As the founder in 1970 and with quite a lot of championships and cups in the 45 years following, former National league winner, ex Supremo and with 11 England caps, the well travelled Jeff Parsons maintains his enthusiasm with a no submission approach. But slower thinking and even slower play brought about by just being a bit older than the others, probably means that challenging for future trophies is beyond him. But his tactics and experience may still cause all to be wary and his participation in both the Birmingham main league and the Birmingham flat league could easily mean that the title contenders that require that one more crucial victory against him could just come unstuck.
Jeff is also involved with the newly formed Brigantes league in the North East.
Another ancient warrior having joined the Birmingham in the mid 70s. Has played every season ever since and also participated more or less every year in the ETSA/TSPA national scene. As the secretary, he organises and represents the Birmingham League. Although he shows high skill with 00, his forte is with flats and challenges in every competition he enters.
Much like a scorpion, it is when he is looking harmless he strikes with venom especially from distance. A flat league winner on three occasions but runner up on 4 occasions and last won the Main League 5 years ago in the closest league battle todate. Rob had the misfortune to lose title in two consecutive years by losing goals in the last minute of the last matches of the season.
Very much a stealth player. Whilst potential winners are looking at their nearest opponents he pops up unnoticed and grabs the spoils. Never to be overlooked, always a contender and to be watched carefully.
Many a top player has cursed Jeff Parsons for discovering this chap in the backstreets of Rednal, Birmingham. in the 70s. His flat figures are renown for keeping Barcelona-type possession and patience for minutes on end in order to achieve that perfect positional shot. European Cup winners and contenders such as Norman Gleave, Mike Dent, Willi Hofmann, Gerhard Ecker and Andre Becker have all paid this man compliments as he spins to victory consistently to perfection. Gerhard Ecker said in the Baumfalconcup in Vienna 1980, meeting Dave in the final after 8 games each "As soon as Dave planted three players talking to one another on the left wing, I just knew I had lost" . All the stories are true. And originally he was an 00 player with no polish and although we have not seen the 00 team out for nigh on 40 years, his 00 game truly showed that the real skill is still in the consistent spinning. No artificially aided manipulated bases or polishing secretly in the toilets for this boy ! Waddingtons should have signed him up or as his brother says "Dave was a quick learner". And the sod is still spinning at 60 !
Another long standing competitor and originally a flat player but has concentrated on the 00s for the last 25 years. He participated in FISTF competitions some years ago but limits his playing to the Birmingham League.
He holds the record for having gone a full season with no goal conceded in his only league title three years ago. He has been runner up on three occasions but since his outstanding title season, he has not been able to maintain the consistency often starting the season poorly and then ending it with a flourishing run of good results. A very methodical player who when his defense is on form takes full advantage with breakaway goals.
He also has the distinction of having a brother who won the league twice and a son who participated.
A former champion of the Lichfield league in the 90s, Steve's groundings are much in the FISTF Subbuteo rules but after the demise of the Lichfield League Steve joined the Birmingham and even played in the TSPA National League. He is never overawed and from his first joining at the start of the decade he always competed for the title and even became the League Runner up on two occasions. However, he took a break for some seasons and since then has had a few lean years. But there is evidence there that the good times are returning as he suddenly comes up with unexpected results with his never say die approach, an example of which has already been felt in this new season . Has to Stevie Davis got a new cue and are we in for some more shocks ? Watch these pages with growing anticipation.
Another player of much longevity, started playing with flats in the Newthorpe league in Nottingham in the late 70s and with its demise transferred to the Birmingham League. Very much part of the old ETSA and TSPA National scene before taking up the FISTF challenge and giving the small ball a run out from time to time.
Also up to a few years ago, a regular member of the Cornwall 3 day activities brigade where he even reached the final way back in 1988 but was soundly hammered 1-0 by another Birmingham League contender
He is playing as well as ever and has won the Challenge Cup 4 times in the last 8 years His last and only League Championship was 6 years ago but in the last two years especially he has threatened to get his second title but has just fallen short.
Still regularly plays in the flat league but with his focus firmly on the 00s, he cannot quite get the results against the three players ahead of him, two of whom are full time and committed flatties.
Brian is very much a FISTF player, playing for a Spanish club but has played in the Birmingham League for the last 4 years. Although he is always near the bottom, he is never overwhelmed and as the seasons go by, he gets stronger and stronger and has inflicted defeats on Jeff and Tony whilst getting a substantial amount of draws against the others. So nobody anymore takes him for granted . However he will have to up his game if only to keep ahead of his son and should his son join we could be in for a real local derby ! We are not expecting any favours to be given when the two meet.
Joseph is Brian's son very much a FISTF player reaching third in the world of the U15s but has taken part in the Challenge Cups in the Birmingham League. He has not made it yet past the opening round but much is expected from him in the next few years. He has started to make his mark in the TSPA National and you never know, we might see him in the Birmingham League at some stage.
Mike is the newest member of the league but with over 40 years of continuous playing experience is certainly not to be taken lightly!
” I started playing in 1975, using a flats Wolves team against a flats Brazil team. That game was lost 5-0 but the bug had bitten and the next day, my opponent was ‘bought out’ and the passion took off! I have been involved since then and have seen the mainstream game progress through various phases and have had to adapt to each change. The current ‘Modern FISTF’ game has probably evolved a step too far for me and so I have looked for a way to enjoy the game, the game I fell in love with all those years ago. The mainstream game has become too ‘win at all costs’, and respect for opponents, refs and the game itself are slipping away. The discovery of the Birmingham league and the re-invigoration of the NETFA league have provided me with a new lease of life. I am excited to play with like-minded people, and still enjoy the odd foray into the Subbuteo/FISTF world now and then!”