In the Box: The Champions League of Subbuteo in pictures

by thewheatandthechaff

Subbuteo pictures by Tom Groves

As the all-singing, all-dancing corporate cash-cow that is the Barclays Premier League season prepares for kick-off once more this weekend, in a world of billion-dollar TV and sponsorship deals, all-conquering video game franchises and pampered prima donnas pimping themselves out to the highest bidder, The Guardian have taken a look at the enduring legacy of dad-classic Subbuteo. It has a World Cup, a governing body – one Subbuteo player even won Sports Personality of the Year in Malta – and as these rather brilliant photos from Tom Groves show, bucket loads of passion.

These photographs are taken from In The Box, by Tom Groves, a limited-edition photobook priced at £25 plus p&p and available from intheboxbook.co.uk.

You can also read about Guardian scribe Stuart Heritage’s first foray into the world of grown men flicking little plastic footballers around a green bit of cloth here.

Goal-line dispute, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

Goal-line dispute, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

Italy's Massimiliano Nastasi v Spain's Carlos Flores, World Cup final, Palermo, Sicily, 2011

Italy’s Massimiliano Nastasi v Spain’s Carlos Flores, World Cup final, Palermo, Sicily, 2011

Belgian tension, World Cup final, Manchester, 2012

Belgian tension, World Cup final, Manchester, 2012

Alan Collins, honourable life president of the Federation of International Sports Table Football, referees a close game at the Cardiff Grand Prix, 2011

Alan Collins, honourable life president of the Federation of International Sports Table Football, referees a close game at the Cardiff Grand Prix, 2011

Each player has a unique team box decorated with stickers and memorabilia, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

Each player has a unique team box decorated with stickers and memorabilia, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

A last-second goal from world number one Carlos Flores wins the World Cup for Spain in Manchester, 2012

A last-second goal from world number one Carlos Flores wins the World Cup for Spain in Manchester, 2012

Enzo Ricco at the Italian championships, Chianciano Terme, 2011

Enzo Ricco at the Italian championships, Chianciano Terme, 2011

Friction between Italy and Spain at the World Cup in Manchester, 2012

Friction between Italy and Spain at the World Cup in Manchester, 2012

A well-stocked team box, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

A well-stocked team box, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

Massimiliano Nastasi scores in a penalty shoot-out in the grand masters tournament at Ashton Gate, Bristol, 2010

Massimiliano Nastasi scores in a penalty shoot-out in the grand masters tournament at Ashton Gate, Bristol, 2010

A near miss, National League, Leicester, 2011

A near miss, National League, Leicester, 2011

A competitor takes a rest during the Italian championships, Chianciano Terme, 2011

A competitor takes a rest during the Italian championships, Chianciano Terme, 2011

The first aid area, for modifying and fine-tuning the figurines, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

The first aid area, for modifying and fine-tuning the figurines, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

Two of Belgium's top players battle it out at the Berlin Grand Prix, 2010

Two of Belgium’s top players battle it out at the Berlin Grand Prix, 2010

A competitor takes a rest during the Italian championships, Chianciano Terme, 2011

A competitor takes a rest during the Italian championships, Chianciano Terme, 2011

Serie A champions ASD F.Lli Bari Reggio Emilia, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

Serie A champions ASD F.Lli Bari Reggio Emilia, Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2011

 

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