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Peter Upton's

Subbuteo Tribute Website.

The Team Colours Project.

Appendix : The 1966 World Cup.
(Plus details on World Cups 1970-94)

In the team lists of the 1960s, and early 1970s there was a strange lack of International sides. England were sometimes shown as reference 10, the white/black combination that was also West Germany, but they did not appear in the large 1969 catalogue at all. This lack may be partially covered by a separate page in the 1967 price list showing all the teams who had qualified for the 1966 World Cup finals. All these teams were available to order from Subbuteo (in the OO scale range only) "by stating the name of the team." This is the source of many of the 1960s teams that have names printed on the boxes rather than numbers. These teams should have metal handled goalkeepers, and were originally produced in the old "short sleeved" heavyweight figure.
This page simply lists the sixteen teams from the 1966 World cup range, exactly as they appear in the 1967 price list. If the team sounds identical to a team of the 1960s, or was introduced to the range in the early 1970s, I've mentioned this in the final column.
By the 1968-69 price list, this range had been simplified, with numbers replacing nine of the teams. At that time, if you wanted  Russia, Switzerland, or North Korea, you just ordered No 1 from the original range; France and Italy were No 2, Portugal was 18, Bulgaria 21, Spain 48, and Brazil 50. 





Argentina Light blue and white vertical stripes Black Grey Became 67
Brazil Yellow, green collar and cuffs Blue with white strip Green and yellow Slightly diff. to 50
Bulgaria White White White Same as 21
Chile Red Blue White Became 68
England White Blue White Became 154
France Blue White Red ----
Hungary Wine red White Green ----
Italy Blue White Blue with white top Became 166
Mexico Green White Green Became 157
North Korea Red or dark Blue White Red and white or dark blue and white


Portugal White Blue Blue with white top Same as 18
Russia Red White Red Same as 1
Spain Red Blue Black with red and yellow border ----
Switzerland Red White White with red rings at the top Diff. to 114
Uruguay Sky-blue Black Black with blue border Became 163
West Germany White with black collar Black Black with white top Diff. socks to 156

Subbuteo have always given good support to the World Cup finals, and have tried to produce all the teams who have qualified for each tournament.

The 1970 World Cup. 
The 1970 World Cup saw a repeat of the coverage given to the 1966 competition, with all the qualifiers available to purchase. Only about four of the kits were the same as 1966, and in addition the 1970 teams have plastic handled goalkeepers, whereas the 1966 ones were still in the metal handle era. The 1970-71 price list shows these teams, and the colours as laid out below. Once again, the teams were in named boxes. The number range in 1970 stood at 75, and only Brazil were already part of this range. With the exception of Israel (who shared a kit with Zurich - No113), the rest of these teams were added to the team charts between No 151 and 166, around 1972 or 1973. The pictures here were "borrowed" from ebay, and show the named boxes.





Belgium Red, yellow/black collar and cuffs Black Red with Y/B tops Became 151
Brazil Yellow, green collar and cuffs Blue  White socks, green tops Same as 50
Bulgaria White, red and green collar Green Red Became 152
Czechoslovakia White,  red and blue band White White with red/blue tops Became 153
England White Navy blue White Became 154
El Salvador Blue, white collar and cuffs Blue Blue Became 155
Israel  White with blue emblem White White Became 113
Italy Blue White Blue with white tops Became 166
Mexico Green White Green Became 157
Morocco Red  White Red with green tops

Became 158

Peru White, red diagonal band White White with red tops Became 159
Rumania  Yellow  Blue red, blue and yellow tops Became 160
Russia Red White White with red tops Became 161
Sweden yellow, blue collar and cross Blue Blue socks with yellow tops Became 162
Uruguay Sky-blue Black Black with blue tops Became 163
West Germany White, black collar and cuffs Black White socks, black tops Became 156

The 1974 World Cup.
With the expansion of the normal team list, most of the 1974 qualifiers were already in the range. The exceptions to this were the three minnows of the competition.








For the record, the other finalists were: Argentina (67), Brazil (50), Bulgaria (152), Chile (68), East Germany (18), Holland (13), Italy (166), Poland (39), Scotland (149), Sweden (162), Uruguay (163), Yugoslavia (149) and West Germany (156).

The 1978 World Cup.
Among the sixteen sides qualifying for the 1978 World Cup finals, only Iran wore different colours than those already on offer (Tunisia just wore the standard red/white kit). It's worth noting the huge increase in team numbers between 1974 and 1978.




