Subbuteo. For most, an iconic manifestation of the 1980s and 90s, now a nostalgic throwback. A competitive table football game where kicks were flicks, the collective height of the team reached 33cms and an entire World Cup could take place on the kitchen table. However, for a small but significant group of Subbuteo fanatics, the beautiful game never died out.
In the Box documents a serious sporting world that few realise is still out there and yet it exists with the same sincerity and fervour as any other sport.
This photobook guides us through the bizarre yet fascinating oddities of the sport which is thriving across Europe today. Included are images of the euphoria, passion and dedication of the world's top Subbuteo players as well as quotes, providing personal insights in to why Subbuteo means so much to them.
Travelling to various tournaments across Europe including World Cup compeitions in Palermo, Sicily in 2011 and Manchester, UK in 2012, the World Masters in Bristol, UK in 2010, the 2011 Italian Championships in Tuscany, the 2012 European Major in Mons, Belgium, and the Cardiff Grand Prix in 2011, photographer Tom Groves has captured with illuminating clarity and humour, the spirit and substance of the sporting world of Subbuteo.
Through Kickstarter, the aim is to self publish 1000 hardback copies of the book and eleven special editions. The special editions will feature a signed copy of ‘In the Box’, a hand-painted ‘World All-Star’ Subbuteo figurine, a 'Team Edition' of the Subbuteo game and an editioned pigment print, all of which will be housed in a bespoke clamshell box.
Printed by the world renowned EBS print house in Verona, Italy, the book, designed by Thomas + Thomas, will feature a fabric hardback cover, replicating the feel of a Subbuteo pitch.
Tom Groves, from Bristol, UK, started his photography education on the HND course at Filton College, Bristol. Since then he has been developing his own photography whilst working in the production department at Magnum Photos, for small photographic start-ups setting up exhibitions and exhibition spaces, and finally for three years as a studio assistant and print technician for Martin Parr, before going freelance in November 2012.
Risks and challenges
As with all projects, setbacks can occur every now and then. Printing a book is a complicated process which is why I have opted to work with EBS in Italy. EBS are one of the world's top photobook printers and have been highly recommended by a number of colleagues have who worked with them and been delighted with both the quality and professionalism of the service they provide.
I will do my best to ensure that all rewards are delivered within the stated delivery period but please do keep in mind that the dates provided are estimates and will depend on the printing process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)