made up of villages,towns,pubs and homes of friends in a 20 teams per league,with 16 leagues.... and alot of teams had a hooligan firm... with a name.number of members and the teams they hate.would meet up to go toe to toe... pts for arrests,riots, a league of louts...the terrace would full of hooligans... with stoneisland painted would take 3 hours to set up the ground and we play all night.. . in this time,i was going to see leeds utd home and away ,watching the fans ,the police and getting the feel of the match,to make my subbuteo game more real... EASTVIEW SS...
  • gary F.
    The two sets of fans,that hate one east view vs dougill manour.. so if any dougill,like to have they say on the troubles ..feel free ..... YOU FUCKING CUNTS EAST VIEW SS
  • GAZ F.
  • GAZ F.
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