PLAYERS of the table football game Subbuteo will flock to Knightswood from all over the UK this weekend.

The Glasgow Table Soccer Association is hosting the Glasgow International Open in Subbuteo - the group's first event since before the pandemic.

Local Subbuteo players have been back playing in competitive league matches since August last year but are looking forward to a festival of action over the coming days.

Speaking exclusively to the Post, organiser and long-time Subbuteo player Tom Burns outlined what to expect from the event, being held at the Royal British Legion on Cairntoul Drive.

He said: “We were expecting it to just be a Scottish event, with maybe 16-20 players, and it turns out we’ve got almost 40 and I had to shut the event weeks ago.”

The group was formed in 1973 as Subbuteo grew in popularity, and reached a peak of more than 40 members as the game grabbed the attention of huge numbers of football-crazy boys - and perhaps some girls too - in the UK and across Europe.

Clydebank Post: The event takes place this weekendThe event takes place this weekend

But as the craze died down, the group folded in 1993 - only to be reformed in January 2008 as those fans of the game sought to recapture the nostalgia of their childhood - and to attract a new generation of players to the game.

The Glasgow club is now one of only three in Scotland, with one in Edinburgh and another on Tayside.

“At one time in the early days, we had 40 odd members," Tom said.

"But we were down to about four members, and it was too expensive to rent a hall."

Subbuteo - for those either too old or, more likely, not old enough to remember it - is a table top football game in which players simulate real-life football by flicking miniature players with their fingers.

After those decades of popularity, sales of Subbuteo items - pitches, teams and, for those really serious players of the game, stadiums, floodlights and spectators - declined sharply in the 1990s as other pursuits and, eventually and particularly, the internet took over.

But makers Hasbro relaunched the game in 2005 in a bid to capitalise on the nostalgia market.

Tom, though, says that while his love for the game originates, like most players, from his youth, his enthusiasm for Subbuteo has never wavered.

"The reason I got into it initially was I went to Victoria Drive Secondary School, and that was the first place the club played," he said.

“I literally played 18 years solid. National tournaments and the club as well. And then, as I say it just fell away, but I’m enjoying it just as much second time around.”

Scotland's players are considered minnows on the Subbuteo scene with the bigger nations being the likes of Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Malta and Gibraltar.

“It’s extremely competitive. The UK players in general are well-behaved, but the top Europeans can get a bit overheated with a lot of shouting and balling. They take it very seriously.”

The Glasgow Table Soccer Association are always looking for new players and if anyone would like to relive their youth or try it out for the first time, they can contact the club on