The other qualifiers for 1978 were: Argentina (67), Austria (10), Brazil (50), France (164), Holland (13), Hungary (281), Italy (166), Mexico (157), Peru (159), Poland (39), Scotland (318), Spain (48), Sweden (162), Tunisia (1), and West Germany (156).

The 1982 World Cup. 
For the World Cup finals in Spain, the number of qualifiers increased from sixteen teams to twenty four. These teams were issued in a special team box, with the front of the box stating World Cup Team, along with a stripe in the Spanish colours. There is also a pre-World Cup version of the box which mentions all the teams in the qualifying draw, but only the teams that made it to the finals appear in the World Cup box. Among these are four teams appearing for the first time, and listed below.










The other teams to look for in this box are Argentina (67), Austria (10), Belgium (21 or 151), Brazil (50), Chile (68), Czechoslovakia (231), El Salvador (155), England (329), France (164),Hungary (281), Italy (166), New Zealand (156), Northern Ireland (393), Peru (159), Poland (39), Scotland (318), Spain (48), USSR (161), West Germany (156), and Yugoslavia (149).

The 1986 World Cup.
Again, Subbuteo issued the twenty four qualifying teams in special World Cup boxes, but this time they made them World Cup squads - special teams of sixteen players including two goalkeepers. Actually, the 1986 catalogue shows thirty special World Cup squads including six teams that ended up not qualifying. I guess the last few places hadn't been decided. These extra teams do seem to have been produced, as a couple have been sighted.

The twenty four qualifiers were as follows - Algeria (402) Argentina (457), Belgium (499), Brazil (410), Bulgaria (152), Canada (214), Denmark (636), England (569), France (571), Hungary (635), Italy (415), Mexico (610), Morocco (481), Northern Ireland (393), Paraguay (634), Poland (412), Portugal (531), Scotland (614), South Korea (214), Spain (48 although 433 would make more sense), Iraq (21)*, USSR (392), Uruguay (397) and West Germany (445)

The six non-qualifiers were Australia (028), Austria (453), Holland (416), Ireland (471), Peru (455) and Wales (573)

*In the 1986 catalogue, Iraq are strangely listed out of alphabetical order (between Spain and USSR). In addition, they were listed as 021_the all white kit. In fact, Iraq received its own numbered kit (637) which was all green with white trim. It is also worth noting that Canada and South Korea shared a reference number (214). I am not sure if the box is therefore a combined one.

The two national sides in the range for the first time are:






The 1990 World Cup.
Along with new England home and away strips (719 and 720),  and new Romania (718), and USA (717) , there were four new entrants to the Subbuteo World Cup family. There were no new boxes this time, but the squad boxes were used again with only an Italia 90 sticker to tell them apart from the 1986 versions.

The two catalogues that cover the Italia 90 World Cup don't actually list the teams available. The 1990 catalogue had two pages of national sides that looked reasonable, but there were several qualifiers missing, and eight teams shown who were not at the finals. It also showed some away kits, which I've included.

The qualifiers, and their reference numbers of that year seem to be - Argentina (457), Austria (453), Belgium (649), Brazil (410), Cameroon (403)*, Columbia (713), Costa Rica (714), Czech (231), Egypt (716), England (home 653, away 682), Germany (home 681, away 393), Holland (689) Italy (home 415, away 443), Rep. Ireland (699), Romania (718), Scotland (home 680, away 710), South Korea (214), Soviet Union (696), Spain (433), Sweden (316), United Arab Emirates (715) USA (717), Uruguay (397), and Yugoslavia (149).

*Cameroon don't appear in the 1989 or 1990 catalogues, but reappear in 1991.




Costa Rica


United Arab Emirates




The 1994 World Cup.
This was the final World Cup that Waddingtons supported with specially released teams, and three more first-time minnows made the team lists. In addition, there was a special USA strip, with "USA '94" printed on the shirts (773) , which seems to have been launched prior to the World Cup. There were no special boxes this time around, and no squad teams either.






Saudi Arabia


Switzerland was also produced at reference 809, but this was more of a re-issue of team 114, which had disappeared in the early 1990s.

The 1998 World Cup.
By 1998, Waddingtons had been bought by Hasbro, and Subbuteo popularity was waning. Although an attractive World Cup 1998 boxed edition was produced, individual team production had all but ceased. So Jamaica, South Africa and the other smaller national sides of that competition missed  the chance to appear in the official Subbuteo range.

Since 1998, no new World Cup products have been issued. Although the photo-real version was in the shops for the 2006 event, no licence was obtained. The popular Corinthians range never misses a chance to re-issue its players in international kits, and it would have been nice if Subbuteo had managed something similar.