Subbuteo was a game invented by Peter Adolph, using a player on a weighted base that you had to flick with your finger to kick (listen to “My Perfect Cousin” by the Undertones to get an idea of the rivalry between Subbuteo players) the outsized ball which was massively larger than the players in the early versions.  This was addressed in subsequent editions, but it was still out of proportion.  Goalkeepers were on sticks held from behind the goal and these were moved to try to save shots.  The ferocity of the shot often broke the keeper’s arms and players were always at risk of being trod on if you had to play on the floor in a confined space, meaning you might tread on the pitch and crush the players underfoot.  This led to repairs with Airfix liquid glue with each repair shortening the player’s height as the glue melted the plastic of their legs.

The stadium could be developed as much as your pocket money allowed, with stands, scoreboard, floodlights, dug-outs and spectators all available.  Also you could add a plastic pitch (rather than the original baize pitch), policemen, coaching staff, ball boys, TV cameramen, stretcher bearers … and even streakers ! 

The game issued as many teams as they could paint, with new versions added as kits changed, with players hair length and skin colours reflecting the changes in the game.

There have been many editions of Spurs teams issued by Subbuteo over the years.  Here are a few …


Late 1960s home
1989-91 home 1982-85 away