Kevin Toms – The original gamefather

Once upon a time there was a young man called Kevin Toms. Some of you (probably those over the age of 35) will have known his product very well indeed. To others the name will mean nothing, but I bet if you a) Own a PC, PSP, Playstation, X-Box or Wii, b) love football and c) do not have a demanding wife/partner you will have heard of Championship Manager.  

Probably only rivalled by as the most fun you can have on your own with a PC, Championship Manager gives us all an opportunity to be Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho or Gianfranco Zola (unfortunately the “alleged” nocturnal activities of a certain manager cannot be recreated in the current versions of the game), starting with the lowest of the lows and rising to the top.

My record was taking Grays Athletic to the Champions League final in my 27th year on the game. So who is this Kevin, and what relevance does it have to the game? Well, Kevin Toms developed the first ever football manager simulation game for the ZX Spectrum back in the very early 1980’s.  

In the game everyone the opportunity to manager a team, and watch the game unfold in pure two dimensional unadulterated by advertising green graphics. Want to see what kept us in our bedrooms for so long at the time without a staple through their naval? Well you can still play a version of the game by clicking here.

And we are very lucky to have tracked Kevin down. In the cyber word it actually wasn’t that hard. A simple Uncle Google search for “Kevin Toms + Football Manager” returned as the top item a blog by the man himself.

So we fired up our old ZX Spectrum with its rubber keys and posed some questions to one of the pioneers of the computer age.

Click here to read the complete article and the Kevin Toms interview by Stuart Noel.

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Kevin Toms - The creator of Football Manager