FA cup tie in town

A CLASSIC table-top football game comes to Huntingdon this weekend with hopefuls aiming to flick their way to victory. The Montagu Working Men s Club will be home to the English Sports Table Football Association s national championships on Saturday and Su

A CLASSIC table-top football game comes to Huntingdon this weekend with hopefuls aiming to flick their way to victory.

The Montagu Working Men's Club will be home to the English Sports Table Football Association's national championships on Saturday and Sunday.

Johnny Turpin, from Huntingdon Hawks table football club, said: "It promises to be a really good event with a lot of top players there to take part.

"Many people will remember playing the game as a youngster but at the top level matches can get very competitive."


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The aim of the game is to use a team of 11 plastic figures on smooth bases to flick a plastic ball into the opponent's net using only your finger.

"Most players use the forefinger, but some use the middle finger - it is a matter of preference," Mr Turpin said.

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"The games at the top level are very close and are extremely quick. Many end 1-0 or go to extra time and there is some gamesmanship there as well.

"Time-wasting, calling for dubious fouls and deliberately getting in the other player's way - they are rare but they can all happen."

It is anticipated that the world's number one player - Eric Verhagen, an England international who was originally from Holland - will be at the Montagu on Sunday to take part in the team tournament, while Saturday sees an individual tournament held.

Mr Turpin said that he hoped the tournament coming to Huntingdon would reignite interest in the forgotten pastime.

"Table football will never reach the popularity it had in the mid-1970s at its peak but I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would like to have a go and relive their younger days."

INFORMATION: The Montagu Club is situated in Hartford Road, Huntingdon. Competition on Saturday and Sunday gets under way at 9am. Visit http://hhawkssc.wordpress.com for more information on the Huntingdon Hawks.

ORIGINS OF THE GAME

Known to many as Subbuteo, the game is referred to as table football by its regular players after the original company ceased trading.

The name Subbuteo was coined after the game's creator, Peter Adolph, was refused a trademark when he tried to name the game 'Hobby'.

Instead, Adolph opted to name the game Subbuteo, from Falco Subbuteo, the Latin name of the Eurasian Hobby bird of prey.

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