It should naturally follow that the most aesthetically-pleasing football strips make the most desirable Subbuteo teams. Surely they are just identical plastic replicas of the real thing?

This however is often not the case. Some club’s kits lose their simple, understated beauty once they are morphed into tiny moulded figurines. The imperial azzurri blue of the Italian jersey for example becomes homogenized when shrunken in size and could just as easily be any generic team that play in a similar colour. From Chelsea to Rangers to Stockport County.

The Ajax vertical red stripe – so iconic and stylish in real life – looks a clumsy after-thought when crudely splattered on by a factory machine.

Conversely, there are others that translate better to their table football version and actually improve when down-sized. The French club Nantes’ green and yellow stripes looks like a kid has thrown up E-additives all down the front of a cycling top yet, when in the form of a little plastic man wobbling upon a base, it looks striking and begins to make sense.

Although there is no definitive rule of thumb here it does appear that, generally speaking at least, Subbuteo fashion is a paradoxical universe where opposite laws apply.

Ugly becomes pretty. Stylish becomes bland.

Even though we invested great love into our packaged teams we knew, even as children, that each player were not painted individually by hand with the utmost care and attention by an artist of great standing. They were manufactured en masse and therefore subtlety, simplicity and the little nuanced touches of a great design looked messy and ‘blobby’ when taken out of their box.

Whereas the more garish creations dazzled on the felt turf, their bright colours giving additional life to the skimming toys.

Below are three classic examples that were an absolute pleasure to flick and two that transcended any format and just looked great in both worlds.

Watford – Surely, considering the amount of times a player was tragically crunched beneath a stray slipper and required an emergency glue operation, Hasbro Inc, the manufacturers behind Subbuteo, missed a trick by not including the club’s sponsor at the time – Solvite.

Southampton – Undeniably a hideous kit in the real world but in miniature form this was a unique and eye-catching number. As previously alluded to Subbuteo used to lump several clubs together under the same design. So you could buy Hull and get Berwick and East Fife thrown in for free. There was no such false bargain to be had with the above. It was distinctly and uniquely the South Coast club and them alone. Which made it all the more appealing.

Tampa Bay Rowdies – A personal choice as this team (albeit an earlier incarnation than the picture above) swept aside all-comers on my estate for about four years running.

I even gave them a made-up team name but thankfully time has partly eroded that memory. I do however still vividly recall the heartache of my beloved prolific number nine suffering a career-ending double fracture of his ankles. Glue and medical science wasn’t as advanced back in those days and I believe he retired and bought a small plastic pub somewhere in the Cotswolds.

Liverpool (Away) – Tracey Emin turned a pile of dirty sheets into great art. Hasbro Inc does likewise here with small lumps of plastic.

Dundee United – A tangerine dream. If these were edible I’d happily scoff all ten in a single sitting but probably leave the keeper for fear of choking.