Jason and the Argos Gnomes (Part Five): The Sportel 600 Colour TV Video Game

“…and Tommy Docherty, the manager who people cruelly said ‘was the most successful failure in football’ has today proved them wrong…”

– John Motson (Liverpool v Manchester United, F.A. Cup Final, 21 May 1977)

1977 turned out to be a year of highs and lows for Mr Docherty. Before 1977, there was only one way you could do a ‘Phoenix From The Flames’ job of your favourite footballing moments. One was on your local playing fields, another was your Subbuteo or Striker set.

On the 01 October 1977, Atari launched its VCS console. The Atari 2600 Video Computer System revolutionised video gaming with its interchangeable cartridges. Before then, there Nolan Bushnell’s Pong (Atari, 1972) and Ralph Baer’s pioneering Odyssey system. Sometimes, the cartridges would cost as much as a built-in TV games system, of which there was many imitators. Here is one of them:

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