football Football Manager

TBT: The Original Football Manager

1:32 PMAleks Vee

Football Manager cover art for the ZX81.
by Aleks V | @aleksvee

In a world before free transfers and the back-pass rule, one of the world's most popular football video games was born. Created by Kevin Toms, the first-ever Football Manager, released on the ZX Spectrum in 1982, pioneered the genre of association football management simulation games. The game allows players to be at the helm of a football club and lead it from the fourth to the first division. The manager can, among many things, control the club's finances, participate in a simulated transfer market, and even compete in the FA Cup. Several sequels were released, including Football Manager: World Cup Edition (1990). The series came to an end after Football Manager 3 (1992), which was created without Toms's involvement. That same year, Sports Interactive created Championship Manager. The company split with Eidos, which continued to produce the Championship Manager series, while Sports Interactive revived the Football Manager brand. The current series has been around since 2005.

In 2010, Toms, creator and designer of the original Football Manager, released a game called Kevin Toms Football, which is available through the App store.

He is currently raising money via Kickstarter to rewrite his classic 80's Football Manager for Android and iOS.

You can play the original game on the ZX Spectrum emulator here.

1982: The Year in Context

The original Football Manager was released in 1982. Here are some of the year's most notable events in football and video game history:

The world of football in 1982

- The 1982 FIFA World Cup is won by Italy.
- Aston Villa wins the European Cup (Champions League) after beating Bayern Munich.
- 66 fans lose their lives in the Luzhniki disaster.
- The original New York Cosmos win their 5th NASL championship.
- Petr Cech, Kevin Kuranyi, Victor Valdes, Jermain Defoe, Darijo Srna, Oguchi Onyewu, Landon Donovan, Kaka, and a myriad of other footballers are born.

The world of video games in 1982

- Electronic Arts (EA) is founded.
- The first Star Wars video game, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, is released for the Atari 2600.
- Sega's Zaxxon is the first game to feature isometric graphics.
- Other notable releases: Pac-Man (Atari 2600), Pitfall!Tron, Donkey Kong Jr.
- Starcade, a TV game show with contestants playing arcade games, debuts on TBS.

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