I got a pitch, but not just any old pitch, an Astropitch, which didn’t need to be ironed before a match. It came with the goalposts and ball, but not just that, a scoreboard.
From then, my mum used to check charity shops for bits and bobs, be it teams of equipment, such as a stand. Yes, I had a stand.
Mind you, this stand only had about 20 people in it. Neither my mum or dad would buy me the boxes of people (Yes, supporters were sold as accessories) required to fill it, so I had to pretend that all my Subbuteo matches were being played at The Oval.
Of course, a football stadium with only one stand looks a bit silly, so I used empty boxes to pretend that they were stands being built, as was quite common at the time as Premier League grounds were being made all seater as a result of the Taylor Report and in preparation for Euro 96.
I had various teams including Manchester United (91/92 home, 92/93 home and away), Norwich City (92/93 home), Aston Villa, Juventus, Feyenoord, West Germany, Holland, Scotland, England, Italy, Soviet Union and Wales.
There was one tragic incident when I accidentally stood on three Aston Villa players. Thankfully, quick thinking and a supply of blutac meant that they were able to resume their table football careers.
When we were playing, we could multiteam, if there were sides with similar colours. For example, Wales v Italy would become Portadown v Linfield, and so forth.
It is, of course a trivia question, but there is a UK Top 10 single which references Subbuteo in it’s lyrics. Just the one mind.
The answer of course, is ‘My Perfect Cousin’ by The Undertones. The artwork to the single is based upon this reference, where a Subbuteo player wearing a red and white striped shirt, the colours of The Undertones hometown club Derry City, with the band’s name on a pitchside advert while the crowd holds up a banner bearing the name of the song.
Of course, if there was a band doing a similar song today, it would probably go “He always beats me at Pro Evo, as he had a cheat code and I didn’t know”
Managed to get free tickets for the Arthur’s Day concert at Ulster Hall last Thursday, headlined by Ash, The Enemy and Kelis.
It was the first time the event came to Belfast, having been created to mark the 250th anniversary of Guinness with a toast being made at 5.59pm (or 17:59 – the year Guinness was founded)
To be honest, and I guess i’m not the only one, i’m not really that fussed about Guinness, but it was a good music line-up i’d hoped to see.
I’d hoped to see Ash. I’d previously seen them twice at a New Year’s Eve concert in 1998/1999 and an instore signing in 2004 at HMV, having neither paid to see them, I was hoping for three in a row.
Rather disappointingly, they were on first rather than last, so that they could be on to do a toast at 5.59pm, and I arrived at about 6.30pm.
With Ash being on earlier, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to get up to the front of the stage, although the Ulster Hall isn’t the most friendly of venues for amateur photography.
Kelis was on first, backed by a DJ rather than a live band and was a bit disappointing, reeling of a karaoke set with her big hits and samples of other artists such as Beyonce and Madonna.
DJ Fresh was on next, and his set was dogged by sound problems, as well as really struggling to transfer the record onto the stage. Ironically, he would have been better DJing rather than working with a live band, the opposite of Kelis.
Next up, was local act Cashier Number 9, who were excellent, as were The Enemy, who I had previously seen in 2008.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay behind for Horslips, who were headlining, which was a bit surprising as I thought it would have been Ash.
On Friday, I headed to Belfast Culture night, like Arthur’s Day, established in 2009.
I was there in 2010 and loved it, it brought a real “Edinburgh Festival Vibe to Belfast.
Last year, I attended “Stormont Teacup”, a Q and A event organised by The MAC where MLAs answer questions and provide a glimpse into what life at Stormont is like.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t on this year, but there was still plenty to occupy yourself.
After checking out the street performances and a couple of exhibitions at the University of Ulster, I eventually headed for The Oh Yeah Centre, to take in a local music showcase, headlined by Wonder Villains, who were excellent.
Didn’t manage to get any good photos of Wondeer Villains, but did get one of festivities outside UU and of Kelis, Cashier Number 9 and The Enemy at Arthur’s Day.
Long-term readers may remember, that when I used to blog on Bebo, I would post up the five songs i’d been loving the most over the past week.
Since moving to WordPress, i’ve never done that, apart from a Top 50 of the year so far, and a Top 100 in December, as well as periodic “The Sound Of …..” blogposts.
So, i’ve decided to start doing a Top 5 blog each week again, the Friday five. Enjoy.
1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird – AKA What A Life
2. Scala and Kolacny Brothers – With Or Without You
3. Hayley Westenra – World In Union
4. Snow Patrol – Called Out In The Dark
5. Kelly Clarkson – Mr Know It All
FIVE QUEEN SONGS
Seeing as this week marked what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday, I thought I would take my role as a self-confessed Queenologist to give you five Queen songs you need to listen to.
2. Seven Seas Of Rhye
3. Let Me Live
4. Save Me
5. Play The Game