In ‘Got, Not Got’ we posed the big question – Which is best – Subbuteo or Striker?
By a remarkable twist of good fortune they were next to each other in our ‘A to Z of Lost Football Culture…’ which made it easier.
“My mate Steve and I would have the same heated debate over and over about the various merits of Subbuteo versus those of Palitoy’s Striker. There were no more salient points to be made, no new evidence, we just argued out of habit.
Steve maintained that Striker was a far superior game, “because the players actually kicked the ball.” And Subbuteo was “too fussy.”
I would counter that Subbuteo didn’t need a gimmick because it was virtually a sport in its own right. Striker was “only five-a-side” and its players’ zones robbed you of the opportunity for a full-blooded clogger’s tackle.
That’s not to say there weren’t Striker injuries. In fact there were two: the broken ankle or the broken neck, both incurred when you pressed a player’s head down too hard.
One of my strongest arguments was floored when they brought out the new Striker goalkeeper. The older version stood cradling the ball in his arms and was supposed to distribute the ball to his team-mates with a swivel from the waist. However, he was just as likely to twist too far and throw the ball into his own net, just like Leeds keeper Gary Sprake had once managed at Anfield. But the new keeper was magnificent, cleverly geared to fling out his arms in a full-length dive when moved to the side.
Time to move on to a new debate: who’s better, Steve, the Jam or the Clash?”
Well, we’re throwing to over to you now… vote now!
If you think this sort of thing is important, then you really should have a copy of ‘Got, Not Got – The A to Z of Lost Football Culture, Treasures and Pleasures’ by now… you can get it here just in time for your holidays..