Derry leading the way in Subbuteo with Irish Open this weekend

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The Irish Subbuteo Open will be held in Derry this weekend by a team who are leading the way in the game’s revival.

The Derry City Table Football Club have been playing together since 2016 and have been the catalyst for the creation of other clubs throughout Ireland. This is the second year they have hosted the Irish Open.

Club member Lawrence Watson said: “We have 39 players coming on Saturday and seven teams coming on Sunday. Last year’s winner is coming from Italy to compete on Saturday and he will be bringing a teammate with him. We have five players from Germany and a lot from England, Scotland, Wales, Dublin and Belfast. Sunday’s the team event with four players in each team. We have teams coming from Germany, Scotland England and two from Ireland. The team event is four players against four.

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"Hopefully this competition will become a regular thing. There’s events like this in London, Paris, Italy and other places and they are world renowned, they get a lot more people than we would get but for us to have 40 this year is great. We’re building on that every year.

From left Bryan Arnold (USA) Paul Eyes (USA) Fred Elesbao (Germany)From left Bryan Arnold (USA) Paul Eyes (USA) Fred Elesbao (Germany)
From left Bryan Arnold (USA) Paul Eyes (USA) Fred Elesbao (Germany)

"The Derry team started as a bit of fun, we all rediscovered Subbuteo and started playing in the Derry City Social Club. At one stage Derry had 16 members but we’ve 10 now because a lot of our members joined clubs in Belfast and Dublin, who have rediscovered themselves. Because we’re self-funded, we were looking for bars where we could play for free so they were really supportive to us. You need space for the tables and for the players to move around them comfortably so the Nerve Centre this weekend is perfect. It is a big space with enough room for 15 or 16 tables set up at the one time. When we were having our club nights, we were having maybe four tables set up at the one time, and we play those in the Argyle now. We have a monthly get together, where anyone can join and we also go to each other’s houses at times. "A lot of people played the game in the 80s and 90s, have gone away for a few years then rediscovered it and found other people are playing too. Derry are leading the way in the resurrection of the game so everyone recognises what we have done as a club. We would be one of the biggest clubs in Ireland, and would be well renowned over the UK for putting on great competitions.

“We’re open all day this weekend so anybody can drop in any time and give it a go. We’ll have tables set up for people to give it a try and we’ll set it up. You never know, they might want to take it up!”

The Irish Open will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25 from 9am-5pm each day. For more information on the competition or the Derry City Table Football Club, visit