Some kind words and recollections of the table top football game 4-2-4 from sports author of three decades David Tossell…
First, congratulations on another brilliant book, which I was lucky enough to find in my Christmas stocking. Absolutely loving it.
I was reading the piece on ‘TAF 4-2-4’ and you said you didn’t know anyone who owned it. I did. Despite being a Subbuteo fanatic I also got 4-2-4, which was a poor relation it must be said. Too static; it didn’t flow like Subbuteo and relied too much on geometry.
What really annoyed me was that the players were even more breakable than the Subbuteo pieces and didn’t seem to mend properly with glue so I actually wrote to the makers and complained. This was summer 1971, and not only did they send me replacements for the numerous England and Scotland players that had broken, they sent me – hot off the press – the Arsenal team they had just made following their Double.
They didn’t know I was an Arsenal fan so, as you can imagine, I was made up, especially as the number 8 (although strictly speaking it should have been number 11) even had long hair a la Charlie George.
I don’t recall if the Arsenal team ever went on sale commercially or if they made any other teams.
Somewhere over the years my 4-2-4 set went the way of so many childhood things but that Arsenal team is one of the things that I most regret having got rid of. What was I thinking?
David Tossell has been a sports journalist for more than three decades. Currently head of European Public Affairs for the NFL (National Football League) and former Executive Sports Editor of the Today newspaper, he is the author of 12 sports books.
Read about the 4-2-4 game, and approximately a million other things, in ‘The Lost World of Football’ is available now in branches of WH Smiths and Waterstones or can be ordered online here…