Posted: 12/14/2006
Title: FOUR LEGS, TWO WIVES, ONE KOP.

Blog:                                                                                                                         

   Sheihk MO is a VERY wealthy man, and  basically owns a country, United Arab Emirates which has changed beyond all recognition , with golf courses, man made islands, skyscraper hotels but no democracy-maybe enlightened despotism. Actually his real name is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoun, Prime Minister and Vice President of U.A.E. and ruler of Dubai. He is worth $ 29 Billion and runs DIC-Dubai International Capital Investment Group.

He has transformed British bloodstock sales and the racing game, with GODOLPHIN STABLES. Its named after Godolphin Arabia born 1724 , and one of THREE thoroughbred horses that are the 'breeding founders of ALL racehorses ever sired since. (the other two originals were called Darley Arabia and Byerley Turk).  Look at www.tbheritage.com to find EVERY horse sired since. Godolphin, who train their horses in Dubai and Newmarket, have won over 100 major races in 11 countries. D.I.C. has just bid over $900 million for Liverpool FC, who need the money for a new stadium and to compete with Chelsea and Manchester United, never mind the Barcelona's, Real Madrid's and AC Milan's of this world.  He has two wives, the second and younger one is a daughter of the late King  Hussein of Jordan,and 16 children, 7 sons and nine daughters.  He has also bought the giant Shell Building on the River Thames. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and is an accomplished sportsman and lives in a huge mansion in the English countryside.  A couple of months ago he was sued in District Court in Miam, FL  (where he has property) by the families of 6 of over 30,000 child camel jockeys over the last 3 decades-slave labour etc. With help from UNICEF all the current little jockeys were repatriated to their home countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Sudan  The camels now have tiny robots on their saddles, radio controlled as to when to use the 'whip'. Believe it or not.

There is a recent book out ' GROWING UP WITH SUBBUTEO: MY DAD INVENTED THE WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL GAME' by Mark Adolph. Its the story of Peter Adolph, an ornothologist who loved fast cars and called his game SUBBUTEO, Latin for a type of hawk  Falco Subbuteo.  He started to design it and advertise it in 'Boys Own' magazine in 1947 and had me and lots of schoolboys enthralled. Unlike Blow football and other games, the FLICK TO KICK principle got us kneeling on the carpets at various homes with little cardboard players on a plastic base weighted down with a little metal washer.  It developed into something big, before electronic computer games and literally a cottage industry in the villages of Kent close to Tunbridge Wells where I visited a few times to see the factory.  Eventually all the British and European clubs and international teams had little sets in the team colors hand painted by housewives who had unpainted teams delivered by a van to their homes in the morning, and collected at night for maybe $2.00 a week -very poor pay. At its heyday they were selling a million games a year in standard and world cup edition, with floodlights, stadiums, spectators, TV and radio reporters, police and first aid people and a whole lot more.

  You have all read about Jurgen Klinnsman turning down the job of coach of the USA World Cup team. WELL, did you know that I was the coach of the USA World Cup team back in 1970 ? Let me explain, obviously.  After the World Cup in Mexico in June 1970, Subbuteo decided to have a Subbuteo World Cup, in August in England. I had players training in England at the time when I read about the proposed tournament in the 'Daily Telegraph''. I contacted the writer  of the piece who gave me the contact at the company. So enthusiastic were they that they sent free games to practice with and had teams hand painted in the red, white and blue USA uniforms(the 1950 version with the diagonal stripe).  The tournament would now have a 13th country take part. I chose the two players after a week's 'try-outs' and we went to the 'Opening Ceremony' and marched around the Abraham Lincoln Suite at the prestigious Savoy Hotel in London. World Cup legends Bobby Moore and Gordon Banks were there for the tournament and photo opportunities with company officials and the teams.  Believe it or not, I coached USA to a first round win over the champions of Switzerland, only to lose to Germany, the eventual winners, in Round 2.  I also negotiated the USA rights to make the game in America to a company called Jokari, who had initial success, but having problems with other games they made eventually went out of business.   Subbuteo was sold to Waddingtons Games and a few years ago to USA company Hasbro.  With electric competiton for boys pocket money, sales dipped. Nowadays the original packaged  games and teams and accessories are sought after by collectors and leagues are still active in many countries and in particularly UK. Italy, Holland, Germany. www.FISTF.com is the international tournament site if you want to compete.

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