It’s Coming Home!

While we are all hoping that football will be ‘coming home’ this summer – we can reveal that, in September, it really will be! The Eland Cables FISTF World Club 2024 is being hosted in Tunbridge Wells. FISTF stands for Federation International Sports Table Football and, here at Lewis & Co, we are proud to be sponsoring one of the official World Cup tables!

You’ll probably know ‘sports table football’ by its more familiar name – Subbuteo – which was actually invented in Tunbridge Wells by Peter Adolph. His idea first took shape, when he started playing with a button which had fallen off his mother’s coat.

Out of work, Peter saw the opportunity for the tabletop version of football. He experimented with a weight in the button and found it could be flicked and swerved. Peter advertised his new game for seven shillings and sixpence in the Boys’ Own Magazine and, within days, received orders totalling £7,500! Peter and his mother then spent hours sticking cardboard figures onto a bulk order of Woolworth buttons! In time, a factory opened near The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, which was still operational until the early 1980s.

The fact that this is a World Cup highlights the fact that, over the years, Subbuteo’s fame has spread a lot further than just Tunbridge Wells.

Over the weekend of 21 and 22 September, World Cup games will take place at the Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre, but there will also be a family fun day at the Royal Victoria Shopping Centre and an exhibition about Subbuteo and its links to Tunbridge Wells at The Amelia Scott, as well as other fringe events.

“We are really excited to be sponsoring a table at the FISTF World Club,” says Gary Cornwell from Lewis & Co. “It’s really brilliant to see Subbuteo return home to Tunbridge Wells and we’re looking forward to catching some of the matches live – particularly those on our own table.”

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