My father bought me a Subbuteo set somewhere between 1990-1991. That was also how I became a fan of Italy’s.
The set had two teams, Italy, and Argentina. I chose Italy on account of my preference for their jersey colours. At that time, in the 90s, a Subbuteo was not a common toy for a five-year-old to have.
I came from a lower-middle class family, but my father was Santa Claus to both my sister and I. He always ensured that we had the latest toys without us having to request or demand for them.
During my childhood, I used to love going to the toys section at the now-defunct Oriental Emporium in Kovan to look at the different Subbuteo team sets.
We couldn’t afford to buy any but, in my heart, I wished I could have had them all. I didn’t even have a proper table to play Subbuteo on. I laid out the cloth pitch on the floor and played by myself, providing my own commentary as well.
When my cousins were around, we played a “table soccer” game. The pitch was cardboard and there were 22 plastic figures as players. A plastic disc was used as a ball and a couple of plastic goalposts were placed at the opposite ends.
When I was about 11, there was a new trend in my primary school. We had no name for it, but I called it cardboard football.
We used to collect the cardboard placed at the back of a bundle of foolscap paper, cut it and fold it. These were our ‘players’.
We would then use colour pencils and crayons to colour the team kits and write the players’ names and numbers – just like the real thing.
As for the goalposts, we would either use paper or cardboard shaped like a ‘sampan’ (boat). The ball – was a piece of crumpled paper bound by tape. We would play these games at the back of our school canteen during recess, and sometimes, at my friend’s place.
These were just some of the games I played during my childhood in the 90s. There was creativity and the inventiveness to make use of the resources available to us at that time.
Almost all these games have been lost over time as technology now dominates our lives.
What were the childhood games you played, especially if you grew up in the 90s or earlier? It would be great to compile a list of games that kept us entertained before the Internet ruled our lives.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.