We often write about retro toys that are now worth a fair bit of money, asking whether you have any of the valuable treasures tucked away in your loft or in the back of a cupboard somewhere. But one man in Dundonald (located east of Belfast) made a discovery the likes of which us nostalgia fans could only ever imagine in our wildest dreams…
As reported by the BBC, contractors were insulating the roof of Brian McCart’s attic when they made the amazing discovery: A box, hidden away in a corner, containing multiple sets of Subbuteo teams from the 1980s. “All we keep up there is Christmas decorations,” Mr McCart told the BBC, “It was basically hidden in a corner.”
The hidden collection contained a number of teams including Southampton, Aston Villa and Watford, as well an England team from the Italia ’90 era that had one player missing (perhaps Chris Waddle was sacrificed after blazing his penalty kick over the bar in the World Cup Semi against West Germany). The collection also contained one generic blue Subbuteo team that had ‘This Subbuteo Team is Linfield nearly’ written on the front, referring to the semi-pro football team based in Belfast.
The amazing discovery reminded Brian of his own childhood. “It was crazy,” he said, “I had Subbuteo when I was younger too, and used to play it with my brother. We had red and blue teams and used to play them as Glenavon and Portadown. We did the exact same thing as this kid did, only maybe a decade later.”
It is thought that the teams date from the 1970s and 1980s, with the generic box featuring the ‘Linfield’ kit likely to have been produced between 1978 and 1981. A Subbuteo team from this era in mint condition is worth around £15 or £20, and believe it or not this isn’t the first time Brian has found a retro stash in his property….
“We did up the garage a couple of years ago” Brian said, “and we found an old Amstrad computer as well as a porn magazine – so, I guess from Subbuteo into these other hobbies would be a natural progression. I sold the Amstrad for £10 as it didn’t power up. Really, this entire house is like a time capsule.”
It’s easy to forget how popular Subbuteo was back in ‘the day’. At its most popular more than 300,000 teams were sold every year, with more than 700 different teams strips being produced. International Subbuteo tournaments were even set up, some of which are still running today.
Were you a fan of Subbuteo? Do you still have your collection? And have you ever made any amazing retro discoveries in your house? Please do let us know with a comment, and be sure to share this post with your friends and family to remind them to check the nooks and crannies of their loft the next time they venture up there!